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.
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..
The movie did a great job of showcasing the talents of Bruce Lee while adding some mystery of who REALLY won the big showdown between Bruce Lee and Wong Jak Man. Philip Ng did a great job of portraying the mannerisms and attitude of the late great Bruce Lee. Many reviews have stated that the movie focused too much on Steve McKee, played by Billy Magnussen, but I didn't think so. His role was pivotal for the storyline. It's a movie that I would definitely recommend if you're a Bruce Lee fan, love martial arts movies, and are ready for a few laughs.
8 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this