Title: Enter the Dragon
Release Date:19 August 1973
Director: Robert Clouse
Production Company: Concord Production Inc.
My style? You can call it the art of fighting without fighting.
I’ve made it nearly to the age of 49 without watching a Bruce Lee movie, so I decided to address. The thing is, when I was younger I was turned off by the violence of martial arts movies, but I guess I’ve reached an age where I can appreciate people balletically punching and kicking one another.
Bruce Lee stars as Lee, a martial artist who instructs at the Shaolin Temple. He’s recruited by an intelligence agency to investigate a crime lord and renegade Shaolin monk named Han (Shih Kien) under the cover of participating in a martial arts contest on Han’s private island. As additional motivation, Lee is informed that Han’s bodyguard O’Hara (Bob Wall) killed his sister. Other contestants include the Black American dojo leader Williams (Jim Kelly) and the white American Roper (John Saxon) who has a compulsive gambling problem.
The movie combines Hong Kong martial arts film with James Bond style espionage and Blackploitation (reflected in the banging soundtrack). It’s utterly ludicrous but in a way I found delightful. The main flaw with the movie is that I think that they did Jim Kelly dirty. But otherwise the fight choreography, direction, and humorous bits are all great. And for a villain, you have to admire Han’s flair in his underground lair’s interior design. Incorporating a guillotine-vator and a hall of mirrors reflects a certain sense of style!