Monday, September 23, 2013

Enter the Dragon

1973, Hong Kong/US, directed by Robert Clouse

Utterly absurd stuff, but of course wildly popular in its day; the hybrid format of American financing and Asian setting is as uneasy as you might expect, with the resourcefulness and visual dexterity of much Hong Kong cinema replaced by a fairly routine James Bond-style setup (all fake ultra-villain lairs and comely, disposable young women). Bruce Lee himself doesn't get caught up in such distractions: he's the single-minded man in the midst of it all, and for the most part the film succeeds in giving his extraordinary physical skills their due, particularly in the scenes with nunchaku. The extended early fight/chase sequence featuring Angela Mao is also quite skilfully done, and the scenes in and around the harbour have a certain degree of historical interest, but much of the subsequent filler is painful.

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