MY NAME CALLED BRUCE

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My Name Called Bruce Cover Now if you were an oriental gentleman, trying to make a name for yourself in the wake of Bruce Lee's death, what surname would you rather have? Something like 'Lo' perhaps? Or what about 'Li'? Nah! Sod that. That wouldn't do for the French looking chap in this film called 'Le'. You know. This 79-minute martial arts movie made in 1978 directed by Joseph Velasco. Hai-Yahhh!


My Name Called Bruce


THE STORY:
Nifty. Nifty. Nifty. Everybody wants to get their hands on the crime-lord known as Nifty (Tao Chiang). Detective Lee (Pearl Lin) and her partner wants him because he has stolen an ancient oriental artefact from a gang of crooks. Where as a mysterious looking stranger from out of town (Bruce Le) wants him for exactly the same reason.

But, prey-tell, how are they going to accomplish this mammoth task? One of Nifty's ex-gang members, Tiger, can only tell the detectives so much when they save him from a very brash beating. Nobody can seem to get close to Nifty's pretty girlfriend, Vivien. Furthermore, when the mysterious stranger tries to dupe one of Nifty's colleges -- called Slasher -- into telling him his whereabouts, all he gets for his troubles is a kick in the head. THUD!

Don't you worry though, folks! The mysterious stranger eventually gets saved by the two detectives in question. Saved and then slapped, before he goes off on his own merry way, down to a local bar to buy a nice lady named Vivian a drink.

Still, that's most probably why what next transpires all goes to Wok when a couple of detectives place a bet. As a girlfriend turns bad - a mysterious stranger turns sad - a crook is suckered by a pretty face - and this adventure finally ends all of over the bloody place.




THE REVIEW:
First off, let me just say that nobody in 'My Name Called Bruce' is actually called 'Bruce'. We have a couple of 'Chungs' plus quite a few 'Egg Noodles'. But not 'Bruce'. No. Afraid not.

My Name Called Bruce Hong Kong Movie Poster
Also, another thing that's slightly off kilter with this flick, is that it's cr*p. Admittedly, not completely cr*p-cr*p per-say. Once I managed to preserver through the first twenty odd minutes of this piece, it did tell a 'Kojak' type tale concerning two semi-opposing factions who wanted to apprehend the very same crook. Furthermore, I did enjoy the way that it attempted to balance out all three of these 'opposing parties', by breaking up the conceptual narrative into three equal measures.

But apart from that though -- well -- it was still cr*p.

Now my initial gripe with this adventure would have to be its action scenes. Certain fights just appeared very sloppy in the execution, plus on occasion it was very difficult to see what was going on because either the camera positioning was too 'close in', or the sets weren't lit well enough.



Bruce Le in My Name Called Bruce
   


My next gripe has to be how the overall package was put together. For example, in one scene, Bruce's character starts off a fight with a crook in a bar by punching him in the face. And then, in the very next shot, both Bruce and the crook are outside the bar continuing this fight without any explanation given for the interim. Moreover, in the penultimate scene, where it is shown that Pearl and Tao both chase each other over rough terrain for about five minutes or so in their respective vehicles of choice, all of a sudden, Bruce's character turns up, as is he's just run the driven distance within a blink of an eye.

My Name Called Bruce Thanks To Clones Of Bruce Lee
Hold it a minute! I think it best if I stop myself there, huh? I don't want to bash 'My Name Called Bruce' too much now, do I? Like how Bruce looked like an oriental Bee Gee in one scene for instance. Or how his mysterious connection to this adventure is never truly revealed to the audience, although it is revealed to the other characters in it. Still. I have to put this to one side for the moment, because it's about time for some filmic facts. (1) The production company that developed this movie, 'Insantra Film', only ever made seven movies in the seven years it existed. (2) I kid you not; Bruce Le -- real name, Huang Jian Long -- starred in sixteen different films with the name 'Bruce' in the title. (3) The director of this flick, Joseph Velasco, also goes by the name of Joseph Kong, and he has directed over twenty-three films within his fifteen year career -- including, 'Enter Three Dragons'. (4) Tao Chiang was originally a Hong Kong stuntman, and co-starred with Bruce Le in such films as 'Bruce the Superhero' -- in 1984 -- and 'Bruce Vs Bill' -- in 1983. (5) In Asian quarters this martial arts movie is called 'Pi li long quan Hong' or 'Pik lik lung kuen'. (6) Including this film and 'Grand Master of Shaolin Kung Fu', actress, Pearl Lin, made an appearance in Jackie Chan's 1983 sequel 'Fearless Hyena 2'. (7) In the very same year this adventure was made, 1978, it's writer, Ai-wei Chen, also wrote 'Bruce and Shao-lin Kung Fu 2'. (8) In 1991 Joseph ventured onto the other side of the directorial chair, making a fleeting cameo in an episode of 'Great Performances' entitled 'La Pastorela'.

Pearl Lin in My Name Called Bruce
Overall 'My Name Called Bruce' is what I would call a film for die-hard martial-arts fans only. The story is fairly fine if you can stomach its initial jolt. Plus the kung-fu on show is of the very sloppy variety as well. Heck, one of the only other reasons I can think of, for you to watch this movie, is if you'd like to see Pearl Lin kick a man in the balls.

Hmmm. Nuff said.

THE RATING: C