Thursday, 10 December 2009

(500) Films of Empire - Day 85

474 - Enter The Dragon
Having watched Brandon Lee's The Crow the other day, it was time to see his father's final film and the only Kung Fu movie to appear on the list.
This is like a Bond film but with Bruce Lee as the super spy. Tasked with taking down a crime lord by competing in a martial arts competition (now I know where Mortal Kombat got its storyline from), he fights his way through many henchmen on the crime boss's island complete with underground lair... did I mention the villain has interchangable hands (including solid steel, bear claw and knives). Best villain that the Bond films never had.
Characterisation and plot are given the briefest of sketches to allow for the fight scenes to be the main focus. Such was the secondary status of the story, that the whole film was recorded silently and redubbed back in the US.
And this film is all about the action, mostly choreographed by Lee, showcasing his immense talents to the world (film was produced by the USA, not Asia), with a variety of fights; one-on-one, mass brawls, the famous room of mirrors sequence, etc. At one point Lee even breaks a young Jackie Chan's neck!
Tragedy seemed to follow the Lee family as like his son, Lee died before fully reaching his potential and three weeks before the premiere of this film.
A fitting tribute to his legend as all the elements (dodgy dubbing, great fight scenes, blatant stereotyping, such as Jim Kelly's afro-haired black man) all combine to make this a cult classic.

Days remaining - 280 Films remaining - 373

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