Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Legacy Of Rage(1986)         
* * *

Cast: Brandon Lee, Michael Wong, Regina Kent, Bolo Yeung

Directed by Ronny Yu

Brandon Lee’s debut wasn’t Showdown In Little Tokyo or even Laser Mission, it was this little seen heroic bloodshed gangster melodrama that has more in common with A Better Tomorrow than Enter The Dragon, to which this was promoted as in both the U.S (5 years after Lee’s death) and Hong Kong. That said, Legacy Of Rage is pretty decent even if Lee’s martial artistry isn’t as exploited as one would expect. The story revolves around a friendship gone bad between Lee and Wong, after Lee is framed by the latter. Brandon Lee doesn’t initially look for vengeance until his ex-girlfriend and son are held hostage to forcing Lee back in action. Legacy Of Rage isn’t as good as A Better Tomorrow or the classic heroic bloodshed flicks, but Legacy Of Rage still satisfies with its compact shootouts and contains some genuinely decent acting from all. Indeed the film’s narrative is fairly disjointed muting some of the effect that drama could have. For instance it takes Lee awhile to figure out that Wong is screwing him over and the film doesn’t even start out on the right foot, as Brandon Lee has a goofy sequence where he has to reunite a little girl with her parents in a ridiculous sequence. However the prison sequences after Lee figures out the double-cross, as well as the suspenseful escape attempts and the depth provided by Lee and his new friend Four Eyes. However Legacy's biggest pluses come from the shootouts in which Lee starts pumping belts of ammunition at his former friend’s disposable henchman.  Legacy Of Rage then hits the right notes for Brandon Lee fans who don't really  have many good movies to choose from. Ergo Lee fans will be not be disappointed with this enjoyable curiosity piece.

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