Monday, November 5, 2012
Way of The Dragon (1972) Review
With the “Way of the Dragon”, Bruce Lee ventured into writing and directing apart from acting in a movie. In the movie, Tan Lung (Bruce Lee) is an innocent village boy who was asked by his relatives in Rome for help as they were constantly threatened by gangsters. Like in other Bruce Lee movies, we see him playing the role of a gentle and soft natured man to the hilt.
The movie “Way of the Dragon” has an unexpected dose of comedy. We are treated to a few funny scenes as we see Tan Lung trying to get acclimatized to the environment in Rome. Many people close to Bruce Lee have said that the simple natured Tan Lung was the closest representation of the Bruce Lee in real.
The movie begins gaining speed gradually as time progresses. There are a couple of scenes where we find Bruce Lee on the verge of showing his fighting skills to the restaurant staff but eventually the action-hungry audience gets nothing as customers start coming in to the restaurant. Bruce Lee is seen practicing alone in the movie. Compared to his other movies, he seemed to be more polished and well-oiled and he seemed to be superhuman. After watching Bruce Lee in “Way of the Dragon”, one can easily say that Bruce was at his peak in terms of physical condition during the days while he shot the movie.
The movie saw many innovations and using Caucasians as villains was an innovation in itself. Real karate experts Bob Wall and Chuck Norris were given the roles of foreign combat experts who were hired to get rid of Tan Lung. Bruce Lee allowing the bad guys to keep a gun was a very bold step in considering about making a martial-arts movie. His way of fighting the gun-slinging villains with wooden darts might seem a tad fantastical, but that does not take away any credit from Lee in making a real modern martial arts movie.
Critics have defined the “Way of the Dragon” as a brilliant effort as a debut director even though the movie was not completely polished and glitch-free. In many ways, it seems the movie was a retake on “The Big Boss”. There are many common points between both the movies which can in no way be overlooked. However, there is one aspect in the movie which still remains unmatched even today and that is the clash between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. Their combat scene is definitely amongst the best and most beautifully choreographed action scenes ever.
The “Way of the Dragon”made over $HK5 million during its initial screening at all Asian cinemas. This film saw Bruce Lee become rich and for a lot of fanatics it will remain the best Bruce Lee movie ever.