Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
96 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
An exceptional biopic - vivid but highly entertaining, amongst other things!
lawrence-1423 October 2000
Once you became a Bruce Lee addict and begin seeing and reading the numerous different biographies and biopics, you're going to realise that DRAGON has quite a bit of fiction in it - and in the bits you don't really expect it to. For example, Lee approached Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest production company to make a marital arts movie, not the other way round and Chow isn't even the guy! Also, due to Lee's 'mysterious' death, the film also doesn't really an idea of how its going to wrap it all up. Therefore, the film is the perfect example of the word 'vivid'.

However, what makes Dragon the fine film that it is is that it decides to look at the two lesser-known aspects which dominated Lee's life - his long, ongoing 'battles' with an inner-demon and of course the racism of sixties America. These are managed and brought to the screen extremely well although to be fair they aren't particularly well developed.

The highlights would have to be the performances of Jason Scott Lee as Bruce and Lauren Holly as his devoted wife, Linda. They share a remarkable chemistry together and are certainly a credit to their subjects. This review probably hasn't made Dragon sound like a very good movie. Well if that's the case, then please think the opposite.
40 out of 44 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Cult Movies 52
TYLERdurden7415 January 1999
52. DRAGON: The Bruce Lee story (action, 1993) A re-telling of the life of legendary martial-arts star Bruce Lee (Jason Scott Lee). From his brief childhood days in Hong Kong, to his days as a dishwasher, martial-arts teacher and eventual cinema superstar in Hollywood.

Critique: The life and death of Bruce Lee has inspired many a film and documentaries since his death. Most of these accounts center around Lee's 'mysterious' death from a 'brain edema', never developing anything really new of interest, just speculations. Incredibly it took over 20 years for a film to finally put to rest the many theories and innuendo.

"Dragon" is by far the best of the legendary Lee story, not only for omitting the many death scenarios but also for giving us the closest account of the man. Apart from these welcome omissions, the film wouldn't have worked without Jason Scott Lee in the role. He gives a spirited, charismatic performance that captures the zest for life that Lee possessed. It's a long way from one of his first 'extra' roles as an Asian immigrant in the rather forgetful "Born in East L.A." (1988). Scott Lee is totally appealing here, taking on such a legendary figure and making us believe that Lee is truly up there once again on the screen.

The film's major theme of the "demon curse" Lee's family inherited, had a frighteningly real resonance when, after the movie premiered, Lee's eldest son Brandon (for whom the film is dedicated) was accidentally killed on the set of "The Crow". This would prove to be his breakout film, just the same way Lee's last film, "Enter the Dragon", made him a world wide superstar. This gives the film an added prophetic note that puts it in a category all its own.

Based on wife Linda Lee Cadwell's book, "Bruce Lee: the man only I knew", directed with skillful restraint by Rob Cohen (who also co-scripted). Randy Edelman created the unforgettable musical score (you'll be humming the tune long after you hear it).

QUOTES: Linda: "All these years later people still wonder about the way he died. I prefer to remember the way he lived."
48 out of 58 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
Superb Character Portrayel by Jason Scott Lee
mjw230520 January 2005
This film as a stand alone kung fu movie would be worthy of your attention, as it is very enjoyable and well made. The thing that makes it special is Jason Scott Lee's portrayal of the legend that is Bruce Lee.

He successfully captures his mannerisms, attitude and even his fighting style, extremely convincingly (a truly remarkable feat of acting ability.)

Although dramatised to heighten your viewing pleasure, the story actually follows the events in Bruce Lee's life and shows us the man behind the martial arts, covering his inner turmoils and personal struggles as well as his famous physical ability.

A great movie, befitting the legend that is Bruce Lee.

8/10
52 out of 64 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
The greatest legend ever in martial arts history
mthakore20 April 2004
This movie was amazing. Before I saw this movie, I had an idea of who Bruce Lee was. I knew he was one of the greatest martial arts masters of all time and I knew he was in a couple of movies. But, I had know idea about the kind of man he was and the struggles he had to go through. He is, in my eyes, an amazing human being with an unimaginable amount of courage and a whole lot of heart. This movie showed me that much. The score is also one of the best I have heard in my life. All in all, this movie is an inspiring take on a legend's life. Great story, great music, great human being.... What more can I say? Amazing!

A solid 8/10
46 out of 61 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Great movie, but not a biography though
exode1827 November 2001
This is a great movie. Nice action scenes, nice soundtrack, nice photo...But it's not a biography of the greatest fighter of all time: Bruce Lee. I am a big fan of Bruce and I know his life from A to Z, and this is not what I saw in that movie. I could tell all the mistakes I saw in the movie but here's just a few: In the movie: he is a unique child Reality: He had one brother and two sisters and he didn't live with his father only, he had his mother. He didn't leave Hong-Kong because of the cops (what the?...) he left because he wanted to be famous. And please! What is that story of the ghost from the depts of hell?!?!?

No, if you want to make a great action movie, good, go ahead, the right way to do it. But if you want to make a bio of a true legend, please tell the true story.

7/10
31 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Good as a movie, not really as a biography.
Boba_Fett113819 February 2005
The story told in the movie is really excellent and entertaining. However it feels more like a story based on the life of Bruce Lee rather then an actual biopic of his life.

Jason Scott Lee perfectly plays Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee. Not only the way he plays Lee is impressive but also his fighting skills.

The music by Randy Edelman was also surprising good.

There are way too many fictitious and untrue things added in the movie to be considered a fair biography. But does it really matter for the movie? It's like "Ed Wood" that was also filled with altered things and false truths but still it was a movie that told us the story of an unique character and what drove him. "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" isn't much different in that way. OK it's not completely fair to compare this movie to "Ed Wood" since that was a far superior movie to "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (what a horrible title by the way).

The fight sequence are probably the best thing about the movie and they were highly entertaining, although very hard to believe that they actually really happened that way.

It's a good entertaining movie but if you want to get to know more about Bruce Lee this isn't the best material for you to start with.

7/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
22 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Dragon Review And General Feelings On Bruce's Death
JMFOX22 July 2003
Very Good But Horribly Inaccurate Account Of His Life

If you are watching this as someone who has no knowledge of Bruce Lee's life then this is a good fun action film but someone who knows the history and the story of his life may be dissapointed as this is not at all accurate. And knowing Bey Logan, he must cringe watching this. The film depicts Bruce's early childhood in Hong Kong, his teenage years in the US right way through to his eventual death in 1973. The element that I think drags this film down the most is the mythological side of it, if it had just been a realistic account of his life without the myths and demons, it would have faired much better. There are many innacurate scenes and occurences in this film which understandably makes the film more exciting for mainstream audiences but as a Bruce fan myself i wish they would have stuck to what actually happened. I wish there were more scenes where Bruce was on set of one of his films, like Way Of The Dragon or Fist Of Fury. There could have been more scenes with Bruce with Yip Man or Brandon. There could have been scenes of Bruce being challenged on the street in his infamous street fights, the episode of the green hornet they portrayed i don't think was an actual episode. And Bruce was not injured by the fighter at the martial arts challenge in Chinatown it was when he was weightlifting and pulled his back out. But the fight scenes are well choreographed.

Jason Scott Lee has got his portrayal of the man spot on, he brings the right amount emotion and power to the role, he's clearly done his research on Bruce's mannerism's and got himself in shape for the role as well as training for the fight scenes. Its hard to imagine anyone else who could have played the role, maybe Jet Li who at the time the film was made was 30 and roughly the right age to play Bruce, but Jet spoke very little English. Lauren Holly is equally as good in her role as Linda. The strong portrayals are in many ways successful because of the on set help of the real Linda and Shannon(who makes a cameo as a singer). The music is perhaps the film's strongest part, somehow the main score seems to catch the right emotion of Bruce's death and Brandon's death in 1993. I like the way the film captures the aura of Bruce Lee.

There will indeed never be another Bruce Lee. I find it fascinating to imagine what Bruce would have done if he had lived, the 80's and 90's would have been very different if Arnie, Stallone, Wiilis, Seagal and Van Damme had Bruce to compete with, Bruce is sometimes critcised for being a bad actor, but i disagree, if anyone has seen his episodes of `Longstreet' or `Marlowe' they will see that Bruce could convincingly carry a dramatic scene given the right script and no dubbing and he oozed charisma, and he showed glimpses of good acting in Enter The Dragon.

Being a Bruce fan i kind of wish that Jet Li would do the films that bruce did or was planning on doing, Jet's early work in Honk Kong like the Shaolin Temple or more recent stuff like Fist Of Legend(remake of Fist Of Fury) and Once Upon A Time In China was very promising and it seemed he was the successor to Bruce but instead now he's doing crap in Hollywood with DMX and Jason Statham. Strangely the mediocre Lethal Weapon 4 is Jet's best Hollywood film, Maybe Jet should do a project with John Woo, it would be interesting and they'd probably get the best out of each other.
20 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
The key to immortality, is first, live a truthful life, worth remembering. I think Dragon: Bruce Lee Story, somewhat shows that.
ironhorse_iv14 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
However, it also, does stray too far into fantasy. This biopic movie directed by Rob Cohen really does take a lionized approach to the legendary martial artist/movie star, Bruce Lee's life. These over the top embellishment really resulted in mixed reactions. Some Bruce Lee fans felt, that the use of artistic license, really hurts the historic authenticity of the film. Others, felt that the extreme improvisation made for a more interesting and challenging movie, rather than a straight, and boring historic accurate adaptation. In my opinion, I felt that slightly haunting, but fantastical subplot of Bruce Lee's family, being haunted by demons was a bit too over the top and wasn't really needed for the film. It wasn't a childhood nightmare that prompt Bruce to begin his martial arts training. Unlike what we see in the movie, Bruce actually began his martial arts training at the age of thirteen after getting beaten up by a street gang. However, it was somewhat entertaining, seeing Bruce Lee (Jason Scott Lee), having nightmares of a giant demonic samurai. It was also pretty cool, seeing him battling that say, demon to protect his son, Brandon (Iain M. Parker). Even, if it's so, out there, crazy. Who knows, maybe, there was a real-life, curse on Bruce Lee's family? Making this worse is the fact that Brandon turned down the opportunity to play his father here, opting to do 1994's The Crow instead. Brandon Lee would die from an accidental gun discharge during the making of that film, a few months prior to this film's release. Loosely based off, the biographies written by Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee's widow; "Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew' & Robert Clouse's "Bruce Lee: The Biography". The movie tackles, how Bruce Lee became the most famous martial artist of all time; while dealing with his cultural duality. You really do see, his struggles to keep his strong Chinese heritage alive, while, also finding his identity as an American. While, Jason Scott Lee is not related to Bruce Lee and had no previous martial arts training or experience. He was an accomplished dancer and really embody, what Bruce Lee was, in looks and the way, he acts. He's so charismatic and likable here, that you simply cannot take your eyes off of him. He is equally adept at action scenes and love scenes, and even if you don't like martial arts films, you will like this movie very much. I really love how the film, dealt with easing of harsh racism tones of the two countries with the romantic sub-plot of Bruce Lee meeting his future wife, Linda Lee (Lauren Holly). The two actor's chemistry, together, really makes this subplot, work. I really felt the heartwarming moments, between them. However, their relationship in real life was a little more, complicated than what's shown in the film, with Bruce Lee's rumor, adultery with actress, Betty Ting Pei. Still, much credit, goes to both Lauren Holly to portraying a realistic character in Linda, and for, composer, Randy Edelman for The Dragon's Heartbeat. That theme song is so uplifting and inspirational it has been used in countless trailers in the 2 decades since it first came out. This film pays a mostly honest tribute to how revolutionary, the man was, to not only fighting style, but his influence in both East and West filmmaking. However, in the movie, it's said, that Bruce Lee's acting career started when a producer discovers Bruce after witnessing his martial arts abilities. In real life, Bruce's family had connections to the world of show business and even Bruce Lee acted sporadically since his early childhood. He first appeared in 1941's The Golden Gate Girl when he was only 3 months old, and later in 1957's Hong Kong movie, The Thunderstorm. It wasn't his martial arts skills that got him, into the door of Hollywood, at first. While, I do champion, in the way, he change, how Asian Americans were portrayed in film. Still, the notorious idea that all- Asians know Martial Arts is bit, laughable. The film make it seem, like every Asian knows it. As if, it's was a well-kept secret. While, the fight scenes in the film, were well-choreograph and done pretty good. I really found, most of the whole-forced fighting conflicts to be, a lot of filler. Some, really good examples are, the fight scene at the film set of 1971's Big Boss and the scenes with the Chinese Martial Art School. Contrary, in reality, there was no real fight on the set of The Big Boss and while, other Martial Arts instructors were indeed, only teaching people of their own race, most Chinese martial arts school in America were a lot more understandable on Bruce Lee training non-Chinese in the arts. Another thing, I find, kinda jarring in the film, is how, the film, portray, Bruce suffering a severe back injury, due to a fight gone wrong. In reality, Bruce got the back injury, while exercising with weights. While, he indeed fully recovered since then; in private however, he continued to suffer from chronic back pain. Unlike, the movie that says, the demon curse, lead him to an early grave. It's more like, likely, that this back pain, cause Bruce Lee, to die at a young age, due to bad allergic reaction to a painkiller, given to him, for treatment. Overall: While, this movie does take liberties about the life of Bruce. It was also well-written as a tribute to both him and his fans. It was written as a way to include the myths, rumors, and greatness that made him a larger than life, type of a hero. It's an amazing movie, definite worth checking out for any fan of his films.
7 out of 9 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
good flick, but inaccurate
mrmoore7817 May 2003
I really liked Jason Scott Lee's portrayal of Bruce Lee, but I noticed many inaccuracies in the story. If I had not seen the AMC special on Lee last year, I would not have a problem.

-according to Linda Lee, Bruce was not hurt when competing for the right to teach whoever he wanted to. He hurt himself when he didn't stretch properly for a workout in 1970. That was the big inaccuracy

-Bruce auditioned for another role in early 1965 before the role of Kato was offered to him.

  • other roles he took in America were completely ignored: "Marlowe", his appearances on "Longstreet", etc...the movie went right from 1967 to 1972 within a minute


If you want to see a really good special on Lee, as well as see lost footage from a project that was butchered after he died, check out the AMC documentary.

-
17 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
Jeet Kune Don't
dunmore_ego24 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers, clichés and big dumb white guys abound.

Bruce Lee was an artisan, an innovator, an indomitable warrior, a genius. Inspiring many to create tributes to him, it unfortunately does not follow that those inspired to create these tributes are creative enough or qualified enough to do those tributes justice. Such is the case with Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

Not really a story about Bruce Lee, more the story of an invented character from the Cliché Handbook of Action Film Heroes (Body-Oil Edition). And not so much a "tribute" as a "gratuitous insult"; excepting Jason Scott Lee's physical prowess and the overwhelming hotness of Lauren Holly, the film boasted absolutely no redeeming qualities. And lots of body-oil.

The dramatic contrivance of the "po-boy-immigrates-and-makes-good" was bad enough, even if it were true (which it is not) but then, in a film where "assault and battery" assumes a form of high art in the hands of the film's protagonist, we viewers are summarily assaulted and battered by the artlessness of the film-makers who opted for cliché over substance at every turn.

In Lee's first fight at the prom, he conveniently loses his shirt (a la Vintage Kirk) – beneath the shirt, judiciously body-oiled like a seal at a massage parlor, big dumb white sailors not so much being beaten up by him as sliding off his pecs like penguins and hitting their heads on the floor.

The gym scene, and more big dumb white guys (and a token black guy) assault Lee for no reason – remember that these were simple bygone days, when big dumb white guys were unaware that Every Asian Person Knows Kung Fu.

Clichés for breakfast, lunch and dinner: We've got the mother who doesn't approve, the searing hot white chick love interest, the battered loft converted into the martial arts school, the racism, the idiot antagonists attacking the hero with meat cleavers (which they never think to THROW at him), the kung fu veterans ordering Bruce to stop teaching – or else - ! We've got the obligatory husband & wife confrontation (once again the wife bitching as her husband achieves a fame that she can only ride the coat-tails of: "I don't know who you ARE anymore!" – how about "the guy who keeps you wealthy and your social status high"?). Even if many of these aspects were marginally accurate (such as his wife truly being the ideal 70s stunner), the storyline unfolded in such a PG-13 paint-by-numbers format that one couldn't help but question the veracity of its dramatic elements.

Then there's the goofy Black Knight character that haunts Bruce's dreams, proving beyond a doubt that the film-makers were higher than the publicist who engineered Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction". Besides the fact that this was an insulting dramatic metaphor for the mystery surrounding Lee's untimely demise, how dare the film-makers presume that this metaphysical nonsense in any way rationalizes, palliates or absolves the misfortune of Bruce's passing?

Enter the Bad Guy combatant – we can tell he's the Bad Guy on accounta his scowl and ominous theme music, and his body-oil is a whole inch thicker - and Bruce's debilitating cliché-defeat at his hands, achieved by CHEATING on the Bad Guy's part, of course. It's all true. Hollywood tells us so.

Then we are treated to the obligatory montage of the Hero regaining his prowess through his Iron Will and jump-cut editing – all due to his HOT WIFE'S pep talk - yes, if it weren't for bony, bossy Linda Lee, we'd never have Jeet Kune Do or Enter The Dragon.

Bruce's book, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, was published posthumously – but in this film, he miraculously receives a copy while recovering from his bogus back injury – a miracle only Hollywood could achieve. We cannot even disregard the fallacies of this movie and focus on the broad strokes to glean Bruce's life story, for those broad strokes themselves are indiscernibly shrouded in misinformation.

Much like Capricorn One, another film which insulted the viewer from frame one to conclusion, with misinformation and egregious stupidity sprinkled so liberally throughout its makeup that one could not find any one point to logically start unraveling the threads of idiocy, Dragon bludgeons viewers with the unsubtle thematic gist that we are all obviously congenital idiots for watching it in the first place.

One such example of just how IGNINT the film-makers believe us to be is the scene in which we are made privy to the methods on how to film a movie, with the fight scene on the "last day of filming on The Big Boss". With just ONE tripod-mounted camera, they captured no less than 43 camera angles, and also captured slow motion shots without once loading different-speed film! Then, apparently you have to open the clapper and rip the film out and throw it on the ground in order to develop it, which is what Bruce does. Very informative! And all true, of course. Hollywood tells us so.

It seems ironic that these film-makers, who attempted to portray a pioneer who fought to elevate the martial arts film above that of B-Movie schlock, unwittingly created B-Movie schlock in the process. Though their intentions may have started out sincere (which I doubt), what is left on the screen is a rancid marketing vehicle cashing in on Bruce's fame, rather than what might have been a much more interesting, entertaining - AND THEREFORE even more commercially-successful - exploration of Lee's life and times, adversities and triumphs.

We can only hope that one day there will be a more reverent, less body-oiled, more factual movie to celebrate the life and achievements of The Little Dragon.

(Movie Maniacs, visit: www.poffysmoviemania.com)
23 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
A real shame
TVholic22 January 2011
Bruce Lee was an amazing athlete and martial artist, with a story to match. It's just too bad Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story decided that wasn't worth telling. Instead, there are lots of fight scenes in improbable places with trumped-up foes, not to mention some stupid "curse of the dragon" that the real Bruce would never have believed in. In spots, this movie is almost as campy as the old Batman series was.

A few documentaries have taken honest looks at the Lee phenomenon and managed to remain interesting throughout by showing us a determined, disciplined man who made his own success. In this movie, they had the entirety of Lee's life to use and decided to make up whole sections out of thin air just to spice things up. It puts itself not much above the sensationalistic Hong Kong films that made Bruce look nearly superhuman and the victim of some vast Triad conspiracy when the real man was just as fascinating. What a waste. I know conflict is emphasized in most screen writing classes, but instead of fight after fight as shown in this movie, how about showing some of the famous friends and students Bruce taught? And avoid the idiotic scenes like Bruce supposedly shattering 300+ pound ice blocks into chips with a single punch. If I wanted to see impossible feats like that, I'd go watch a Superman movie.

Bruce's fighting philosophy was to eschew flashy techniques in favor of effective ones. Fighting wasn't for show, but to win. Only on film would he do things like backflips, somersaults, superhigh jumping kicks and animalistic kiai. Show us the man who trained long and hard, and studied and thought about not just fighting, but philosophy and health. Bruce's success was as much a product of his mind as of his body.

We're now nearing 20 years after this movie's release and the 40th anniversary of Lee's death, with his legend and popularity only slightly diminished. To this day, Bruce remains the paragon of martial arts in the eyes of many, the man to whom all others are compared. I have a dream that someone will do a true biopic. His true story deserves better than to be ignored and hidden. I'd like to see a real drama rather than melodrama, with characters that have depth rather than the cartoonish ones in this film. There have been too many lies and myths told about Bruce over the years and this movie shamefully introduced more. "All these years later, people still wonder about the way he died. I prefer to remember the way he lived." Too bad this movie didn't show that way.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
A story that vaguely resembles the life of Bruce Lee
pkotta17 January 2000
On its own merits, this is an engaging, skillfully crafted movie: Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly shine as Mr. and Mrs. Lee, and the fight scenes are top-notch. Those who enjoy stories of a likable couple whose love for one another must overcome great odds can enjoy the film on that level.

But as a biopic of Bruce Lee, however, "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" is not merely riddled with annoying inaccuracies, but it is inaccurate in ways that effectively downplay how determined the real Bruce Lee was. (For instance, the movie shows Holly's Linda Lee encouraging Bruce to open his first martial arts school, but in reality, Bruce had already done so when he first met Linda, who was one of his students.)

Inaccuracies like these compound into what to this Bruce Lee fan is the film's biggest flaw: its failure to convey to the audience that Bruce Lee attained superstardom precisely because that is what he worked so hard to achieve from the outset.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
One of the worst Biopics ever, and an insult to a great man.
angel-2055 September 1999
If I was to give this insulting piece of crap even one star it would be for Jason Scott Lee's portrayal of Bruce Lee which is almost life like by showing Bruce's wit, charm and all round coolness almost to a T. If you wanna no why I despise this film check-out the goofs section for one. Two Director Rob Cohen (dragonheart, daylight) had bought the option to the book of Bruce's wife Linda Lee Emery and put a script together in 1 bloody month ! I'd read Linda's book and its nothing like the film/script for 1 its true. Three the film fails to mention anything about Bruce's early years in the states you no he did'nt just come to u.s.a and get married just at the snap of a finger there's nothing about his friends/students like, Taky Kimura, Doug Stone his close Friends the Oscar winning James Coburn and script writer Streling Sillaphant, his problems with Warner Bros. and Kung Fu. Truly an appalling Fabrication and an insult to Bruce Lee's great life. If you really wanna no about the man then read Bruce Thomas' Fighting Spirit
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Chock Full of Fiction; NOT the Bruce Lee Story
peter0724 February 2002
I wonder why Lee's widow gave her okay for this flick. It WAS entertaining but had so many incorrect facts.

For example, Lee started to learn wing chun at age 13, and the child depicting Lee in the film looked more like seven or eight. Second, Lee's severe injury occurred when he was lifting weights, NOT in the fight against a Chinese fighter.

I really liked this movie until I found out about all the inaccuracies. Therefore, I must give this film two stars out of five.

I hope another biopic on Bruce comes out, this time with more facts and an actor who looks more like the Dragon..
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Dragon: The story as told by his wife then changed even more
NEFARlOUS24 November 2000
Jason Scott Lee is very good in the part, his mannerisms and way of walking and speaking are spot on.

With such a good choice as star, it is irritating but very predictable that the film is full of rubbish. This detracts from it completely and gives us a hollow, plastic view of Bruce and an opportunity squandered.

Things that annoy me the most:

1) Bruce did not leave Hong Kong because he beat up a relation of the governor - how silly. He left because he was running as part of a street gang and was growing uncontrollable. His family sent him to America because they'd tried everything else - a true mark of desperation.

2) Restaurant fight - Sorry, the odds of every Chinese guy knowing kung fu are not very good, yet this movie seems to feel "they" all do.

3) Punched in the back - Never happened. Bruce pushed himself constantly, especially with weights - even Bolo Yeung said that Bruce taught him about weights, not the other way around.

Bruce almost paralysed himself by attempting a deadlift without warming up - bye bye spinal erector muscles.

4) Fight on scene of Big Boss - Why is it that with all the media and fan attention on Bruce in the last 30 odd years, such events miraculously happen that no-one knew of before?

5) Bruce was in hospital before after chewing cannibis - a habit quite popular in Hong Kong where it's medicinal purposes have been known for hundreds of years. He almost died from an allergic reaction then. It's fairly certain this combined with a months-long punishing self-imposed schedule around the time of "enter the dragon" is what killed him.

It would be interesting to really hear from Linda what he was like, what he thought ect - but I doubt we ever will.
2 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Confusion in the narrative and an overly comic book approach does not hinder the lead performance...
moonspinner5518 November 2007
The turbulent, sometimes trying life of Bruce Lee, born Lee Jun-Fan in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, who was the leading proponent of Wing Chun Gung Fu and Wu style Tai Chi Chuan in the mid-'60s, as well as a boxing champ, a California martial-arts teacher, loving husband to a young American woman who soon gave him two children, and an international television and movie star in the early 1970s. Jason Scott Lee gives a commanding, one-of-a-kind performance as Bruce Lee, and the film is a well-produced chronicle of one of the most curious and intriguing icons of the last 50 years. Still, the picture seems to play a little fast and loose with the facts, and anyone hoping for a comprehensive look behind the legend is likely to be disappointed. Because this is a dramatized biography of possibly the most popular of martial-arts masters, there's certainly a whole lot of mortal combat (some of which is purely extraneous, pumped up to satisfy the target audience), and the approach is a bit more 'comic book' than serious students might like. The supporting characters and extras are over-directed in their enthusiasm, yet nothing seems to get in the way of Jason Scott Lee who, though perhaps more bulky in frame than the real Bruce Lee, does everything he can with this role and more. ** from ****
8 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
"Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" * * * *
davidslicer28 June 2002
My brother used to go to this rundown movie theater in Springfield,Massachusetts called The Jefferson Street Theater.From what I heard,it was a pretty bad place to go to.My brother would go there to see these kung fu flicks which probably excited him a lot being that he was a kid.A lot of kids went to or snuck to a martial arts film that probably made there day a lot better.Unfortunately,back on July 20,1973,the master of martial arts mysteriously died.His name was Bruce Lee.Years after his death,he is remembered throughout millions of fans,which includes me and is remembered around the world for his knowledge of martial arts."Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" seems to be an appropriate title for a movie about the legend who reinvented martial arts .There has been a few biographies on Bruce Lee back in the 1970s.But none of those films didn't even bother to pay close attention to his lifestyle."Bruce Lee:The Man and the Myth" paid attention to Bruce Lee's fighting style and for that time the actor who played him did a fairly good job,but treated the character like a school kid performing kung fu moves after watching a martial arts movie.In "Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story",the actor,Jason Scott Lee,just doesn't portray Bruce Lee.His is Bruce Lee.He seems to take the role very seriously and surrounds his presence with Bruce Lee's spirit.This happens to be one of the best films of 1993 and happens to be a film that shows respect to the martial arts legend.The martial arts cheorography are one of the best that I have seen and I was really pulled into the action.Historicaly,"Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" falls on its knees.Anyone who has studied Bruce Lee knows that what happens in this film didn't actually happen the way it actually did.For example,the scene in which he left Hong Kong and traveled to America in 1961.Any super Bruce Lee fan will know that he left Hong Kong in 1958.Biographies don't always get it right and I don't expect them to.Filmmakers usually do a pretty good job telling someone's true lifestory.Sometimes,they don't.The filmmakers who made "Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story",even though were not historically accurate,were accurate enough to qualify this as one of the best biographies that I have seen based on the martial arts legend.Jason Scott Lee should have been nominated an Academy Award for this film.I would given this film five stars.But the filmmakers failure to get into his life historicaly lowered down to four stars.This film I think works for fans of Bruce Lee.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
Bruce Lee was NEVER beaten up by some guy.
cheezdontgowitm327 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
He got a back injury from lifting weights and not stretching properly before that. Nobody ever beat him up, that's false. Also, I don't think he started Martial Arts as a little boy, he started when he was 13 after getting beaten up by a street gang. There's also another thing I have with this movie and that is Jason Scott Lee. He doesn't exactly fit the same Bruce Lee I'm used to seeing like in Enter the Dragon and Fist of Fury. This guy has muscle which is a way to start, but Bruce wasn't buff like him, Bruce was lean but still very muscular. This guy doesn't look like the clever Bruce Lee I know either. Well the movie was alright I guess, it's cool to see a lot of the stuff I read about him on screen, but a lot of it is false.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Haven't really learned anything about the "real" Bruce Lee
donbendell25 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"As you might guess, this is a film about the life of Bruce Lee (based on a book written by his widow, Linda). Like most Hollywood "biopics," Dragon tends to over-glamorize its' subject. There's very little mention of Lee's dark side, such as his sometimes violent temper or his alleged affairs and hashish use. Which is a shame, really, because Lee's real story is a whole lot more interesting than your typical Hollywood romance movie -- which is what this ultimately boils down to. Both leads do a fair job, and Jason Scott Lee (no relation to Bruce) looks pretty good in the action sequences. However, after watching Dragon, one gets the sense that they haven't really learned anything about the "real" Bruce Lee."
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
2/10
Dragon: The Fabrication
royhotta11 September 2005
If you're looking for a good film about Bruce Lee, this is not it. Sorry, but despite Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly giving very good performances, this film is about as historically accurate as a tabloid story on Madonna's intact virginity.

What has been described as the director's 'artistic license' is in plain English another Hollywood huckster exploiting Bruce by manufacturing numerous inaccuracies to sell a film and line his pockets. Bruce would be outraged at this blatant deception! You should be too.

Don't reward money grubbers for ripping off Bruce Lee's legacy. If you want to know about the real Bruce, see the films Enter The Dragon, Return of the Dragon, and The Chinese Connection (aka Fists of Fury). Also read his books such as the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, the Tao of Gung Fu, and the series entitled Bruce Lee's Fighting Method by Bruce and M. Uyehara.
7 out of 13 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Worst attempt at biography I have ever seen
Silent_Abstraction16 March 2004
When the DVD started with the off-screen voice of Bruce Lee's widow, Linda Lee Catwell, explaining just how she wants her husband to be remembered, I became afraid that she might have exerted some control over the production of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story". When the opening credits finally started and I saw that the script was based on her own biography of Lee and actually co-written by her, I should have been wiser and spent the evening with something else. But some people never learn. At least, I am now able to warn everybody. Don't ever watch this thing.

And here is why. If you hold political elections, you don't want anyone to manipulate the count. If you want to make a scientific discovery, you try to safeguard against your own prejudices. And if you want to write a biography of a legendary movie and martial arts star, YOU DON'T WANT HIS WIFE TO EXERT CENSORSHIP.

Have I made myself clear? This movie is, in all honesty, the worst attempt at biography that I have ever seen. Its portrayal of Lee is so soft-focused, so white-washed, so sticky-sweet that it had me cringing in my seat.

As judged from this movie, Bruce Lee was the cutest, most amiable, friendly, sensitive... (insert any positive adjective you like) person that ever walked the earth. There is not the slightest hint that this man might have had some inner troubles, some dark sides, some nasty habits, some human faults. Well, he MIGHT have been a nice person, I don't mind that. Very well. But he was probably no saint. (Besides, most saints aren't nice persons, anyway).

I'm no expert for the life of Bruce Lee, but from the documentary material I have seen over the years, I perceived Lee as a slightly arrogant and even unintentionally comic person, e.g., when winding off his fortune-cookie philosophy in TV interviews. A person that was in the focus of public interest to such an extent MUST have been troubled by that. What about the constant strain of being a celebrity? What about the serious illness and overwork that led to his untimely death? Except for a ridiculously allegoric series of nightmare sequences whose visual style is shamelessly lifted from the then-recent "Chinese Ghost Story", the movie obviously avoids so many questions that it evokes totally unnecessary suspicions. Why have the scriptwriters made the bizarre decision to relegate the most interesting part of his life (his filmwork, most people would think) to the last twenty minutes of the movie? His tragic death, with all the questions it raises, is even spared completely.

So, it's badly written. What about the rest? As to the actors, Jason Scott Lee is completely miscast. He does not bear the slightest resemblance to Bruce Lee -- he is baby-faced, utterly incapable of the violent menace Lee could convey in his movies. Needless to say, his attempts at imitating the master's martial arts are also quite lame. Much, much worse is Lauren Holly, who plays Lee's wife. The wife is portrayed as such a cute, wide-eyed little spouse that it gets downright sickening, considered that she is playing the co-scriptwriter. Scriptwriters should never be allowed to write their own biography.

Technically, the movie is pedestrian and completely uninspired. At some points, I tried to predict the next movement direction of the camera and was never wrong.

To conclude, this is brain-washed Hollywood grease of the lowest type, rose-tinted, unhistorical, dishonest, and boring to the extreme. Avoid it at any cost. Rent a Bruce Lee movie instead!

Still 2/10, because at least nobody looked directly into the camera.
5 out of 10 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
1/10
Goofball parody...
poe42610 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Happening across the book THE TAO OF BRUCE LEE by Davis Miller brought back some fond memories: memories of seeing THE GREEN HORNET teleseries when it first aired, and being amazed by The Hornet's sidekick, Kato, as he took out villain after villain with what seemed to be almost supernatural abilities (but which clearly were NOT: the punches and kicks had a BELIEVABILITY about them, a verisimilitude lacking in most television and motion picture slugfests); memories of the hot summer days, not very many years later, spent slouched down in my seat watching this same Human Dynamo dispatch an assortment of villains up on The Big Screen, punctuating each kick and punch with an ear-splitting scream or his trademark howl. "Soon I was lost in the thunder," writes Miller. "I'd bathe in dreams and in lightning." Much has been made of Bruce Lee's alleged fighting ability; even Miller seems to climb atop the fence by the end of his book. (He recounts discussions with another martial artist, full contact heavyweight karate champion Joe Lewis, that would suggest another book might be a good idea: if anyone's been overlooked long enough, it's Joe Lewis- and of Lewis's ring skills there's little doubt: I saw him fight twice, and he was MOST impressive, even against much bigger opponents. I read somewhere that Bruce Lee himself once referred to Lewis as "the greatest fighter on the face of the Earth." How's THAT for an endorsement?) This movie, however, is about as true to life as any of the other exploitation movies that literally followed in his wake. Lee was all too human (as his death attests) and had his flaws (unlike the rest of us): in the book HONG KONG BABYLON, it's revealed that the woman in whose bed his body was found was the girlfriend of a Triad boss. But the fact remains that Bruce Lee was- and IS- an inspiration to millions- myself included. This movie does him a great disservice.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
10/10
Instant Classic
danialpham22 February 2010
Lost track of how many times I have seen this movie. A multitude of times growing up and is still one of my favorites.

Jason Scott Lee does an amazing job of portraying Bruce Lee. An epic tail, great story, the hardships, and love, making this a great all around film.

Being an Asian male born and raised in the western world may be one of the reasons I have a certain connection to the film more than others but I can't see why others wouldn't be able to relate.

None the less, this movie has given me lots of inspiration, and recommend this film for anyone else who is seeking some great vision or just wondering who Bruce Lee was; because this film does an excellent job of displaying his life.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
nothing like his life
Scouserboy21 October 2003
Having bought and watched the special edition dvd boxset i was watching the extras and listing to all the interviews i came to realise that this movie has nothing to do with actual events that happened in his life. It is a disgrace that hollywood has fictionalised this legends life for the purpose of making money.
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews


Recently Viewed