Customer Review

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bruce Lee: The Lengend!, 25 Sept. 2004
This review is from: Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I am a big fan of both the legendary Bruce Lee and martial arts and so when i found out that there was in fact a biographical film all about him, i went straight out and brought a copy. Now that i have watched it i can say that i was in fact very very impressed and i think that the film, and of course the actors themselves do the man justice.
That was the big problem really, right in the beggining. Its ok saying lets make a movie of the life of Bruce Lee, but you have to find someone who can actually play the part well, and as i have said, do the man justice. Then a friend of Rob Cohen, the director, put him in touch with a young half chinese half hawian man call Jason Scott Lee, with the perfect body for the part, and a good actor.
The film starts with the young Bruce Lee who begins studying Wing Chun Kung Fu under the instruction of Great Grandmaster Yip Mann. After many years of training in this art he becomes an exceptional martial artist, and is forced to use his skills on several occasions, resulting in his dad becoming scared for his sons safety and sending him off to America. There Bruce begins studying philosophy at Wasington University, and also opens up his very own martial arts school 'The Jun Fan Gung Fu Institute', and begins teaching anyone who wants to learn no matter of colour, age or race.
This attracks the attention of the Gwei Lo, a group of Chinese martial arts masters who are angry that Bruce is teaching their secrets to white people and basically anyone who isn't Chinese. Refusing to stop teaching, Bruce is challenged by them to fight their top man. If he wins, he can teach whoever he wants. If he loses he can't, simple as that.
After winning the match in a matter of minutes Bruce wins the right to continue teaching, however ends up bed bound for months on end after taking a serious blow to the back and is forced to channel his energy in somthing else for a while.
Shortly after his recovery Bruce attends the 'Ed Parker International Karate Championship', where he tries to tell people about his new system of fighting 'Jeet Kun Do' and ends up proving how good it is by challangeing anyone to a fight which he promises to win in under sixty seconds. Unfortunatly his old rival whom he fought for the right to teach martial arts to anyone, his there and agrees to fight him.
After a pretty glorious victory Bruce is approached by a film director who asks him to star in an upcoming TV series called 'The Green Hornet'. This is unfortunatly cancelled after just two series and again Bruce is without a job, that is until he is offered a role in his first feature film, entitles 'The Big Boss', which becomes a huge success, and the rest is history.
As i have already said, it took quite a while for Rob Cohen to find the right person to play the role of Bruce Lee, however when Jason Scott Lee came along, they knew that he was perfect. He not only has the perfect body for the role, but is also a great actor and as the movie was just as much about Bruce Lee: the man, as it was Bruce Lee: the legendary martial artist, he was perfect. Previously Jason had had no martials arts training, and so to make the fight scenes look realistic, he underwent months and months of hard training which all payed off in the end. The acting is generally good all round, easpecially Lauren Holly who is simply brilliant as Linda Lee, Bruce's wife who sticks by him through thick and thin, and who's real life book inspired the making of this film.
As this is a special widescreen edition DVD, there are loads and loads of extras which really add to the enjoyment, and give fans a little extra. First of all there is a featurette which lets us take a look behind the scenes of the movie and has interviews from some of the cast and the director Rob Cohen. Secondly there are a number of storyboards which were used to plan out some of the scenes in the movie. These are ok, but not overly exciting.
Thirdly there is the Jason Scott Lee screen test which shows him practising some of the moves for the movie, while in the background, Rob Cohen gives us a commentry of how he found Jason Scott Lee, and what sort of training he had to do to prepare for the role. There are some outakes of the 60 second man fight scene at the Ed Parker Karate Championships. There is about a ten minute clipping from the black and white interview of Bruce Lee on the Piere Burton show, which is good howevr the whole thing would have been nice.
There are loads and loads and loads of Bruce Lee photographs which should please any fan. There are several Dragon promo materials such as video covers from different countries and posters etc. There there are pages and pages of production notes, and also cast and film makes notes. There are two original film trailers which would have been seen in cinemars around the time of its release in 1993. There are some production photos from behind the scenes, and last but not least a feature length commentry from director Rob Cohen, explaining interesting points about the film and its making etc etc.
Overall, 'Dragon - The Bruce Lee Story' is an amazing film charting the life of the greatest martial artist of all time, Bruce Lee. Its good in that it shows the private life of Bruce i.e. with his family, as well as just fight scene after fight scene. The fight scenes obviously are a big part of the film though, and all choreographed by the man who works on fight scenes for Jackie Chan films, they look very much like how Bruce Lee would have fought them. Definately a film for any martial arts fan, or Bruce Lee fan and with tonnes of extras and a great soundtrack, you can't really go far wrong by buying this wonderful DVD.
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Initial post: 22 May 2014 11:21:36 BDT
Gwei lo is a Hong Kong term meaning 'foreign devil'; it's used in the film by the Chinese martial arts masters to refer to Bruce's students.
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