Thursday, November 8, 2012
The Legend of Bruce Lee (2008) Review
There have been many attempts to recreate the short and exciting life of the God of Martial Arts Bruce Lee. Following his untimely death in the year 1973, a new genre was created in which new actors either tried to copy the unique style or they tried to tell us the story of Bruce Lee in their own way. With the emergence of new martial arts exponents on the silver screen, this genre gradually faded. However, the dream to create a solid version of the life of Bruce Lee never seemed to go away.
Director Li Wen Qi made a valiant effort to recreate the life of Bruce Lee with “The Legend of Bruce Lee”. The movie was originally a 50 episode Chinese soap which was edited to a 180 minute movie. Credit must be given to Bruce Lee’s daughter Shannon as she played a major part in editing the 2000 minute soap into a proper movie that had an acceptable beginning, middle and an end.
“The Legend of Bruce Lee” reveals the story of Lee’s journey from Hong Kong to the USA where he studies various forms of martial arts and successfully develops his own style known as Jeet Kune Do. The film shows us Lee taking part in various martial art tournaments and in the process gaining more enemies than friends. The movie also shows Bruce Lee’s emergence as an international celebrity with the help of major ground breaking martial arts movies just before his untimely death at the age of 32.
Throughout the movie, the feel of a 80s television soap and cheap production values are very evident when we see the cheap sets and almost no attention to detail. Only the actor playing the character of Lee is well defined but often looks very absurd against a background of PS3 advertising billboards, modern clothes and fashionable haircuts.
The fight sequences are very interesting and offer a lot of scope to showcase the talents of many former martial art superstars like Gary Daniels, Ray Park and Mark Dacascos. The movie is at its peak during the final hour when we see Lee going back to Hong Kong to make martial art movies. We are given a glimpse of the Lee’s frame of mind during that period and also get to know a bit about how some of the movies were made.
The character of Lee was played by Kwok-Kwan Chan. He justifies himself by successfully capturing the mannerisms, style and presence of the Master himself. He is fluent when it comes to fight scenes as well as emotional scenes. “The Legend of Bruce Lee” is a movie to be recommended and is appealing to die-hard Lee fans.