Prequel to the Chen Zhen played by Jet Li, in the essential 1994 classic that shares the same title in English with this production, that tells the story about the early adventures of Chen Zhen in Japan, during his days as student in the university of Tokyo, giving us an insight look of the beginning of his love relationship with the Japanese girl who gave him so many headaches in Jet Li’s “Fist of Legend” and making him, once again, the banner of the rights of the Chinese people against the evil Japanese empire, whom are again the villains in a plot loaded with that stale nationalism that looks so good in this type of movies and that positions the audience next to the hero.
The little expressive, but brilliant martial artist, Tiger Xu, is in charge on this occasion of embodying the character, relying his performance on his terrific skills as screen fighter, in a fast paced film, in which fights occurs non-stop, and the small moments of romance barely gives the audience a break from the insane action.
The film has a strong comic-book tone, and all the flavor of the classics of kung fu cinema, with a beautiful cinematography, and an idealist representation of the epoque.
Chen Zhen keeps following the path in cinema, that all those historical martial arts figures from china has been following throughout the years, being devoured by their legend in the name of entertainment, turning into fictional characters vaguely based in historical figures.
A Highly recommendable martial arts flick, full of action, adventures and romance that is available with english subtitles on Chinese streaming platform, Iqiyi.