Friday, November 26, 2010

The Way of the Dragon (1972)

The Way of the Dragon (Hong Kong, 1972) - Color, Director(s): Bruce Lee
[a.k.a. Return of the Dragon]
MPAA Rating: R
Approx. 90 min.

Z-rating: 8 out of 10 stars

This film touches a bit on the difficulties of assimilating into a different culture due to language barriers as seen in the beginning of this film where Bruce Lee tries to order food in a restaurant but is unable to due to the fact that his character cannot read/speak English. Tang Lung (Lee) is sent from Hong Kong to Rome to help a friend's niece (the BEAUTIFUL Nora Miao) out with a problem she's having at her restaurant. Apparently the local crime syndicate is trying to move in on her business and muscle her out. The people who work at her restaurant all practice Karate in the back in order to help defend the business when those thugs come around but their efforts prove futile during their first run-in with them. Tang Lung steps up to the challenge and creams the hired guns when they return to cause trouble. After a few unsuccessful attempts to acquire the restaurant, the mafia boss makes a personal trip down and seems to have the upper hand until Tang Lung once again saves the day, this time with hand-carved wooden darts and his trusty Nunchaku!!! The mafia boss threatens to kill Tang Lung if he stays in Rome but, not one to be intimidated, Tang Lung fights back and even rescues a kidnapped Chen (Miao) from the clutches of the crime boss. Unsure of what else to do about Tang Lung, the mafia boss phones in some help in the form of Chuck Norris. Yes, THE Chuck Norris... Walker, Texas Ranger himself. This film climaxes in a final showdown between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris... inside the Roman Colosseum!!!

I would recommend this movie to anyone looking to become a Bruce Lee fan. I think the story is fantastic and would make a great introductory film to Bruce Lee's work. You can bait someone in with this movie and then follow it up with Enter the Dragon, that should be enough to turn anyone into a fan. This is the first film that Bruce Lee directs and I really enjoyed how he incorporates his teachings into the film. By including his philosophies and providing visual demonstrations of his physical abilities on screen, this is how I feel Bruce Lee taught the entire WORLD kung fu. Bruce is without a doubt the most influential martial arts superstar ever to grace the silver screen and this is a prime example of why that is, in my opinion. Even though Fist of Fury has the famous scene of him beating down a room full of Japanese Bushido students and is where he first introduces his weapon of choice, Nunchaku, to the world... he uses two of them in this film!!!

Nudity: A beautiful stranger picks Bruce Lee up and bring him back to her house. At about 20 minutes into the movie, she comes into the room only wearing panties as Bruce is seen practicing in front of a mirror. Standard boobies, I give them a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Gore: Maybe a little blood but nowhere near as violent as his first two films.

Awesome: to the MAX!!!! This is one of my favorite Bruce Lee movies ever, although I'd be hard-pressed to pick out just one of them. Although I don't hear people talk about this film as much as Fist of Fury, this one still holds a special place in my heart. I have to say though, any movie that features a showdown between two martial arts legends such as Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris is worthy of the praise it receives. (The only other person I know that can defeat Chuck Norris is The Most Interesting Man in the World)