The mix of kung fu fighting (choreographed by Lee himself) and James Bond intrigue (the plot has more than a passing resemblance to Dr. No) is pulpy by any standard, but the generous budget and talented cast of world-class martial artists puts this film in a category well above Lee's primitive Hong Kong productions. Unfortunately he's off the screen for large chunks of time as American maverick competitors (and champion martial artists) John Saxon and Jim Kelly take centre stage, but once the fighting starts Lee takes over. The tournament setting provides an ample display of martial arts mastery of many styles and climaxes with a huge free-for-all, but the highlight is Lee's brutal one-on-one with the claw-fisted Han in the dynamic hall-of-mirrors battle. Lee narrows his eyes and tenses into a wiry force of sinew, speed and ruthless determination. --Sean Axmaker
There have been some "racism" comments over the years regarding Jim Kelly's early demise (the black fighter with spectacular afro hair); in defence of the film I always thought the only reason Han beat him was because he got distracted by a faceful of Dove and took a stone hand in the face. Pure bad luck.
But he's a far better fighter than John Saxon, and it would have been nice if he'd stuck around in the movie for longer.
The ending is also a little different to the cinema release: at the beginning of the film there is a conversation between Bruce and a monk, regarding seeing things clearly and images - spiritual stuff. That was cut from some versions for some reason.
Anyway, Bruce becomes thoughtful for a few seconds, then smashes some mirrors. Now, the voice of his master is played over his moment of thought, and gives him the idea of breaking the mirrors.
And a scene makes sense!
All martial arts fans should own this.