Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey

Synopsis: Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee is the subject of this thoughtful documentary by Lee aficionado John Little. Using interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and action sequences from Lee's last (unfinished) film, Game of Death, Little paints a textured, complex portrait of the world's most famous action hero.
Director(s): John Little, Bruce Lee
Production: MVD Entertainment Group
  1 win.
100 min

While we may never know... The Game of Death would have

turned out had Bruce Lee lived...

...we do know, with unimpeachable

certainty, the vision Lee had for the film...

...during the time

that he was filming its finale.

According to his 12-page storyline...

...the film would begin on an airplane

that had departed from Hong Kong.

The character that Bruce Lee was to play

in the film was named Hai Tien...

...a retired, undefeated

martial arts champion.

Accompanying him on the flight

would be his sister and young brother.

The family are preparing to take a tour

of Southeast Asia. When en route... announcement is made that

there will be a one-hour stopover in Korea.

The plane then touches down...

...and taxis into the gate

at South Korea's Kimpo Airport.

Later, in the training garden

of the boss's home...

...every member of the team

is training but Hai Tien...

...who is still reticent and worried

about the safety of his family.

Upon arriving at the compound...

...the team must first fight their way

through 10 guards...

...all black belts in karate.

After dispatching the karate men,

the team heads for the pagoda.

One man, the locksmith,

opens the door to the temple.

The martial artists enter

the pagoda to do battle...

...while the locksmith stands watch below.

It was within the pagoda

that the epic battles... The Game of Death

were to take place... each floor of the pagoda was to be

guarded by a skilled martial arts stylist.

On the first floor,

one of the team would be killed.

The second floor,

"The Floor of the Praying Mantis"...

...would see what was now the quartet

lose another member of the team.

Fortunately, the battle

on the third floor of the pagoda...

...and on the remaining floors as well,

Bruce Lee captured on film.

At the end of the film... exhausted Hai Tien staggers

down the steps from the pagoda...

...and departs the village.

Although Bruce Lee never finalized

the details for the ending of the film... is evident from his scene breakdowns

that the boss would be arrested.

Hai Tien, his sister and brother

would be reunited...

...after returning to the Korean airport.

The storyline perfectly justified the action

that would be required in the film...

...while the choreography

of the fight sequences...

...served to relate Lee's message

of personal liberation in the art of combat.

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Bruce Lee

Lee Jun-fan (Chinese: 李振藩; November 27, 1940 – July 20, 1973), known professionally as Bruce Lee (Chinese: 李小龍), was a Hong Kong and American actor, film director, martial artist, martial arts instructor, philosopher, and founder of the martial art Jeet Kune Do, one of the wushu or kungfu styles. Lee was the son of Cantonese opera star Lee Hoi-chuen. He is widely considered by commentators, critics, media, and other martial artists to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time and a pop culture icon of the 20th century. He is often credited with helping to change the way Asians were presented in American films.Lee was born in Chinatown, San Francisco, on November 27, 1940, to parents from Hong Kong, and was raised with his family in Kowloon, Hong Kong. He was introduced to the film industry by his father and appeared in several films as a child actor. Lee moved to the United States at the age of 18 to receive his higher education at the University of Washington in Seattle, and it was during this time that he began teaching martial arts. His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, sparking a surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films dramatically changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in the US, Hong Kong, and the rest of the world.He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films: Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Golden Harvest's Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Golden Harvest and Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973) and The Game of Death (1978), both directed by Robert Clouse. Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world, particularly among the Chinese, based upon his portrayal of Chinese nationalism in his films. He trained in the art of Wing Chun and later combined his other influences from various sources into the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy, which he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Lee held dual nationality in Hong Kong and the US. He died in Kowloon Tong on July 20, 1973, at the age of 32. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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