Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993) Poster

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An exceptional biopic - vivid but highly entertaining, amongst other things!
lawrence-1423 October 2000
Once you became a Bruce Lee addict and begin seeing and reading the numerous different biographies and biopics, you're going to realise that DRAGON has quite a bit of fiction in it - and in the bits you don't really expect it to. For example, Lee approached Raymond Chow's Golden Harvest production company to make a marital arts movie, not the other way round and Chow isn't even the guy! Also, due to Lee's 'mysterious' death, the film also doesn't really an idea of how its going to wrap it all up. Therefore, the film is the perfect example of the word 'vivid'.

However, what makes Dragon the fine film that it is is that it decides to look at the two lesser-known aspects which dominated Lee's life - his long, ongoing 'battles' with an inner-demon and of course the racism of sixties America. These are managed and brought to the screen extremely well although to be fair they aren't particularly well developed.

The highlights would have to be the performances of Jason Scott Lee as Bruce and Lauren Holly as his devoted wife, Linda. They share a remarkable chemistry together and are certainly a credit to their subjects. This review probably hasn't made Dragon sound like a very good movie. Well if that's the case, then please think the opposite.
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Cult Movies 52
Carlos Xavier15 January 1999
52. DRAGON: The Bruce Lee story (action, 1993) A re-telling of the life of legendary martial-arts star Bruce Lee (Jason Scott Lee). From his brief childhood days in Hong Kong, to his days as a dishwasher, martial-arts teacher and eventual cinema superstar in Hollywood.

Critique: The life and death of Bruce Lee has inspired many a film and documentaries since his death. Most of these accounts center around Lee's 'mysterious' death from a 'brain edema', never developing anything really new of interest, just speculations. Incredibly it took over 20 years for a film to finally put to rest the many theories and innuendo.

"Dragon" is by far the best of the legendary Lee story, not only for omitting the many death scenarios but also for giving us the closest account of the man. Apart from these welcome omissions, the film wouldn't have worked without Jason Scott Lee in the role. He gives a spirited, charismatic performance that captures the zest for life that Lee possessed. It's a long way from one of his first 'extra' roles as an Asian immigrant in the rather forgetful "Born in East L.A." (1988). Scott Lee is totally appealing here, taking on such a legendary figure and making us believe that Lee is truly up there once again on the screen.

The film's major theme of the "demon curse" Lee's family inherited, had a frighteningly real resonance when, after the movie premiered, Lee's eldest son Brandon (for whom the film is dedicated) was accidentally killed on the set of "The Crow". This would prove to be his breakout film, just the same way Lee's last film, "Enter the Dragon", made him a world wide superstar. This gives the film an added prophetic note that puts it in a category all its own.

Based on wife Linda Lee Cadwell's book, "Bruce Lee: the man only I knew", directed with skillful restraint by Rob Cohen (who also co-scripted). Randy Edelman created the unforgettable musical score (you'll be humming the tune long after you hear it).

QUOTES: Linda: "All these years later people still wonder about the way he died. I prefer to remember the way he lived."
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Superb Character Portrayel by Jason Scott Lee
mjw230520 January 2005
This film as a stand alone kung fu movie would be worthy of your attention, as it is very enjoyable and well made. The thing that makes it special is Jason Scott Lee's portrayal of the legend that is Bruce Lee.

He successfully captures his mannerisms, attitude and even his fighting style, extremely convincingly (a truly remarkable feat of acting ability.)

Although dramatised to heighten your viewing pleasure, the story actually follows the events in Bruce Lee's life and shows us the man behind the martial arts, covering his inner turmoils and personal struggles as well as his famous physical ability.

A great movie, befitting the legend that is Bruce Lee.

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The greatest legend ever in martial arts history
mthakore20 April 2004
This movie was amazing. Before I saw this movie, I had an idea of who Bruce Lee was. I knew he was one of the greatest martial arts masters of all time and I knew he was in a couple of movies. But, I had know idea about the kind of man he was and the struggles he had to go through. He is, in my eyes, an amazing human being with an unimaginable amount of courage and a whole lot of heart. This movie showed me that much. The score is also one of the best I have heard in my life. All in all, this movie is an inspiring take on a legend's life. Great story, great music, great human being.... What more can I say? Amazing!

A solid 8/10
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Great movie, but not a biography though
exode1827 November 2001
This is a great movie. Nice action scenes, nice soundtrack, nice photo...But it's not a biography of the greatest fighter of all time: Bruce Lee. I am a big fan of Bruce and I know his life from A to Z, and this is not what I saw in that movie. I could tell all the mistakes I saw in the movie but here's just a few: In the movie: he is a unique child Reality: He had one brother and two sisters and he didn't live with his father only, he had his mother. He didn't leave Hong-Kong because of the cops (what the?...) he left because he wanted to be famous. And please! What is that story of the ghost from the depts of hell?!?!?

No, if you want to make a great action movie, good, go ahead, the right way to do it. But if you want to make a bio of a true legend, please tell the true story.

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Good as a movie, not really as a biography.
Boba_Fett113819 February 2005
The story told in the movie is really excellent and entertaining. However it feels more like a story based on the life of Bruce Lee rather then an actual biopic of his life.

Jason Scott Lee perfectly plays Kung Fu legend Bruce Lee. Not only the way he plays Lee is impressive but also his fighting skills.

The music by Randy Edelman was also surprising good.

There are way too many fictitious and untrue things added in the movie to be considered a fair biography. But does it really matter for the movie? It's like "Ed Wood" that was also filled with altered things and false truths but still it was a movie that told us the story of an unique character and what drove him. "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" isn't much different in that way. OK it's not completely fair to compare this movie to "Ed Wood" since that was a far superior movie to "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story" (what a horrible title by the way).

The fight sequence are probably the best thing about the movie and they were highly entertaining, although very hard to believe that they actually really happened that way.

It's a good entertaining movie but if you want to get to know more about Bruce Lee this isn't the best material for you to start with.


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Dragon Review And General Feelings On Bruce's Death
JMFOX22 July 2003
Very Good But Horribly Inaccurate Account Of His Life

If you are watching this as someone who has no knowledge of Bruce Lee's life then this is a good fun action film but someone who knows the history and the story of his life may be dissapointed as this is not at all accurate. And knowing Bey Logan, he must cringe watching this. The film depicts Bruce's early childhood in Hong Kong, his teenage years in the US right way through to his eventual death in 1973. The element that I think drags this film down the most is the mythological side of it, if it had just been a realistic account of his life without the myths and demons, it would have faired much better. There are many innacurate scenes and occurences in this film which understandably makes the film more exciting for mainstream audiences but as a Bruce fan myself i wish they would have stuck to what actually happened. I wish there were more scenes where Bruce was on set of one of his films, like Way Of The Dragon or Fist Of Fury. There could have been more scenes with Bruce with Yip Man or Brandon. There could have been scenes of Bruce being challenged on the street in his infamous street fights, the episode of the green hornet they portrayed i don't think was an actual episode. And Bruce was not injured by the fighter at the martial arts challenge in Chinatown it was when he was weightlifting and pulled his back out. But the fight scenes are well choreographed.

Jason Scott Lee has got his portrayal of the man spot on, he brings the right amount emotion and power to the role, he's clearly done his research on Bruce's mannerism's and got himself in shape for the role as well as training for the fight scenes. Its hard to imagine anyone else who could have played the role, maybe Jet Li who at the time the film was made was 30 and roughly the right age to play Bruce, but Jet spoke very little English. Lauren Holly is equally as good in her role as Linda. The strong portrayals are in many ways successful because of the on set help of the real Linda and Shannon(who makes a cameo as a singer). The music is perhaps the film's strongest part, somehow the main score seems to catch the right emotion of Bruce's death and Brandon's death in 1993. I like the way the film captures the aura of Bruce Lee.

There will indeed never be another Bruce Lee. I find it fascinating to imagine what Bruce would have done if he had lived, the 80's and 90's would have been very different if Arnie, Stallone, Wiilis, Seagal and Van Damme had Bruce to compete with, Bruce is sometimes critcised for being a bad actor, but i disagree, if anyone has seen his episodes of `Longstreet' or `Marlowe' they will see that Bruce could convincingly carry a dramatic scene given the right script and no dubbing and he oozed charisma, and he showed glimpses of good acting in Enter The Dragon.

Being a Bruce fan i kind of wish that Jet Li would do the films that bruce did or was planning on doing, Jet's early work in Honk Kong like the Shaolin Temple or more recent stuff like Fist Of Legend(remake of Fist Of Fury) and Once Upon A Time In China was very promising and it seemed he was the successor to Bruce but instead now he's doing crap in Hollywood with DMX and Jason Statham. Strangely the mediocre Lethal Weapon 4 is Jet's best Hollywood film, Maybe Jet should do a project with John Woo, it would be interesting and they'd probably get the best out of each other.
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The key to immortality, is first, live a truthful life, worth remembering. I think Dragon: Bruce Lee Story, somewhat shows that.
ironhorse_iv14 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
However, it also, does stray too far into fantasy. This biopic movie directed by Rob Cohen really does take a lionized approach to the legendary martial artist/movie star, Bruce Lee's life. These over the top embellishment really resulted in mixed reactions. Some Bruce Lee fans felt, that the use of artistic license, really hurts the historic authenticity of the film. Others, felt that the extreme improvisation made for a more interesting and challenging movie, rather than a straight, and boring historic accurate adaptation. In my opinion, I felt that slightly haunting, but fantastical subplot of Bruce Lee's family, being haunted by demons was a bit too over the top and wasn't really needed for the film. It wasn't a childhood nightmare that prompt Bruce to begin his martial arts training. Unlike what we see in the movie, Bruce actually began his martial arts training at the age of thirteen after getting beaten up by a street gang. However, it was somewhat entertaining, seeing Bruce Lee (Jason Scott Lee), having nightmares of a giant demonic samurai. It was also pretty cool, seeing him battling that say, demon to protect his son, Brandon (Iain M. Parker). Even, if it's so, out there, crazy. Who knows, maybe, there was a real-life, curse on Bruce Lee's family? Making this worse is the fact that Brandon turned down the opportunity to play his father here, opting to do 1994's The Crow instead. Brandon Lee would die from an accidental gun discharge during the making of that film, a few months prior to this film's release. Loosely based off, the biographies written by Linda Lee Cadwell, Bruce Lee's widow; "Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew' & Robert Clouse's "Bruce Lee: The Biography". The movie tackles, how Bruce Lee became the most famous martial artist of all time; while dealing with his cultural duality. You really do see, his struggles to keep his strong Chinese heritage alive, while, also finding his identity as an American. While, Jason Scott Lee is not related to Bruce Lee and had no previous martial arts training or experience. He was an accomplished dancer and really embody, what Bruce Lee was, in looks and the way, he acts. He's so charismatic and likable here, that you simply cannot take your eyes off of him. He is equally adept at action scenes and love scenes, and even if you don't like martial arts films, you will like this movie very much. I really love how the film, dealt with easing of harsh racism tones of the two countries with the romantic sub-plot of Bruce Lee meeting his future wife, Linda Lee (Lauren Holly). The two actor's chemistry, together, really makes this subplot, work. I really felt the heartwarming moments, between them. However, their relationship in real life was a little more, complicated than what's shown in the film, with Bruce Lee's rumor, adultery with actress, Betty Ting Pei. Still, much credit, goes to both Lauren Holly to portraying a realistic character in Linda, and for, composer, Randy Edelman for The Dragon's Heartbeat. That theme song is so uplifting and inspirational it has been used in countless trailers in the 2 decades since it first came out. This film pays a mostly honest tribute to how revolutionary, the man was, to not only fighting style, but his influence in both East and West filmmaking. However, in the movie, it's said, that Bruce Lee's acting career started when a producer discovers Bruce after witnessing his martial arts abilities. In real life, Bruce's family had connections to the world of show business and even Bruce Lee acted sporadically since his early childhood. He first appeared in 1941's The Golden Gate Girl when he was only 3 months old, and later in 1957's Hong Kong movie, The Thunderstorm. It wasn't his martial arts skills that got him, into the door of Hollywood, at first. While, I do champion, in the way, he change, how Asian Americans were portrayed in film. Still, the notorious idea that all- Asians know Martial Arts is bit, laughable. The film make it seem, like every Asian knows it. As if, it's was a well-kept secret. While, the fight scenes in the film, were well-choreograph and done pretty good. I really found, most of the whole-forced fighting conflicts to be, a lot of filler. Some, really good examples are, the fight scene at the film set of 1971's Big Boss and the scenes with the Chinese Martial Art School. Contrary, in reality, there was no real fight on the set of The Big Boss and while, other Martial Arts instructors were indeed, only teaching people of their own race, most Chinese martial arts school in America were a lot more understandable on Bruce Lee training non-Chinese in the arts. Another thing, I find, kinda jarring in the film, is how, the film, portray, Bruce suffering a severe back injury, due to a fight gone wrong. In reality, Bruce got the back injury, while exercising with weights. While, he indeed fully recovered since then; in private however, he continued to suffer from chronic back pain. Unlike, the movie that says, the demon curse, lead him to an early grave. It's more like, likely, that this back pain, cause Bruce Lee, to die at a young age, due to bad allergic reaction to a painkiller, given to him, for treatment. Overall: While, this movie does take liberties about the life of Bruce. It was also well-written as a tribute to both him and his fans. It was written as a way to include the myths, rumors, and greatness that made him a larger than life, type of a hero. It's an amazing movie, definite worth checking out for any fan of his films.
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Jeet Kune Don't
dunmore_ego24 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers, clichés and big dumb white guys abound.

Bruce Lee was an artisan, an innovator, an indomitable warrior, a genius. Inspiring many to create tributes to him, it unfortunately does not follow that those inspired to create these tributes are creative enough or qualified enough to do those tributes justice. Such is the case with Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story.

Not really a story about Bruce Lee, more the story of an invented character from the Cliché Handbook of Action Film Heroes (Body-Oil Edition). And not so much a "tribute" as a "gratuitous insult"; excepting Jason Scott Lee's physical prowess and the overwhelming hotness of Lauren Holly, the film boasted absolutely no redeeming qualities. And lots of body-oil.

The dramatic contrivance of the "po-boy-immigrates-and-makes-good" was bad enough, even if it were true (which it is not) but then, in a film where "assault and battery" assumes a form of high art in the hands of the film's protagonist, we viewers are summarily assaulted and battered by the artlessness of the film-makers who opted for cliché over substance at every turn.

In Lee's first fight at the prom, he conveniently loses his shirt (a la Vintage Kirk) – beneath the shirt, judiciously body-oiled like a seal at a massage parlor, big dumb white sailors not so much being beaten up by him as sliding off his pecs like penguins and hitting their heads on the floor.

The gym scene, and more big dumb white guys (and a token black guy) assault Lee for no reason – remember that these were simple bygone days, when big dumb white guys were unaware that Every Asian Person Knows Kung Fu.

Clichés for breakfast, lunch and dinner: We've got the mother who doesn't approve, the searing hot white chick love interest, the battered loft converted into the martial arts school, the racism, the idiot antagonists attacking the hero with meat cleavers (which they never think to THROW at him), the kung fu veterans ordering Bruce to stop teaching – or else - ! We've got the obligatory husband & wife confrontation (once again the wife bitching as her husband achieves a fame that she can only ride the coat-tails of: "I don't know who you ARE anymore!" – how about "the guy who keeps you wealthy and your social status high"?). Even if many of these aspects were marginally accurate (such as his wife truly being the ideal 70s stunner), the storyline unfolded in such a PG-13 paint-by-numbers format that one couldn't help but question the veracity of its dramatic elements.

Then there's the goofy Black Knight character that haunts Bruce's dreams, proving beyond a doubt that the film-makers were higher than the publicist who engineered Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction". Besides the fact that this was an insulting dramatic metaphor for the mystery surrounding Lee's untimely demise, how dare the film-makers presume that this metaphysical nonsense in any way rationalizes, palliates or absolves the misfortune of Bruce's passing?

Enter the Bad Guy combatant – we can tell he's the Bad Guy on accounta his scowl and ominous theme music, and his body-oil is a whole inch thicker - and Bruce's debilitating cliché-defeat at his hands, achieved by CHEATING on the Bad Guy's part, of course. It's all true. Hollywood tells us so.

Then we are treated to the obligatory montage of the Hero regaining his prowess through his Iron Will and jump-cut editing – all due to his HOT WIFE'S pep talk - yes, if it weren't for bony, bossy Linda Lee, we'd never have Jeet Kune Do or Enter The Dragon.

Bruce's book, The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, was published posthumously – but in this film, he miraculously receives a copy while recovering from his bogus back injury – a miracle only Hollywood could achieve. We cannot even disregard the fallacies of this movie and focus on the broad strokes to glean Bruce's life story, for those broad strokes themselves are indiscernibly shrouded in misinformation.

Much like Capricorn One, another film which insulted the viewer from frame one to conclusion, with misinformation and egregious stupidity sprinkled so liberally throughout its makeup that one could not find any one point to logically start unraveling the threads of idiocy, Dragon bludgeons viewers with the unsubtle thematic gist that we are all obviously congenital idiots for watching it in the first place.

One such example of just how IGNINT the film-makers believe us to be is the scene in which we are made privy to the methods on how to film a movie, with the fight scene on the "last day of filming on The Big Boss". With just ONE tripod-mounted camera, they captured no less than 43 camera angles, and also captured slow motion shots without once loading different-speed film! Then, apparently you have to open the clapper and rip the film out and throw it on the ground in order to develop it, which is what Bruce does. Very informative! And all true, of course. Hollywood tells us so.

It seems ironic that these film-makers, who attempted to portray a pioneer who fought to elevate the martial arts film above that of B-Movie schlock, unwittingly created B-Movie schlock in the process. Though their intentions may have started out sincere (which I doubt), what is left on the screen is a rancid marketing vehicle cashing in on Bruce's fame, rather than what might have been a much more interesting, entertaining - AND THEREFORE even more commercially-successful - exploration of Lee's life and times, adversities and triumphs.

We can only hope that one day there will be a more reverent, less body-oiled, more factual movie to celebrate the life and achievements of The Little Dragon.

(Movie Maniacs, visit: www.poffysmoviemania.com)
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Confusion in the narrative and an overly comic book approach does not hinder the lead performance...
moonspinner5518 November 2007
The turbulent, sometimes trying life of Bruce Lee, born Lee Jun-Fan in San Francisco and raised in Hong Kong, who was the leading proponent of Wing Chun Gung Fu and Wu style Tai Chi Chuan in the mid-'60s, as well as a boxing champ, a California martial-arts teacher, loving husband to a young American woman who soon gave him two children, and an international television and movie star in the early 1970s. Jason Scott Lee gives a commanding, one-of-a-kind performance as Bruce Lee, and the film is a well-produced chronicle of one of the most curious and intriguing icons of the last 50 years. Still, the picture seems to play a little fast and loose with the facts, and anyone hoping for a comprehensive look behind the legend is likely to be disappointed. Because this is a dramatized biography of possibly the most popular of martial-arts masters, there's certainly a whole lot of mortal combat (some of which is purely extraneous, pumped up to satisfy the target audience), and the approach is a bit more 'comic book' than serious students might like. The supporting characters and extras are over-directed in their enthusiasm, yet nothing seems to get in the way of Jason Scott Lee who, though perhaps more bulky in frame than the real Bruce Lee, does everything he can with this role and more. ** from ****
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good flick, but inaccurate
mrmoore7817 May 2003
I really liked Jason Scott Lee's portrayal of Bruce Lee, but I noticed many inaccuracies in the story. If I had not seen the AMC special on Lee last year, I would not have a problem.

-according to Linda Lee, Bruce was not hurt when competing for the right to teach whoever he wanted to. He hurt himself when he didn't stretch properly for a workout in 1970. That was the big inaccuracy

-Bruce auditioned for another role in early 1965 before the role of Kato was offered to him.

  • other roles he took in America were completely ignored: "Marlowe", his appearances on "Longstreet", etc...the movie went right from 1967 to 1972 within a minute

If you want to see a really good special on Lee, as well as see lost footage from a project that was butchered after he died, check out the AMC documentary.

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Profoundly Entertaining !!!!
smjblessing7 August 2010
Bruce Lee is of course is easily one of the most famous and greatest martial artists who has ever walked the earth!!! The man is such a living legend that how could you not make a biographical film about him ? Bruce Lee is known everywhere, but a lot of people just look at him as a martial arts superstar who starred in a few big movies. He's not just that ! Bruce Lee was a much more deeper human being and probably one of the greatest modern philosophers of all time. He changed fighting and created his own concept of it called Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist). Bruce Lee is no doubt a huge inspiration for lots of new comer martial artists.The film Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story is actually not all that accurate, but does a great job at showcasing who Bruce Lee really was. Originally Bruce's son, Brandon, was offered the part of his father in this, but declined and unfortunately later died before this film was completed. That's why this film is dedicated to him.

Bruce is a struggling boy in Hong Kong who has amazing martial arts skills in Wing Chun and Gung Fu (Both are derived from Kung Fu). His father believes that a demonic spirit is after Bruce so he tells him to go to America. Upon arrival Bruce settles down as a dish washer/food delivery at a Chinese restaurant in San Francisco (Bruce Lee was born in San Francisco). Pretty soon Bruce is now in college where he studies philosophy and teaches his own version of Gung Fu to some students on the campus. This is where he meets his future wife, Linda Emery. Pretty soon they fall in love and Bruce opens up his first Gung Fu. Not long after Bruce and Linda are married and have a son. Bruce will then go onto develop the concept of Jeet Kune Do which is then published into a book. Bruce then hits stardom in America on the t.v series the Green Hornet. Later he returns back to Hong Kong and becomes huge martial arts super star.

Once again, this film really touches on Bruce Lee as not just being a movie star, but also as a deep human being which a lot of people don't know him for being. Like I mentioned earlier, this film is not completely accurate and actually is based off the book written by Bruce's wife called, "Bruce Lee: The Only Man I Ever Knew". On this review that no one will read (except me for spelling errors), I will list all the inaccuracies in the film, so no one is confused between fact and fiction.

1. Bruce Lee or his father were never haunted by a demonic spirit. I don't know why the writers came up with this, but the scenes with this spirit are VERY intense.

2. I am unsure if Bruce actually worked as a dishwasher or food delivery guy while in San Francisco.

3. Bruce attended college in Washington, not California.

4. I don't think his wife Linda ever took martial arts lessons from Bruce.

5. Bruce and Linda were never denied a table for being a racially mixed couple at a restaurant.

6. Bruce Lee actually opened two Gung Fu schools, not just one. He nor Linda never lived out of the school !!!

7. Bruce Lee was told to stop teaching martial arts to other races and was challenged to a fight. However, he fought Wong Man Jak in his school. He never fought a guy named Johnny Sun in this weird temple-type place. This fight (in real life) inspired him to come up with the concept of Jeet Kune Do.

8. Bruce never sustained a back injury from a kick, but did it while lifting weights because he did not warm up his back enough.

9. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do book was never published while Bruce Lee was alive. It was published two years after his death in 1975.

10. I don't think Bruce or Linda ever had intense arguments while at home. I think the film just did that to make it seem more dramatical.

11. On the set of The Big Boss, Bruce actually was challenged by an extra, but the fight was not as elaborate as in the film.

Just one minor complaint, the only thing that I didn't like was how the film made Enter The Dragon look as such a minor part of his life.

And here's a list of guest appearances you may spot: Shannon Lee (Bruce Lee's daughter), Jerry Poteet (original Bruce Lee student.), Van Williams (actor who played the original Green Hornet).

So I suggest you see this if you are a follower of Bruce Lee.
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Great not excellent!
manofseven3 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I think this is a great movie. Technically, at least this movie was made with a decent budget, contrary to most biopics made about Bruce's life. but I think it hasn't reviewed every little details of Bruce's life, and it has some lies about his life. At least, it could review his death!

For example, Wong Jack Man did not kick Bruce Lee in the back while Lee was walking away from the fight, though this fight did take place. Bruce won successfully, but his fighting style was very limited at the time. This fight was the reason that Lee would develop his own style, Jeet Kune do. Lee injured his back while lifting weights.

And so, There was no rematch between Lee and Wong Jack Man or a fight against Wong Jack Man's brother while making The Big Boss. However, a challenge match did take place between the real Bruce Lee and a local Thai boxer while filming The Big Boss.

By the way, we did see a little about his son, Brandon Lee, and the film didn't note Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee; at which Linda tells Bruce she is pregnant for the second time - carrying Shannon.

I don't want to point out some more!

So, it will be 8 of 10!
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"Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" * * * *
David Slicer28 June 2002
My brother used to go to this rundown movie theater in Springfield,Massachusetts called The Jefferson Street Theater.From what I heard,it was a pretty bad place to go to.My brother would go there to see these kung fu flicks which probably excited him a lot being that he was a kid.A lot of kids went to or snuck to a martial arts film that probably made there day a lot better.Unfortunately,back on July 20,1973,the master of martial arts mysteriously died.His name was Bruce Lee.Years after his death,he is remembered throughout millions of fans,which includes me and is remembered around the world for his knowledge of martial arts."Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" seems to be an appropriate title for a movie about the legend who reinvented martial arts .There has been a few biographies on Bruce Lee back in the 1970s.But none of those films didn't even bother to pay close attention to his lifestyle."Bruce Lee:The Man and the Myth" paid attention to Bruce Lee's fighting style and for that time the actor who played him did a fairly good job,but treated the character like a school kid performing kung fu moves after watching a martial arts movie.In "Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story",the actor,Jason Scott Lee,just doesn't portray Bruce Lee.His is Bruce Lee.He seems to take the role very seriously and surrounds his presence with Bruce Lee's spirit.This happens to be one of the best films of 1993 and happens to be a film that shows respect to the martial arts legend.The martial arts cheorography are one of the best that I have seen and I was really pulled into the action.Historicaly,"Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story" falls on its knees.Anyone who has studied Bruce Lee knows that what happens in this film didn't actually happen the way it actually did.For example,the scene in which he left Hong Kong and traveled to America in 1961.Any super Bruce Lee fan will know that he left Hong Kong in 1958.Biographies don't always get it right and I don't expect them to.Filmmakers usually do a pretty good job telling someone's true lifestory.Sometimes,they don't.The filmmakers who made "Dragon:The Bruce Lee Story",even though were not historically accurate,were accurate enough to qualify this as one of the best biographies that I have seen based on the martial arts legend.Jason Scott Lee should have been nominated an Academy Award for this film.I would given this film five stars.But the filmmakers failure to get into his life historicaly lowered down to four stars.This film I think works for fans of Bruce Lee.
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The Dragon Wins
tedg19 December 2000
The main driver in building cultures (including religions) is the establishment of archetypes. Over a very long time a south Asian ethic of martial arts emerged, and like most really strong memes, this one is supported by an overemphasis on the master. It is a complex notion: peace embodied in the potential for violence, akin to the western notion of the master magician who has the ability to shape the world only because he does not use that power. But it is all wrapped up in human icons as archetypes and so far as popular culture goes: stereotypes.

Every once in a while someone successfully makes a new entry into the film vocabulary. Bruce Lee's fame was that he did so, adding a layer of film type, stereotype and cliche that has since run exceedingly far and wide. As film is a key driver in culture, the two levels of film and `real' life reinforce each other. So Bruce Lee is important -- he's changed both my film and my real worlds.

Now we add another, self-referential layer, a film about how Lee transformed film and hence life. It has a cool internal dynamic: he broke the martial arts code (of internalization, of secrecy) by using the magician's power to change the world, and presumably suffering a faustian penalty for it. What possibilities this has as a story and for powerful, intelligent cinema! What tripe resulted! This could have been terrific, especially since the lead was suitably graceful and his wife suitably dumb, and dumber. Instead we get the sort of facile glorification we expect from acolytes.

Maybe later.
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Dragon: The Fabrication
royhotta11 September 2005
If you're looking for a good film about Bruce Lee, this is not it. Sorry, but despite Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly giving very good performances, this film is about as historically accurate as a tabloid story on Madonna's intact virginity.

What has been described as the director's 'artistic license' is in plain English another Hollywood huckster exploiting Bruce by manufacturing numerous inaccuracies to sell a film and line his pockets. Bruce would be outraged at this blatant deception! You should be too.

Don't reward money grubbers for ripping off Bruce Lee's legacy. If you want to know about the real Bruce, see the films Enter The Dragon, Return of the Dragon, and The Chinese Connection (aka Fists of Fury). Also read his books such as the Tao of Jeet Kune Do, the Tao of Gung Fu, and the series entitled Bruce Lee's Fighting Method by Bruce and M. Uyehara.
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Underrated Hollywood biopic
Leofwine_draca4 July 2016
A film which successfully manages to tell the life story of superstar Bruce Lee in an interesting, exciting way; not a bad effort considering the dozens of low-budget similarities which followed in the '70s after the death of the Chinese legend. DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY differs somewhat by including a number of purely fictional moments but these also make the story a bit more surprising to established fans of the actor who already know his life story anyway. In the end, the film admirably works as both a biopic and an action-thriller, which is no mean feat at all. The action scenes (of which there are plenty, martial arts fans will be pleased to hear) are invariably well-shot and offer maximum hard-hitting violence and cool choreography, with every punch in devastating detail and every kick captured in loving slow motion.

Jason Scott Lee), who plays Bruce, may well offer the most noticeable performance in his career; as the kung fu legend he succeeds admirably. The difference from other Bruce Lee impersonators like Bruce Li and Bruce Le is that Jason Scott Lee displays a keen understanding of the factors that made up the man and puts them to use in his performance here, and at times the realism is uncanny. Lauren Holly is also more than adequate as Linda, Bruce's wife, and although a lot of screen time is spent on the pair's developing relationship it never becomes boring. It's also nice to see a substantial and memorable role for Sven-Ole Thorsen as nightmare creature The Demon, after years of playing only supporting roles.

The overall effort of the film is to convey the good qualities of Bruce, from his physical prowess to his strong personality and his characteristics of bravery and inner strength. The negative aspects - including his dodgy death - are skipped over, but really this is no great loss. Scenes in which Lee combats racism are excellently done, and the combination of film clips, interspersed with Jason Scott Lee playing Bruce Lee in the process of making his movies, comes off well. Not the best martial arts flick out there, but definitely a commendable and enjoyable one, and perhaps definitive when it comes to Bruce.
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A decent movie with its share of problems
Jsimpson510 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Bruce Lee considered to be of the most famous martial artists of all time, finally had a decent movie made about him 14 years ago. When I first watched it I enjoyed it. I watched it again in bits and pieces a few weeks ago and was some what disgusted by it.

The film is about the life of Bruce Lee and how he became what he was in life. The film itself contained many factual errors which bog down the film itself from something interesting to something that will make you say, that is not right.

The biggest factual error that really got be upset was the Long Beach International Scene. The fight that Bruce Lee actually fought was an exhibition match. Bruce Lee only competed once in his life and got third in forms at the Long Beach Internationals.

If you overlook the factual mistakes with there quite a lot you may enjoy this movie. If you know a lot about the history of Bruce Lee, then avoid this film, it will leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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A real shame
TVholic22 January 2011
Bruce Lee was an amazing athlete and martial artist, with a story to match. It's just too bad Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story decided that wasn't worth telling. Instead, there are lots of fight scenes in improbable places with trumped-up foes, not to mention some stupid "curse of the dragon" that the real Bruce would never have believed in. In spots, this movie is almost as campy as the old Batman series was.

A few documentaries have taken honest looks at the Lee phenomenon and managed to remain interesting throughout by showing us a determined, disciplined man who made his own success. In this movie, they had the entirety of Lee's life to use and decided to make up whole sections out of thin air just to spice things up. It puts itself not much above the sensationalistic Hong Kong films that made Bruce look nearly superhuman and the victim of some vast Triad conspiracy when the real man was just as fascinating. What a waste. I know conflict is emphasized in most screen writing classes, but instead of fight after fight as shown in this movie, how about showing some of the famous friends and students Bruce taught? And avoid the idiotic scenes like Bruce supposedly shattering 300+ pound ice blocks into chips with a single punch. If I wanted to see impossible feats like that, I'd go watch a Superman movie.

Bruce's fighting philosophy was to eschew flashy techniques in favor of effective ones. Fighting wasn't for show, but to win. Only on film would he do things like backflips, somersaults, superhigh jumping kicks and animalistic kiai. Show us the man who trained long and hard, and studied and thought about not just fighting, but philosophy and health. Bruce's success was as much a product of his mind as of his body.

We're now nearing 20 years after this movie's release and the 40th anniversary of Lee's death, with his legend and popularity only slightly diminished. To this day, Bruce remains the paragon of martial arts in the eyes of many, the man to whom all others are compared. I have a dream that someone will do a true biopic. His true story deserves better than to be ignored and hidden. I'd like to see a real drama rather than melodrama, with characters that have depth rather than the cartoonish ones in this film. There have been too many lies and myths told about Bruce over the years and this movie shamefully introduced more. "All these years later, people still wonder about the way he died. I prefer to remember the way he lived." Too bad this movie didn't show that way.
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The Worst Martial Arts Movie I've Ever Seen
Junglist-225 May 2007
A complete embarrassment to Lee's legacy. Bad acting, bad music, contrived story, atrocious fight choreography....and a sickening display of political correctness. When I heard the line "You would put your tongue in a Chinese's mouth?" I had to end the misery there. This marked the first time I couldn't finish a movie in quite some time.

And let's face it, Jason Scott Lee is no Bruce Lee. Rather than display the physical prowess of the legend, he does cheesy flips and sommersaults. Frankly I'm surprised this film got as high a rating as it did on this site. It definitely didn't deserve (at present) a 6.7.

A huge let down, particularly for me, as a martial arts connoisseur. Avoid at all costs.
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"This didn't happen, he didn't do this, he didn't do that, etc." That's NOT the point of this film!
MovieBuffMarine19 February 2017
You see a lot of complaints from people other than Linda Lee Cadwell and Bruce's family complaining about the "accuracy" of "Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story." These FANS claim they "know" him through his movies, TV shows, books and numerous documentaries that have been done on the late Bruce Lee. I've seen and read many of the same and I still don't know him better than his widow and the rest of his family!

What this movie is, is a WORK OF ART. Someone said it best on the IMDb discussion of this movie: "The movie is really meant as a celebration of Bruce Lee and what he represented. It isn't necessarily meant to be a complete biographical movie." I couldn't have said it better.

There is no 100% biopic on Bruce Lee or any other figure out there. "Artistic License" or "Liberties" are always taken, period. Many argue that his life was "interesting enough" that embellishments were not necessary, that is far from the truth. People who say that have never written a movie script whether for real or for a writing class. It's not as easy as it seems whether you are writing total fiction or about someone living or dead.

Before I saw Dragon, my first Bruce Lee biopic was "Bruce Lee: The Man, the Myth" from 1976. After viewing that so many times and seeing Dragon, I got confused about who I thought I "knew" and the many things he experienced.

Dragon's 1976 predecessor was just as riddled with "inaccuracies." After I got through my "confusion" about Bruce, I decided to enjoy what was made. I enjoyed the "artistic license" of both movies.

To paraphrase Bruce Lee: a biopic is never a portrayal of total accuracy - it is a guide, a pointer to the actual person and his/her real happenings/events that each viewer must find for him/herself. A good biopic is merely a catalyst.

For the uninitiated to Bruce Lee, that should be the case for this film. Again, there is no 100% biopic in existence about Bruce Lee or any other figure from history. A good biopic (be it 100% "accurate" or otherwise) should motivate one to seek out the subject matter.

For the ones that know of Bruce or think they "know" him (because of the various material---dramatic portrayal or documentary---put out about him before this movie), this movie should give them more appreciation for who Bruce was and what he did. It should also motivate them to seek more.

Again, for me after seeing "Bruce Lee: The Man The Myth" so many times before Dragon, I was confused about Bruce. Watching Dragon motivated me more to read about Bruce Lee!

Take it or leave it. If you get butt hurt about what you uncover about the real Bruce Lee and it wasn't in this or other movies, that's on you. Stick with documentaries.

This movie is a masterpiece in STORY TELLING celebrating Bruce Lee's life and what he represented, period. It is not a History Channel or A&E biography that will (supposedly) tell what "really" happened in his life.
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T K29 June 2015
I first watched this film in middle school when I didn't know much about Bruce Lee. Like any kid, I was fascinated by this mysterious and legendary martial artist, and this movie helped pique my interest. Although the movie has many inaccuracies, it tells the story of Bruce Lee in a realistic, innocuous way that is quite entertaining. The movie has a very good flow to it and mixes in the martial arts scenes at the right time to never leave the viewer bored. The acting is absolutely superb, as the chemistry between Jason Scott Lee and Lauren Holly is very believable. And my favorite part is perhaps the score – Randy Edelman creates a masterpiece. Watch this movie with no expectations and enjoy the influence Bruce Lee had on the world yet understand the many demons and hardships he had to face throughout his life. You will not be disappointed.
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A good story (not too sure how authentic it is though)
bowmanblue22 December 2014
I don't know that much about Bruce Lee, besides the obvious - i.e. his legendary status as the man who basically brought the martial arts genre to the West. Therefore I can't really say how factually accurate this film is (although, in the version I watched, Bruce Lee's real wife gave a brief speech at the beginning of the movie, saying how faithful it was). However, I hope I know a good story when I see one and I'm pleased to say that this is it.

If, like me, you don't know too much about the man himself, I'm not sure how much more you'll know after watching Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. I've read Bruce Lee 'purists' online saying how inaccurate this film is, but, the one thing even they can agree on, is what good performances Lauren Holly and Jason Scott Lee give as Bruce Lee and his American wife.

Therefore, with good performances, decent fight scenes and an - albeit questionably good - storyline, there are worst films you can watch if anything about Bruce Lee's life or the martial arts genre in general interests you.
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