Enter the Dragon – Review of Famous Martial Arts Movies
“Enter the Dragon” is the final released movie of Bruce Lee before his tragic death. Bruce Lee is recognized around the world as the ultimate exponent of the ancient Oriental art form of self-defense, which was a combination of the best techniques from Karate, Judo, Hapkido, Tai-Chih and Kung-Fu.
Bruce Lee suffered a tragic, untimely and mysterious death on July 20th, just a few days after he finished “Enter the Dragon”. He had completed almost 6 movies based on martial arts before his death. “Enter the Dragon” was co-produced by Warner Bros. along with Raymond Chow from China. Fred Weintraub and Paul Heller were the producers for Warner Bros. “Enter the Dragon” was directed by Robert Clouse and Michael Allin was responsible for the screenplay. The cast included Bruce Lee Williams, John Saxon Williams, Jim Kelly Han, Shih Kien Oharra, Bob Wall Tania, Ahna Capri Su-Lin and Peter Archer among others.
The movie is a vast display of Oriental heritage and culture, as most of the movie was shot in the Orient. This 98 minute classic was filled with masters engaging against each other in the display of the violent art form. “Enter the Dragon” portrays Lee as a top-of-the-notch secret agent and a former expert in mixed martial arts. He is given the job of taking part on a bloody martial arts competition in order to investigate the alleged criminal activities being carried on by the host of this brutal tournament (Shih Kien).
Nothing is surprising about the movie as we are habituated to see Bruce Lee playing the role of the ultimate savior. However, if we look from the Oriental art of combat point of view, there is enough excitement and surprise to lure the martial-arts-frenzy-audience. Lee is as usual brilliant in his performance. One look at his style and you will realize why he is still considered as the God of martial arts. John Saxon Williams, who plays the role of an American participant, is amazingly subtle when it came to pulling-off surprising stunts.
The rest of the cast was brilliant and played their part with aplomb to make this movie a huge success. Special mention has to be made of Jim Kelly, another American taking part in the competition organized by Shih Kien. He delivers a power-packed performance especially in the scene where is fights to the end against Lee. Bob Wall and Yang Sze provide good support in their roles as masters of the art. Ahna Capri and Betty Chung are good in their small roles while Angela Mao Ying displays her Hapkido skills when she confronts a group of Kien’s henchmen.
Michael Allin’s script was justified by Robert Clouse and his amazing directional skills. The result was an amazingly fast-paced action flick that was quite rare during the 70s.
Gilbert Hubbs’ photographic brilliance is exciting as is James Wong Sun’s art direction. Lalo Schifrin’s unique background score is an important aspect of the film.