ENTER THE DRAGON

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Enter The Dragon Cover Why was Bruce Lee called the Dragon? Was it something to do with the size of his tail? Or maybe it was something to do with his fiery temper? Or better yet, could it have been because he was magic. Magic -- just like this film Directed by Robert Clouse; and Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, and Jim Kelly. It was made in 1973. and lasts for 88-minutes.


Enter the Dragon


THE STORY:
Williams (Jim Kelly). Roper (John Saxon). And Lee (Bruce Lee): Three men that has accepted entry into Han’s martial arts tournament, and all three of them for three completely different reasons.

  • For Williams, it’s a way for him to escape the ghetto, and express himself in the only way that he knows how -- violence.
  • For Roper, it’s a way for him to escape the financial difficulties he has with his business, as well as to accumulate some wealth through his hobby -- greed.
  • For Lee, though, it’s none of these things.

You see, Lee was initially requested to attend this tournament at the bequest of British Intelligence, so that he could then investigate Han’s activities upon his Island. Moreover, he was also emotionally urged because one of Han’s henchmen, O’Hara, led his sister to her death -- revenge.

Yet, once on Han's Island, all three of these men receive a very warm reception indeed. They are all entertained heartily in the morning, and are then accommodated by a feminine companion during the night.

However, whilst both Williams and Roper are more than grateful for this latter gesture, Lee manages to contact a female British double-agent situated upon this island, so that she can cover his activates whilst investigating matters further.

Shrewdly, under cover of darkness, Lee impregnates Han’s underground layer, and in so doing, discovers that a secret opium den is carved within its tunnels and secret fortifications. Unfortunately, though, before he can look too deeply into this matter, he is accosted by a number of guards whom he quickly beats the sh*t out of before making his escape.

But I'm afraid to say, that the very next day, his 'subversion' is reflected by Han in many different ways. Firstly, he make a comment about this just after two preliminary bouts for both Williams and Roper. Secondly, just to demonstrate his disdain for this unknown attack, he punishes his lackluster guards by subjecting them to Bolo – his muscle bound henchman whom crushed these guards with his awesome might. And thirdly, on two separate occasions, he approaches both Williams and Lee, and queries them on who could have done this.

Please note, with each of them, he approaches this quizzical quandary rather differently. With Williams, he is hard and merciless – and with Roper, he is congenial and testing

OK, so what about Lee then, huh? Does he get approached by Han as well? Err - yes - in a manner of speaking, he does - once he is caught for breaking into his layer later that night. Still, I suppose that is why what next transpires defies all expectations all in all. As hands snap - dragons fight back- Roper frees - and Lee is left a legend for all too see.




THE REVIEW:
This is the film which started off the whole Kung-Fu sensation in the west. This is the film which catapulted Bruce Lee’s name into the hemisphere. And this is the film which has inspired so many people, that it should be an actual religion.

Enter The Dragon Poster
Oh! And lets not forget the facts, huh? (1) Bruce Lee died three week prior to this films premier. (2) Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung both had small parts in this film. In fact, after working with Jackie, he wanted to work with him again. (4) Production was briefly stopped twice on this film. Firstly, when a young woman's dead body was found on the set. And secondly, when Bruce's hand was cut during his fight with Bob Wall. (5) Williams was originally meant to be played by Rockne Tarkington. Whilst Roper was supposed to be played by 'Any Which Way You Can' co-star, William Smith. (6) Bruce choreographed the mass courtyard battle scene on the fly. (7) The actor who played Han, Kein Shih, did not speak English. And he was dubbed in later by the actor who co-starred in the television series 'Kung-Fu', Keye Luke. (8) Over 8,000 mirrors were used in the mirror scene. (9) This was only one of two movies where Bruce used his own voice - the other one was Marlowe. (10) The courtyard was in fact a modified Tennis court. (11) This film had three proposed names before it was called 'Enter the Dragon' - 'Blood and Steel', 'The Deadly Three', 'Han's Island'. And (12) Bolo Yuen was meant to Star in Bruce's next film 'Game Of Death' (click here for review).


Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon


Bruce Lee in Enter The DragonOK, now the facts are done and dusted, what about this movie, huh? Any good? Well, in my opinion, 'Enter the Dragon' manages to balance adventure, intrigue, drama, action, and kung-fu, all together – and does it in style in the process.

For example (1) The plot is linier in fashion and easy to follow. (2) The characters are archetypal in nature and translatable across the races. And (3) The action etched upon the screen is dynamic in structure and captivating to watch.

Heck, this is a movie you have to at least watch once in your life if you want to see a legend born. OK, so some people may think that this film is for adolescence of a certain age whom wish to fulfill a certain boisterous anger inside them. But to those people I say mercilessly - “Suck my Egg Noodle" - you don’t know jack about bandy!


Bruce Lee and John Saxon


Granted, this 'Enter The Dragon' isn't an in-depth study into the human condition. Also, it isn't a grand gala extravaganza into the emotional and philosophical ways of man. But what it is; is a tight adventurous story in the same mold as a James Bond film, with an added presence by a Kung-Fu legend.

Fair enough, on a certain level, I whole-heartily agree when people say that Bruce Lee is the main reason why this film is known today. Though, on another level, he is aided with this by a slick Hollywood production, which shows him in a more dynamic light than his Hong Kong based productions ever have. Here, check this out to see what I mean...




Shame that Bruce died before this movie reached the big screen, huh? Still, thankfully through this film, plus a handful of others, his memory will always live on.

God bless you Bruce.

THE RATING: A