This film was one of Bruce Lee’s last before his death. It’s the story of a martial artist (Lee) agreeing to spy on a reclusive crime lord using his invitation to a tournament there as cover.
Before now, my only knowledge of Bruce Lee had come from watching the biopic about him, Dragon: The Bruce Lee story. I know that the film was probably a massive insult to fans of the martial arts actor but I think the seed of interest was sewn in my brain.
I don’t know why I avoided martial arts films. I suppose I just didn’t think I’d like them, with their storyline: action ratio being a bit skewed. Great if you want to see great moves strung together by a plot line of little significance because you’re too busy staring at Bruce Lee’s action. I’m never going to adore the genre, but this film was good. I really can’t comment on Lee’s acting ability as this is the first of his films that I have seen properly. But his kung-fu style was just awesome. The mirrored scene at the end was superb, and worked well.
Even though the tropes of the film dictate that the hero will always win, it is still great to see all the action play out. Lee was one of the greats. However, a downside of martial arts films is that you have to put up with unthreatening villains who are a bit farcical. It’s not so much that the hero defeats the baddies, but how he defeats them.
MY RATING: *** / *****