Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Legacy of Rage - 1986

I liked Brandon Lee.  And not just because of his most well known movie The Crow.  Although that helps of course and it's impossible not to mention Brandon Lee and not talk about The Crow.  The Crow was one of those movies made for a specific type of person at a specific time and it is a definitive 90's flick.  It personifies the 90's about as perfectly as The Matrix.  I love the 90's, obviously, because I was in my young teenage years during them and they fuckin kicked ass.  No stupid internet or smart phones to ruin everything, awesome dark kids shows and movies, it was the best time to be a young person.

If you are a fan of an actor, director, writer, whatever the case may be, you should see the stuff they make.  That's what I do.  If I enjoy the films of someone, then I'll be looking that shit up on IMDb in a heartbeat to see what else they did.  Brandon Lee's filmography is very small, he was in 8 movies, 2 of them in very minor roles or cameo appearances, so 6 real roles.  Of those 6 roles, 4 of those movie covers feature Brandon Lee showing his fists.  So, what I'm trying to say is the dude was in action movies.

Legacy of Rage was Brandon Lee's only film shot in a foreign country by a foreign director.  It was Brandon's only Chinese film, and the only one that was filmed in the traditional Hong Kong format.  This format was popular with Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee and it's formula is something like:  good guy is thoroughly good - all around morally good and has everything going for him.  Good guy gets mixed up with bad gang.  Bad gang hurts him or his family, closes his restaurant, whatever the case may be.  Despite not wanting to hurt anyone, good guy breaks down and commits the crime of seeking revenge.  In the end good guy defeats everyone but is now broken because he hurt people.  Sometimes he'll be ok, but sometimes he takes a vow to become a monk, get's arrested, or other endings like that.  Also, one weird minor other thing:  actors are usually playing themselves, or at lease someone with the same name.

The story this time is that Brandon Lee, playing a guy named Brandon, is implicated in the death of a drug dealer.  Really it was Brandon's friend Michael (played by Michael Wong) who killed the drug dealer, and he implicates Brandon cause he wants to get with Brandon's fiancee.  Brandon gets sent to jail for 8 years for the murder, still unaware he's been framed by Michael.  Michael doesn't hook up with the girl, as she moves to Brazil with some weird old guy that likes her.  Brandon gets out of jail and learns that Michael set him up, so now it's two former best friends, and Brandon wants revenge...

It all culminates in some fights and some minor twists but in the end it's just sort of your average whatever film.  Nothing to look up time and time again, it's very formulaic.  I'll give it two stars, mostly for Brandon Lee.

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