Fist of the Condor (2023) Well Go USA Blu-ray Review
It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, and it deserves to become a cult classic as time goes on.
Twin brothers contend for the elusive and sacred book that will unite the mind, body, and spirit to become the Fist of the Condor.
Chile, with all its beautiful mythic wastelands and sacred secrets long held tight by the mystics and masters of the forgotten martial arts perfected by the Incas and their successors, sprawls open its arms and spirits and beholds the twin brothers Guerrero (a bald monk) and Gemelo (the long-haired evil usurper) – both played by Marko Zaror – who will clash and fight and reach for the heavens for an ancient text clutched tightly by the Condor Woman (Gina Aguad). Within the pages of the book are the unuttered secrets of the elusive and singular Fist of the Condor martial art, of which there can only be one carrier in all of the earth at one time, and both brothers seek it out. One, to be whole and completely subservient to the art, and the other, to wield its power. After years of training them both, the Condor Woman exiles Gemelo because she senses the wrong in his heart, and after passing all the trials with humility and grace, she would bestow Guerrero with the book, but fate intervenes and his brother steps in and destroys the prospect of peace between them by stealing the book and having the Condor Woman slain. By then, Gemelo has accrued a disciple of his own, the power-lusting Kalari (Eyal Meyer), who will be doing Gemelo’s dirty work until Guerrero proves that Kalari isn’t worthy to be the carrier of any power Gemelo would bestow on him, and the eventual confrontation between brothers for the fate of the Fist of the Condor awaits.
Part Alejandro Jodorowski graphic novel (think The White Lama or El Topo), part Shaolin / Shaw Brothers kung fu flick, and part Circle of Iron, Fist of the Condor is everything it needs to be to be one of the most unique martial arts movies ever made. It has a singular Latin American texture to it that I’ve never quite experienced before, and it’s quite easily the best film (and certainly his most personal) Marko Zaror has ever starred in. The fights are great, as expected, but it’s the mythologies and the playful execution by director Ernest Diaz Espinoza that make it a triumph. It’s one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, and it deserves to become a cult classic as time goes on. Let’s hope they make a sequel, because it needs one ASAP.
Well Go USA’s new Blu-ray edition of Fist of the Condorcomes with a behind the scenes feature, and the trailer.