Posts Tagged ‘martial arts’

Bruce Lee’s most famous film, this one has a more big budget feel to it and is designed like a James Bond film from the same era.  There’s the same level of espionage and suspense, the same music, a similar plotline, and just as much sex, albeit not shown directly.  There’s still plenty of martial arts action, and Lee’s acting is a bit more subtle than in his past work.  But the rest of the cast is greatly improved, and everything feels more well designed and showcased.  The pacing and editing are excellent, too.  It’s a plot with a quest involving a martial arts tournament, an illegal drug racket, and a bit of revenge.  Typical kung fu movie stuff, but done in a modern way.  It’s light, fun entertainment, even for those who aren’t usually kung fu fans.  Just don’t expect any deep psychological drama or meaningful questions about life.


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Fists of Fury

Another Bruce Lee classic, this one moves a bit slower than Chinese Connection.  Lee’s character isn’t as hotheaded, but he’s still prone to trouble, and the ending of the story is subsequently tragic.  There’s a drug ring conspiracy and family who are at turns helpful and frustrating.  Lee’s performance seems a bit over the top, but part of the problem might be that we’re never really given much explanation for anything.  There are gaping plot holes, and a lot of incidents seem almost arbitrary and unnecessary.  There’s plenty of kung fu fun; however, a lot of it isn’t had by Lee himself.  He spends the first half of the movie trying desperately not to get involved.  It’s quite a change of pace from the typical martial arts movie, but it has its own charms.  Don’t expect Shakespeare, though.

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If you’re a fan of Bruce Lee, you already know this one.  A tale of tragic revenge, it stars Lee as the hotheaded student of a martial arts school.  There’s lots of action and death and long fight scenes, all necessary for a good martial arts flick.  I saw the dubbed version, so the acting is a little hard to judge, except for Lee himself.  He was very good at emoting, as good as he was at fighting.  The rest of the movie is mostly classic kung fu tropes and posturing, but it’s great fun if you’re a fan of such films or if you’re looking for a good popcorn movie.  The ending is a little sad, but the entire story prepares you for that by showing Lee’s slow downward spiral into revenge and a life of violence.  Deep cuts for a kung fu flick.  He doesn’t have much of a story arc for his character, but the overall story is touching and, in a way, sort of epic.

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