Bruce Lee's big (and last) break into the Hollywood mainstream.
Apr 28, 2009
Enter the Dragon (1973) was Bruce Lee's first (and only) solo big Hollywood production. Too bad he never got to see the fruits of his labor. He passed away during the film's post production (don't fret, two more official Bruce Lee films were made after this one. Despite all of the years of hard work and finally making it to the big times he wasn't around long enough to enjoy it. Even though Robert Clouse is credited as director and another person is credited for writing the screenplay. This film has Bruce Lee's fingerprints all over it.
The movie is about a shady underworld crime lord (aren't they always) who controls most of the world's opium drug ring and a lot of other illegal dealings. British Intelligence is stumped, so they seek out someone who's slick, sly, stealth and who can kick a lot of butt and take care of himself. They find their man (Bruce Lee). After a great deal of convincing they get him to go to the island and participate in the crime lord's fighting tournament. Along the way, Bruce meets two American fighters (John Saxon and Jim Kelly) who are in the tournament for various reasons. Whilst on the island, Bruce does his nightly snooping around so he can find out more about the crime lord and his illegal activities. Will Bruce topple the organization? Can he make it out alive? Does Bruce really kick a whole lot of butt and take names? To find out you'll have to watch Enter The Dragon!!!!
Bruce Lee worked a great deal on this picture. He wrote most of the screenplay (uncredited), filmed all of the action scenes (uncredited) and directed several scenes (uncredited). Lam Ching-Ying, Angela Mao, Jackie Chan and Bolo Yeung appear in this film. If you haven't seen this film already then you're either a kid, lame or something is wrong with you.
While Bruce Lee and Angela Mao Ying are brilliant the film as a whole suffers from a surfeit of heroes. We simply do not need both Jim Kelly AND the highly unskilled John Saxon and their presence shows that Warner Bros didn't trust the drawing power of their Asian star. Watch CHINESE CONNECTION aka FIST OF FURY instead.
This review is the one that Amazon didn't want you to read and it's the reason that I'm currently on "lunch" break. The review I submitted to them was probably very similar to the one below, it's difficult to say since I write on the fly without any notes or prep work, but the point is that the original review contained no naughty words, no ethnic slurs, nothing objectionable at all--unless you consider hinting at the fact that Warner Brothers is racist is objectionable. … more
Bruce Lee was immortalized in his films as a martial arts master and first-class entertainer. ENTER THE DRAGON was the first martial arts film that American audiences had witnessed, and was actually produced in both Hong Kong and Hollywood. Interestingly, ENTER THE DRAGON also set the stage for non-traditional, culturally specific narratives to make their way into Hollywood. <br> <br> Bruce Lee plays a kung fu master recruited by a foreign government to infiltrate the island of a megalomaniac martial artist named Han. Han's bodyguard is also found to have killed Lee's sister, giving Lee a personal vendetta to fight for. The Hall of Mirrors sequence towards the end of the film is now famous, as are Lee's incredibly gymnastic martial arts abilities. This trend-setting film holds up as an entertaining, engaging action movie, more than 30 years later.