Directed By: Robert Clouse
Written By: Michael Allin
When I was in college I wrote a research paper on this movie and on Bruce Lee. It has long since been a favorite of mine and I love watching it. Like any other guy I have always been a sucker for a good fight scene, and nobody put together fight scenes like the greatest fighter in film history. Enter the Dragon is one of the most legendary martial arts films in movie history. It set the tone for many other films to come and was martyred by the death of Bruce Lee right before its release. Lee put together an impressive performance before he died and he will be remembered forever because of it.
Bruce Lee is like no other fighter seen on film, he is so fluid and natural. While an impressive physique is commonly seen in today’s actors that wasn’t the case in 1973. Bruce Lee was a freak of nature in this film; not only physically but mystically as well given his incredible snake taming abilities. What Lee showed in this film more than anything was potential. Potential to be one of the greatest celebrities of all time. His death was a tragedy felt by fans all over the world, and he will always be remembered fondly. In 1973 he wasn’t big enough to headline this movie alone in the US though so John Saxon was cast to co-star. Saxon may have been a washed up actor with little talent but he was white, so he qualified for a big role in this movie. You can also clearly see elements of blaxploitation in this movie with the Williams character. Jim Kelly may have been a pretty crappy actor but what an awesome character he made in this film. Not that his acting was any better here but that afro was out of this world. Bolo Yeung looks like an Asian Lou Ferrigno in this movie with his massive size and bulk. If you think he is impressive here you should see him fifteen years later in Bloodsport, he is even more roided up in that film. Bob Wall does a great job of getting his ass kicked by Bruce Lee again, he appeared in 3 of Lee’s 4 films. Jackie Chan can also be seen as an extra in this film, he is the guard who gets his neck broken dramatically during the big fight scene with the guards.
Bruce Lee is one of my personal heroes, I have tried my best to incorporate certain parts of his character into my own. His determination, skill, and drive are things I have all admired and tried to learn from. Lee is more of an icon because he died young but he lived a life we can all learn from. His story is one I would like to encourage anybody out there to research because it really is extraordinary. We will have two more opportunities to discuss Bruce Lee on our journey through our DVD rack. We don’t own Game of Death because Lee is only in it briefly, but we do own all the movies he truly starred in.
This was a great film and if you enjoy martial arts films then it is one you definitely need to see. What makes fight scenes so great is that in all new movies they make efforts to out do what was done before them. I specifically enjoy that reality of films, but this movie can stand toe to toe with anything that has come out in the last forty years. It was that good then and is that good now. It is more than worth your time.
NEXT MOVIE: Equilibrium (2002)