Sunday, February 13th, 2011
”To be the Man, you gotta beat the Man! Wooo!”
Conventional wisdom would suggest that when comparing martial artists, Bruce Lee stands supreme as the intense, indestructible killing machine, whereas Jackie Chan is the reverse: a happy-go-lucky everyman who just happens to know kung fu. But Bruce Lee’s performance in 1972’s Way of the Dragon runs counter to that assumption. Oh sure, Bruce kicks the living bejeezus out of everyone who gets in his way, but to be honest, his character is only a step away from the prototypical Jackie Chan character. Just like Jackie was in Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour, and Shanghai Noon, our man Bruce is the proverbial fish out of water in Way of the Dragon.
I took in a viewing of the Cantonese language version last night, and although I’m less enamored with the somewhat amateurish “comedy” bits that open the film, I’m still quite fond of the film. Bruce Lee remains a magnetic presence, and his confrontation with Chuck Norris at the Colosseum is definitely worth a look. For my full thoughts on the film, check out my review here. As with the previous Bruce Lee retro reviews, you can enjoy a vintage trailer embedded under the break.