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Birth of the Dragon (2016)

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Set against the backdrop of 1960s San Francisco, BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is a modern take on the classic movies that Bruce Lee was known for. It takes its inspiration from the epic and still controversial showdown between an up-and-coming Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man - a battle that gave birth to a legend.

Director:

George Nolfi
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Yu Xia ... Wong Jack Man (as Xia Yu)
Wang Xi'An Wang Xi'An ... Tai Chi Grandmaster / Wang Lian
Hai Yu Hai Yu ... Shaolin Abbot (as Yu Hai)
Yue Wu ... Wang Biao (as Wu Yue)
Billy Magnussen ... Steve McKee
Steven Roberts ... Beat Poet (as Steven F. Roberts)
Riley Wood Riley Wood ... Hippie Girl
Philip Ng ... Bruce Lee (as Philip Wan-Lung Ng)
Simon Yin ... Vinnie Wei
Terry Chen ... Frankie Chen
Ron Yuan ... Tony Yu
Lillian Lim ... Janet Wei
Yee Jee Tso ... Winston Peng
Jingjing Qu Jingjing Qu ... Xiulan Quan (as Qu Jingjing)
Simon Chin ... Wai Fu
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Storyline

In 1964, a young Bruce Lee owns and operates a San Francisco Kung Fu Academy, specializing in the Chinese martial art Wing Chun. Lee cares for his students, providing advice, roles as extras in his upcoming projects, and defending them from the gangs of Chinatown. One of Lee's students, Steve McKee, spars with Lee while fighting in anger, causing Lee to counter and embarrass him. McKee and Vinnie Wei work for the latter's mother's laundry business, where they find out that master Wong Jack Man is on a pilgrimage from China to observe the Kung Fu scene in the United States. While carrying out a delivery to the China Gate restaurant, McKee falls for an employee, Xiulan, who is forbidden to communicate with anyone on the outside. One night, McKee sneaks over to the restaurant to give her a grammar book, teaching her fellow roommates basic English..

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bruce lee character | See All (1) »

Taglines:

The Fight That Created The Legend


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for martial arts violence, language and thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

China | Canada | USA

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

25 August 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Origem do Dragão See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,702,430, 27 August 2017

Gross USA:

$6,901,965

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,215,027
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite re-editing the film to minimize the screen time for Billy Magnussen and give more focus on Philip Ng, the film is still centered on Magnussen's character Steve McKee. See more »

Goofs

The film's portrayal of Wong Jack Man contains numerous factual errors. The biggest being that he was not a Shaolin monk nor did he come to San Francisco as penance for nearly killing a man in a duel. Nor did he return to China afterwards since he continued to teach martial arts in the Fort Mason Center of San Francisco until he retired in 2005. See more »

Quotes

Bruce Lee: You're a great advertisement for our training.
[telling a former student he sees badly beaten in an alley way]
Steve McKee: I'm fine.
[he says weakly]
See more »

Crazy Credits

A few of the job titles in the scrolling credits such as "stunt coordinator" and "set designer" change back and forth from English to Chinese. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Good Time/Birth of the Dragon (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This 2016 Biopic is dull, aimless, and squanders its premise
28 September 2016 | by davidchenhereSee all my reviews

I bought the tickets to this movie thinking it would be a cool Bruce Lee biopic. Or failing that, at least a good action film.

It turns out Birth of the Dragon was NEITHER, giving the focus instead to an obscure side character, and failing to entertain on the action front.

First, let's talk about the pacing. After slogging through the first half of the film, we finally get to the fight that's been promised, which actually turns out OK. But after that, we're dragged through a shoehorned side-plot about the side character's love life, which feels quite empty after it's been resolved.

After leaving the theaters in disbelief that I actually spent money on this movie, I looked on the internet for alternatives to scratch my action flick itch.

Lo and behold, the 1993 biopic DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY was a MUCH better action film, and a fantastic character study on the legend of a man we know today.

Overall, if you're looking for a biopic, skip this movie and watch DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY instead. If you're looking for an action film, watch literally ANY OTHER movie than this one.


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