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RETURN OF THE DRAGON (1974) ***

Bruce Lee eats a bunch of soup and comes down with a major case of the shits.  Then the plot begins.  He gets a job protecting a Chinese restaurant in Rome from some meddling gangsters that extort money from the place.  Whenever the thugs show up, he mops the floor with them.  (When he isn’t shitting his guts out that is.)  The gangsters get so mad at him for messing up their plans that they hire Chuck Norris to kick his ass. 

 

It does not go as planned.

 

I hadn’t seen this movie in a long time and had forgotten about all the lame comic relief and turd humor.  I’m not lying when I say that Bruce Lee takes a shit no less than three times in the first twenty minutes of the movie.  (Each time accompanied by stupid comedic music.)  It isn’t very funny.  Bruce should really leave the comedy stuff to Jackie Chan.  There is some pretty funny unintentional humor though.  (I particularly liked the henchman that dressed like a gay Asian version of Elmer Fudd.)

 

Lee also directed the film as well as choreographed the fight scenes.  The action is solid and features Lee doing his patented Wooing and Waaing shtick.  He also uses sticks and nunchucks to fuck a bunch of dudes up.  I just wish Lee hadn’t thrown in so much damn comic relief during the fight scenes as it takes away much of their impact.  (At one point Bruce throws a chopstick into a guy’s ass.)  And as great and iconic as Bruce’s fight with Chuck Norris in the Coliseum is, it’s still hampered by some gratuitous and unfunny comedic asides; like the part when Bruce rips out a chunk of Chuck’s chest hair.  (Bruce, seriously… did we need the extreme close-up on the kitten right before you delivered the final punch?)

 

Even though Lee made this before the immortal Enter the Dragon, Return of the Dragon wasn’t released here in the States until the following year.

 

AKA:  The Way of the Dragon.  AKA:  Fury of the Dragon.  AKA:  Revenge of the Dragon.

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