Birth Of The Dragon is a martial arts action movie about a young Bruce Lee but made by WWE, if that doesn’t warn you then I don’t know what is.
Now I should refrain from making it sound like WWE releases straight up garbage because The Marine, See No Evil, and 12 Rounds series have all been enjoyable in a mediocre way. Birth Of The Dragon though takes the most beloved martial artist of all time though and gives him a movie where he is more a background character for most of it.
While wanting to show viewers about the up rising of a younger Bruce Lee and his legendary fight about Wong Jack Man we instead get a story also about Steve McGee. Steve is hopeful in his training by Wong Man and Bruce Lee but falls for a waitress under control by the Triad mafia. This entire part of the story seems to not add much and is out of place. McGee as a character (and the actor portraying him) seemed forced in and rough on screen.
This doesn’t help with the general pacing and dialog being so rough and sometimes hard to follow. The film at moments almost expects you to know the general arch of the story for you to fill pieces in if you get lost.
For a film about martial arts as well, this film lacks a great deal of it. The fight between Lee and Wong Jack Man felt slow and almost too fake. I know these are legends and I’m not sure of how accurate the fight itself was but it was not portrayed well here. I will say the final long winded fight scene with Wong Man Jack and Lee together against the Triad was a great deal of fun. If the movie followed this tone or at least gave more action scenes like this other aspects of the film might be forgiven.
Overall I hope this isn’t the last big US film we see about Bruce Lee. This could of been done so well if made perhaps by another studio or given some more time and effort. Instead we get a Bruce Lee film where Bruce Lee takes a backseat for a uninteresting love angle and where the kung fu takes a backseat for horrible acting.
Score : 3/10
- Aug. 25th, 2017
- 1 Hour 35 Minute Run Time