PLOT: Tang Lung (Bruce Lee) is sent to a Chinese Restaurant in Rome to protect it's workers from a local gang.
If there is a god of Kung Fu, it is Bruce Lee. I do not even know if there is an argument on this one. Way of the Dragon is not going to disappoint the Bruce Lee fans out there. It's no Enter the Dragon, but it is a damn good Kung Fu Flick. Bruce Lee not only stars in this one, but he wrote it and directed it as well. The direction and cinematography can be a little choppy at times, but really, who expects oscar material in classic Kung Fu? The story is the typical "man sent to protect _______ from gangsters" kung fu flck. Nothing new and exciting in that aspect, but really, with the end (which I shall talk about later), The first hour and a half of this movie could have been Bruce Lee picking his nose and the end would have still made it insanely awesome. This is another that I had not seen in full yet. I have it in the Bruce Lee collection for a while but had not gotten past the first half hour (whcih I do far too much). I am glad I have finally watched it.
The Action in this movie is where it is at. Some may be turned off by the fact that there is none in the first half hour of the movie. But once the first punch is thrown, it is all worth the wait. It starts out with a highly one sided battle between Bruce Lee and the gangsters. Needless to say he kicks all of their asses. He even has time to sit on top of one of them, and kick the other two's asses from that position. Another highlight is when the gangsters pull Bruce Lee out to get rid of him, and he escapes and gets into a brawl involving pole fighting, nunchucks, and throwing knives. After a couple more good fights, the people at the restaurant think they have won, but it all comes down to an epic showdown that deserves its own paragraph in this review.
Ali vs. Foreman, David Vs. Goliath, Hatfields Vs. McCoys, what do all of these have in common? They don't have shit on the epic fight at the end of Way of the Dragon. When the good guys think it is all good, they call upon the one person that they feel could put up a fight against Bruce Lee. This is Colt, or as us Americans know him... Chuck Norris. Yes, Bruce Lee, and Chuck Norris fight each other. Where can such an epic fight take place? The Roman Coliseum of course! Where else? Chuck Norris' signature beard has switched locations in this fight and made it's home on Chuck Norris' chest. After a good 5 minutes of staring, cracking knuckles, air boxing, and random pointless shots of a cat watching them, the fight starts. Kick! Punch! Chest Hair Pull! Roundhouse Kick! Kick! Punch! It starts out as a fight, until Bruce Lee breaks Chuck Norris' arm, then his leg. But Chuck Norris, being the badass that he is, keeps going until finally, Bruce Lee breaks his neck, walks off, and it is finished. This is not for the faint of heart, as two badasses of that stature should not be able to appear on the same screen at the same time for obvious reasons. But to those of you that can handle so much testosterone, this is the cinematic equivalent of having three testicles. Some stuff happens after that in the movie, but really, does it even matter? You can not outdo that fight!
The Performances in this movie are what you would expect from a Bruce Lee flick. Bruce Lee is cocky and awesome, the others are all bitches, the villains are over the top, and Chuck Norris is insanely awesome. You gotta love the dubbing too, which I later read is done a lot by Bruce himself. If you love cheesy dubbing (which to me is half the fun of old Kung Fu), this will be your cup of tea.
All in all, this is pretty much what the fan of classic Kung Fu will love, despite the slow start, once the action picks up, it does not let up for very long. Bruce Lee just had this way of capturing your attention, even if he was not the best director. If you ever get a chance, check out the documentary about his work ethic on the Enter The Dragon special edition DVD. If you love any combination of Bruce Lee, nunchucks, throwing knives, Chuck Norris, and pole fighting, then this my friend, is the movie for you!
Right before the epic fight between him and Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris give him the thumbs down, gladiator style.
Also got to mention Bruce Lee throwing knives at an attacker, taking him to the ground, and breaking his neck with his feet, then apparently breaking his neck more with his hands.
MOST "WTF" MOMENT
The dubbing of the African American gangsters. I believe this was Bruce Lee himself. "Do you have any Chinese Spare Ribs". Then they punch one of the chinese in the ribs. You really just have to hear it. Stereotype lovers will love hearing these horrible voices.
RAMBO'S RANDOM RAMBLING
On further reading, turns out this was the last movie actually filmed in the Coliseum. You really can not outdo what happens there, so I do not blame people for trying!