Birth of the Dragon (2016) Poster

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this film seriously offends me
chrisleeisworking18 September 2016
I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen!! This is cash grab garbage, crock of s***. The director has turned Bruce Lee into a caricature. This is spitting on the memory of Bruce Lee. As a loyal fan of Bruce Lee and as an Asian, this film seriously offends me. ENOUGH! We in the Asian communities will make sure this film earns ZERO dollars. The script is shockingly dull and absurd, the fight scenes aren't exceptional, the stunt guy who plays Bruce Lee captures zero essence of Bruce Lee, his acting pure ham. The director should go back to writing to spare us further torture. ******** BIRTH OF A DRAGON is NOT sanctioned by the Lee family ********
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Misses the Mark
omegle-6676728 September 2016
It's been 23 years since the last major Hollywood biopic on Bruce Lee. While we're a full generation forward, the 20-odd year interval wasn't sufficient to outlast the durable media biases that afflict how minorities, in this case, Asian-Americans, are depicted.

Birth of the Dragon will pull in fans off the street by claiming to tell the story of Bruce Lee, an iconic figure in American history. However, they may be surprised to find that the movie actually has very little to say about Lee. About his love life. About who he is as a human being. In fact, he is dealt with in such a stylized, mysterious manner -- and not as a full human being -- it's unclear the movie gives the viewer anything more than he already knew. Instead, Lee's primary purpose is to serve the white protagonist Steve McKnee in various ways.

First, the film gives short shrift to the actual epic fight between Lee and his rival. We do not even know how that fight impacted Lee's life afterwards, what he learned from it, or how it changed his fighting style. But we do know Lee went through all that trouble, and the animating force behind it was that Lee's rival was against Caucasians like McKnee being trained to fight. What's happening here is that - this really isn't about Lee. It's more about some character we've never heard of but somehow has the country's greatest martial arts fighter fighting on his behalf.

It doesn't end there. Lee, a role model for Americans, including Asian-Americans, is seen as flat. He is shown as without a romantic interest. In contrast, McKnee has an Asian Girlfriend...and lo and behold he needs Lee to fight for him again to get the girlfriend back after she's abducted by "bad Asians". And Lee does.

I think we came to watch Bruce Lee. Not Bruce Lee aid some random fictional nobody on his mission to belong, and then his mission to get back said nobody's girlfriend.
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Decent film with engaging action.
connerlandon3 September 2017
I was at first put off by the trailers of the film because the street alley scene and certain dialogue lines seemed cheesy without context, however in the progression of the full film they play their part just fine.

In the idea that the "birth of the dragon" was the transition from Bruce Lee's generic focus of Kung Fu and other martial arts into the consolidated uniform art of Jeet Kune Do, this movie highlighted the event that sparked that transition in an entertaining way. Combining some historical information with an enticing cinematic focus, intertwined with some fictional inclusions of characters and story for the sake of making it an entertainment film rather than direct informational documentary, I was satisfied overall with the viewing and find that it paid decent homage to the memory of Bruce Lee by showing a human element of imperfection during the beginning of his career.

Allowing us to see into the information of his time before becoming a cultural icon was refreshing, and influenced me to read into Lee's history during those years and before. Again, the film does include uses of fictional elements in order to help propel the story in a standard acceptable for entertaining viewership, and as such does not convey an entirely truthful set of events, only a summary with cinematic filler.

I recommend seeing this film to see what you think of it, and afterwards reading about the events around the conflict between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man yourself, as there are some interesting details to be found.
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I am Asian American - Why I LOVE this movie!!! (Why it's not ONE dimensionally all Bruce)
noll-249-39669722 August 2017
I have seen all of his movies. Yes, even "Dragon-The Bruce Lee Story." First, I am NOT racist toward anyone because I am friends of all races! This is NOT racist toward Asians as MANY of you suppose because it's from 3 people's angles!

Stop focusing on what is dividing this country today because this country is made up of EVERYBODY, and all colors.

Here are the 3 angles: This was a 3 dimensional movie about how people grow (not literally) because of 3 main characters: #1 Steve - He went from "I learn Kung Fu to gain respect," (self) to "I am willing to die for someone else." (love others unconditionally). Personally, he was a stumbling, bumbling quirky guy with a quirky Asian friend (there were amusing parts to their characters.) #2 WJM - He learned from nearly killing someone to being able to have self control. Thus, he liberated himself from his tormented past. (Wouldn't it be nice to learn from your past and be victorious when presented with a similar challenge?) #3 Bruce - He went from bragging all the time to learning some humility and maturity (even working together to form 2 heroes that saved many women's lives in the end.) He learned how to liberate his own style and re-create himself so he definitely grew into an even more awesome martial artist and STAR.

What a powerful, inspiring life message for us all! THANK YOU director for honoring these things: respect for one another (WJM and Bruce), teamwork, living unselfishly, wisdom of Kung Fu, self-actualization. Asians win, Whites win. the beautiful Asian art of Kung Fun wins. Win - WIn.
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This 2016 Biopic is dull, aimless, and squanders its premise
davidchenhere28 September 2016
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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Review from someone who doesn't (currently) hate the Director
cpcaines8 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Some notes Before the review: It appears that a few people have posted reviews expressing their disinterest in the movie for various non-film related reasons(Albeit justified or not). However in some of these reviews I can't understand some of the points made specifically pertaining to the white person in the film that they portray as the "lead" and the negative light the film apparently portrays Bruce Lee in. I did not find any negative light towards Bruce Lee, and I didn't get the feeling the white guy was the lead in the movie while watching it.

The movie shows a younger extremely talented Bruce Lee that maybe had one final thing to learn from a Master before making a notable adjustment into becoming his best self. I'm not sure if that was how he was in real life at the time or if this is an inaccurate portrayal. But it says in the Movie that Bruce did notably alter his fighting style after the event.

I didn't regret watching the movie. Would watch again in a month or so with people people who haven't seen it.(Also if anyone cares to know Bruce Lee is truly an inspiration in my life and I honestly don't think this movie shames him...)
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This movie is what is wrong with Hollywood.
plumlemonjuice28 September 2016
This movie is terrible. I was expecting a story about Bruce Lee but what got is a story focusing on unknown nobody. I don't believe Bruce Lee's fans would enjoy this movie because it is insulting to Bruce Lee and his family and an exploitation of his name for profit.

It is a shameful act by the writers and the directors of the movie to use Bruce Lee's fame to dupe his worldwide fans into watching this piece of junk.

If I can give it 0 out of 10, I would; but unfortunately it's only have a rating scale of 1 to 10. Avoid this movie at all cost if you're a Bruce Lee's fan.
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Boycott !! Shameless money-hungry producers and director
moonbaby-4707228 September 2016
I seriously wanted to puke by 2/3 of the film. Lee is the antagonist here, portrayed as a trash-talking hooligan versus the wise and philosophical Wong Jack Man. The real Bruce Lee was a philosopher with depth, not an egomaniac constantly looking to "kick ass'. It's terribly sad that even after his death, greedy slimy Hollywood producers still want to give him and his family the shaft by bastardizing and disrespecting his legacy with this dumbed down cash grab trash. The producers are desperately trying to sell this piece of disgusting trash in the US and in Asia. Please make your voice heard here so the studios and distributors can see how fans of Bruce Lee feel about this film. We will boycott it! They must know we DON'T WANT TO SEE this film on a screen big or small. We will cancel our Netflix subscription if they buy this garbage. Listen, this film was made WITHOUT Bruce Lee Foundation's approval. The Lee family didn't want it but the shameless money-hungry producers (Michael London, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Janice Williams, James Hong Pang, Leo Shi Young) and director (George Nolfi) went ahead anyway. Total disrespect.
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A disrespectful appropriation of Bruce Lee
consciouskendrik21 September 2016
Hollywood is racist. This movie disrespects the legacy of Bruce Lee. I highly recommend everyone to boycott this movie. The movie serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes regarding Asian women, men, and the culture.

It's perspective forces the viewer to indulge in racism against people of color. The racism is very subversive and is spread by more than just one movie. Movies like these are bountiful in Hollywood(denigrating Asian culture).

I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They do not want Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic.
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Fantastic display of martial arts worthy of Bruce Lee
mitchj-9602629 November 2017
I don't get all the negativity directed toward this picture on these reviews . This is a VERY enjoyable, entertaining film surrounding one of our most famous cinematic icons of all time. Whether it was factually based down to each crossed t or dotted i made me absolutely no difference what so ever . And as far as some trying to play the "racism" card describing the film .... how ridiculous can you be ??? That's simply incorrect . Enjoy the tremendous display of martial artistry and story line of this picture and you WON'T be disappointed . Don't "nit pick" this movie , "trying" to find things that you don't agree with !! Geeez !! If that kind of attitude would have been directed toward filmmaking in the past, then even "Gone With the Wind" wouldn't have made it to the silver screen !! Thank you .
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"Birth of the Dragon" is an entertaining piece of biopic fiction.
dave-mcclain3 September 2017
Like many famous people, the experiences of martial arts icon Bruce Lee before he became famous are not well-known, but are crucial to understanding the person he became. The man the world came to know as Bruce Lee was born Lee Jun-fat in San Francisco on November 27, 1940, in the Chinese "Year of the Dragon". His father was a Chinese opera star who was touring the U.S. at the time, but took his family back to their native Hong Kong shortly before Japan invaded. After World War II ended, Lee's father resumed his earlier film career and Bruce began appearing on screen as a child actor. As he continued making movies, Bruce also began learning Chinese martial arts, first from his father and then from the famous Wing Chun master teacher Yip Man. Bruce was getting into a lot of street fights, which he usually won, but when he was 18, amid rumored threats to his life, his parents sent him to live with his older sister in San Francisco. Just months later, Lee moved to Seattle where he finished high school, went to college and began teaching martial arts, eventually opening his own studio. When he was 23, he moved to Oakland, California to live with locally famous martial artist James Yimm Lee, with whom he opened his second studio. Bruce himself became well-known throughout the Bay Area and beyond. He sought ways to increase the momentum of his martial arts career and to translate that into a show business career. He also began to evolve as a martial artist. This is the period of Bruce Lee's life that is chronicled (and fictionalized) in the 2017 martial arts action movie "Birth of the Dragon" (PG-13, 1:43).

In 1964, Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) is a skilled and cocky master teacher running his own Bay Area martial arts studio. He also has some of his students appear in crude Kung Fu movies which Lee produces, directs, writes and stars in. Lee is a controversial figure, both in central California and even back in Asia for his teaching emphasis on "kicking ass" over spirituality, for turning Kung Fu into mass entertainment and (especially) for teaching Caucasians. One of those students is Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen, playing a fictionalized version of actor Steve McQueen, a real-life student of Lee's). Steve is a promising student, but increasingly has doubts about Lee's philosophy and whether Lee can help him reach his potential.

And then Lee learns that a famous Chinese martial artist Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia) is coming to San Francisco, but isn't sure why. He thinks it's because Wong wants to spy on him. Or maybe Wong wants to punish Lee for teaching Kung Fu to whites. Either way, Lee is unswayed and unafraid. Steve's attitude is different, however. He is intrigued by the new arrival and eventually gravitates to Wong and his more spiritual approach to life – and Kung Fu – and tries to persuade the master to take him on as a student. Meanwhile, Steve becomes an intermediary between Lee and Wong, delivering messages between the two rivals as they challenge each other and then negotiate the terms of one decisive, high-stakes fight.

This is where the veracity of the film's story gets even murkier. The set-up for this battle royale involves a fictional young Chinese woman named Xiulan (Jingjing Qu). She, as many others like her, was brought to the U.S. by a Chinese crime lord called Auntie Blossom (Jin Xing) who forces these girls into servitude – sometimes of the domestic variety – and sometimes in one of her "houses". Steve falls in love with Xiulan and wants to free her from her virtual slavery. Xiulan's fate becomes part of the motivation for the Lee-Wong match. Such a fight between the two men did actually take place, but it happened indoors, it was not filmed and there were relatively few witnesses. Consequently, reports of the fight – from how long it lasted to who won – have varied widely from the very beginning and remain a source of controversy to this day. The movie's portrayal of the fight is very entertaining and it does take sides in how it shows the fight playing out, but the actual fight sequence and its aftermath in the film's story can only be viewed from the perspective of significant creative license. However, one aspect of the fight's result does stand on its own merits. That being the significant impact the fight had on Lee's continuing rise to fame and on his style as a martial artist. No spoilers here, but you can read all about it online.

"Birth of the Dragon" is an entertaining piece of biopic fiction. But Movie Fans' reactions will depend on how they view the large amount of fictionalization in the story (including forcing that story into a recognizable Hollywood formula) – and what they think of how the climactic fight is portrayed. Based on Michael Dorgan's article, "Bruce Lee's Toughest Fight", screen writing partners (and Oscar nominees) Stephen J. Rivele and Christopher Wilkinson ("Nixon", "Ali", "Pawn Sacrifice") and director George Nolfi ("The Adjustment Bureau") give us an interesting version of actual events. Action movie and martial arts fans will likely be entertained, while dedicated Bruce Lee fans will probably be intrigued, if nothing else. (Although some will find the emphasis on Steve McKee's character unnecessarily distracting). Through the pleasing efforts of the filmmakers, the serviceable acting of the supporting cast and the fairly strong performances of Phillip Ng, Yu Xia and Billy Rasmussen, Movie Fans get an unspectacular, but enjoyable story which reveals at least some truths about the rise of one of the greatest and most influential martial artists of all time. "B+"
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Highly underrated historical fiction
raiden-512204 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
After reading the poor reviews and negative press I had low expectations for this film and was very surprised how enjoyable it was.

Birth of the Dragon is a fictional retelling of the real fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man. Most of the story focuses on the lead up to the big fight and the growing tension between Lee's "street" approach to Kung Fu and Wong's "spiritual" approach. Eventually this leads to Lee challenging Wong to a no holds barred fight that is as much a fight against the lead character's inner selves and martial arts philosophies, as it is against each other. Ultimately the fight between Lee and Wong leads Lee to fundamentally re-evaluate his fighting style and shows him grow and mature as a person, and an instructor, into the man the world usually associates with Bruce Lee.

The story uses the fictional character of Steve McKee as a link between Lee and Wong, a pseudo narrator, and a catalyst for the film's final act. McKee is often used as comic relief, utilizing a fish-out-of-water type of comedy as he struggles to understand Chinese martial arts culture. Contrary to one of the film's more negative criticisms, McKee is at best a secondary character to Lee and Wong, the every-man standing in the shadow of giants. This is amply demonstrated in the film's final act where McKee rushes in to save his love interest from the Triad and promptly gets his you know what kicked. Fortunately for McKee, Lee and Wong arrive to save the day in what is one of the most satisfying conclusions to a martial arts film in years.

Birth of the Dragon does have it's faults. The film had a limited budget and this is sometimes apparent in the set pieces and costumes.

This film has received a surprising amount of negative criticism and negative reviews most of which appear to have been made by people who didn't actually watch the film. Here are some problems with those criticisms.

1. There is no "whitewashing" in this film. Lee, Wong and many other characters are played by Asian actors. McKee is a fictional character. Can anyone actually point to a charter that was whitewashed?

2. The film is not anti-Asian. It portrays Lee and Wong as virtual supermen. Lee is initially portrayed as being "cocky" (something that has been said about the real Lee on multiple occasions), but he matures through the film. Some people appear to consider this racist. This criticism completely ignores Wong, who is portrayed as the best/wisest/most ethical person in the film by far.

3. The film focuses primary on Lee and Wong, McKee's story is important but serves as little more than a vehicle to advance the narrative of Lee and Wong (and to provide more fight scenes).

Please note that this film is a work of fiction and does not closely reflect history. Hong Kong martial arts movies have been doing this for years with both Bruce Lee, and his teacher, Ip Man (as well as NUMEROUS other historical figures) and this film's approach is similar to those.

All in all Birth of the Dragon was a surprisingly enjoyable film. Viewers should ignore the nit-picking criticism and watch the film for what it is, a fun piece of historical fiction in the vein of Hong Kong martial arts movies.
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Unfair reviews on a decent film about Bruce Lee
Deniz7226 February 2018
I was shocked to read some of the unfair reviews about this film and wonder if those individuals actually knew anything about Bruce Lee (the character), or even the struggles he faced in bringing Kung Fu to America, and the world for that matter. In my view, the characters in the film were well represented. People are quick to forget that Bruce Lee was rather cocky, super confident, and even more relative, open to change - hence why he learnt from the mistakes of his first encounter with Wong Jack Man and then felt compelled to re-evaluate his own style and incorporate other fighting techniques to form what we now know as "Jeet Kwon Do", or even "MMA" as people of today like to call it. The film, and the characters whom played both Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man, were spot on. The fighting scenes, build up and flow of the film was, in my view, superb and highly enjoyable. However, what I found even more rewarding was the portrayal of Bruce Lee's fears and the eventual change the character displayed after his fight with Shaolin Master Wong Jack Man, as opposed to the Jason Scott Lee's version back in the 1990s, which was rather limited. I liked the part after the fight when Bruce Lee had his hand in ice-water admitting how the Shaolin master could have broken his (Bruce Lee's) neck if he wanted to and how Bruce Lee felt that the fight took too long. Another particular aspect on the same scene was how it portrayed how Bruce Lee was Learning his opponent's style while engaging in this battle to eventually counter the Shaolin Master and reverse his advantage, eventually making him respect how adaptable and experience Bruce Lee was at the end of the first fight scene. I liked this film as it covered many unanswered questions, was extremely enjoyable to watch and was played very well by all characters. Those who were waiting for a "Fist of Fury" or "Enter the dragon" type of film should realise that this film was not intended to follow that type of story, but to answer some deep questions about Bruce Lee's real experience, pressures and concerns in getting to the point of when he eventually man "Enter the dragon". I thoroughly liked this film and would love to see a sequel!
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Not even close
ahwalters-839663 January 2019
Warning: Spoilers
I never write reviews. But this film is not even close to accurate. First of all, it's a Bruce Lee film that's not about Bruce Lee! He is portrayed as a minor character at best. This is a film about a fictional Steve Mack dude who it seems is based on Steve McQueen.

Second, Bruce is portrayed as aggressor, which he was not. Wong Jack Man challenged him because he was teaching Westerners. He did not want Chinese teaching Kung Fu to Americans.

Third, there is a pause in the fight? To declare a winner? No way! Bruce beat Wong in a matter of minutes! The fact that it took what he considered to be too long is what led Bruce to start the formulation of Jeet Kune Do. That fight made him start thinking about how fighting could be more efficient.

This film is garbage. It made me throw up a little bit in the back of my mouth to watch this travesty.

The things they got right: It portrays Bruce as an Asian. It takes place in the 60's. That's about it.

Did I say that this is garbage? Because it's garbage.

This is my first review. It is garbage. Complete and total garbage.
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Great movie! Fun and a great message!
playtherapyhelp29 August 2017
This movie was amazing! It was super fun and funny and the characters were great - really interesting and not one-dimensional. Great love story too! My kids loved it - one of them does tae kwon do, so it was especially fun for him. My husband and I loved it too. And the messages for kids are great - hard work, valuing relationships, taking care of your friends. The fights were AMAZING! Go see this movie!
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fantastic movie
bouhanamarc19 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I don't understand why so much peoples hate this film this is a great martial art movie they show us a period of the life of bruce lee he was pretentious ok but he change after this period we never saw his wife i don't know why the actor who play is adversary is extraordinary in every plans he say things very profond and realistic and the fight is really fascinating so why all this hate ???? i really don't understand this is a very good movie i can tell you
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This movie is great
rrhrh13 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I really enjoyed this movie I think it deserves a better rating I believe that because it was A WWE People assume that it's not going to be good and it was and it deserves a better rating
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Had great time and loved this movie
re-analyst4 September 2017
I have been watching martial arts / boxing movies since the 70s and to this day I am a huge fan. Took my son along who has been practicing martial arts for several years and we both had a great time. I went in not expecting anything too profound and figured this probably would not be on the Oscars list as most martial arts movies are not, ha. Given the ratings my expectations were low but I was very pleasantly surprised. I have no idea why people are this upset over the characterization of Bruce Lee. While he is portrayed as a young and fairly arrogant teacher early on in the movie, this changes over time and I did not see anything that would be disrespectful to him, aside from the liberties it takes with the details of his biography. That is a fault that a lot of movies have. I have also been around the world of martial arts long enough to know that very good people often come with a large sized ego, it usually comes with the territory. I thoroughly enjoyed the fight scenes, very good stunt work and I thought the dialogue and "come backs'/ wisdom from the Shaolin master were excellent -for a martial arts movie. Compared to the 70s where actors merely grunted here and there with lips not synchronized with the picture, we have come a LONG way. People may be expecting a bit too much. I don't think this was meant to be a Bruce Lee Biography and I do buy the message it seeks to convey as it very much applies to the current martial arts scene (humility vs. ego and self advancement). I did not find the fact that there is a white student as part of the plot to be "white washing", both Asian stars represented are actually Asian, unlike in the Dr. Strange movie, now that was truly offensive. Yes the plot line has been used and over-used but overall I went to see Action and Martial Arts scenes and I did get what I paid for!!! If we expect Shakespeare from martial arts movies and chose to "boycott" them if they are not perfect they eventually will not make them anymore. Hence I will continue to go see them ~ my sincere apologies if any Bruce Lee fans are offended, I took his characterization with a big grain of salt and lost nothing of my respect for the real-life man and his achievements from this movie. Those of us who are true fans know better. Also as a plus, the movie is family friendly in terms of language and lack of profanity / unnecessary adult content which is refreshing in and of itself. My son and I were tied in which of the two martial artists we preferred so it must not have been that slanted :] Peace everyone!
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A must-see movie, ...ignore the critics!
wslvtmalaysia27 August 2017
'Birth of the Dragon' is a well-balanced and extremely entertaining account of a much disputed famous fight between a young, brash Bruce Lee, and a rival Gung Fu exponent, Wong Jack Man, which took place in the early 1960s. Presented as a "fan fable" and not pretending for a moment to be a documentary or true-to-life biopic; instead, 'Birth of the Dragon' presents a fictionalized account of the events in a manner similar to how the 'Ip Man' films or the 'Wong Fei Hong' films present the lives of their titular heroes. 'Birth of the Dragon' is a loving tribute to both Lee & Wong, showing great respect to the memories of both men. It neither takes sides, nor favors one over the other. Instead, it allows the viewer to see the differences between their characters whilst simultaneously showing how both men are passionate about their chosen art. They might be adversaries on the surface, but deep down they have the same values & passions, and both are good men with good intentions. Philip Ng brilliantly portrays Bruce Lee, not trying to imitate him, so much as bring alive the subtle nuances of his character, speaking patterns & mannerisms. Xia Yu brings dignity and depth to his role as Wong Jack Man, counterbalancing the youthful brashness of the young, ambitious Lee. Initially, it is issues between these two men that draw them together in combat, but eventually, it is outside influences involving students and underworld forces in Chinatown that draws them together as allies, rather than enemies. The action sequences are many and varied, choreographed by Corey Yuen, a veteran of the industry, and with real life martial artist Philip Ng as Bruce Lee, he couldn't have asked for a better person to present his work. Audiences couldn't ask for a better or more qualified person to portray their hero, Bruce Lee, either; Ng is the real life student of the late Wong Shun Leung, the actual senior Wing Chun brother and mentor of Lee in Ip Man's Hong Kong school. 'Birth of the Dragon' may not be historically accurate, ...tell me a Hollywood biopic that is, ...but it's fun, entertaining, heartwarming, humorous and actually delivers some very important messages in its 96 minute running time. Enjoy it for what it is and you'll leave the cinema with a big smile on your face. Five stars!
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Great Movie with a Hong Kong perspective
rusedog329 November 2017
I found this movie to be amazing. There is a mystic about the legend of Bruce in North America that is much different from the one he has in his homeland and the feelings of the Kung Fu practitioners in China are well captured in this film.

To this day Kung Fu is secretive and not self promoting. When Bruce decided to break from this tradition of being humble, not promoting Kung Fu, etc. he made a lot of enemies (which may have lead to his demise).

Many people were triggered by the idea that moving to Cali from Hong Kong and attempting to get into the movie biz was seen as treason by many in South China and was distinctly self promoting. They Idolize him, rather than seeing him as a person that was obviously once young and possibly silly like we all are and had to grow up.

If you want a story that portrays Bruce as a real person and not the caricature he played in his movies, which many in the west now Idolize, then this film is the one for you.

This is A STORY of how Bruce Lee became the Bruce Lee we all think we know and love, and it's fantastic.


I have practiced Kung Fu in Hong Kong and can't wait to show this movie to my extended family/Kung Fu practitioners that are about what Bruce's age would be if he were alive today and have more of a mixed/broad/different range of emotions when you mention Bruce Lee's name.

On an additional note about all the calls of racism. I have no idea what these people are talking about. The white guy is just a Kung Fu novice (Bruce's student) and gets beat up several times. He is used as the glue for the story binding Lee and Jack Man, but that's it, he doesn't save the day or anything. There is no white washing... and there is nothing Anti-China... the scenes in China are amazing and this level of reverence for Kung Fu is rare when compared to the other Kung Fu movies I have seen.

Bruce's Grandma was white, but hey whose counting, people just like to get upset when they can about skin color, etc.

This movie is an 8 IMO, but I am giving it a 10 to counter all the triggered folks that went over board on the 1s.

Article the movie is inspired by:
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The Fight of the Century!
GOWBTW1 September 2017
Bruce Lee(Philip Ng), is a legendary martial arts master. Quick, swift, efficient, and downright amazing in his art. However, a Buddhist monk named Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu), who traveled to San Francisco to challenge Lee. Wong came to San Francisco because Lee was teaching Kung Fu to non-Chinese. Bruce Lee was teaching this technique to them because he wants the everyone to know what the martial arts are like. Since martial arts are passed down from generation to generation, teaching outsiders was considered a violation. Bruce Lee made that change. So when Lee and Wong battle it out, it was an all-out brawl. But Wong wanted to keep it, simple. Though no absolute winner was declared, Lee's student Steve McKee(Bill Magnussen) made it personal for himself. I enjoyed the movie for myself. Rather silly than serious. The fighting in the scenes wasn't that bad. Though one character was made up, it was nice he was ever to help out someone that he cared for. "Dragon, The Bruce Lee Story", is a starter for those who want to hear the story of his life. This one is like a starter for his way of transformation of Kung Fu. Good for a rainy day. 2 out of 5 stars.
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Good Fight Scenes
stevendbeard25 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "Birth of the Dragon", starring-mostly Chinese actors, with one Caucasian thrown into the mix-Philip Ng-The Man From Macau, New Police Story; Yu Xia-Bull Brothers, Dragon Squad and Billy Magnussen-Bridge of Spies, Into the Woods.

I must admit, I am a big Bruce Lee fan. This is based loosely on an article written by Michael Dorgan called 'Bruce Lee's Toughest Fight'. When Bruce Lee first came to San Francisco in the early 1960's-and before he became famous-there was a fight between him and a Shaolin Kung Fu monk that supposedly changed people's lives, both his and the monk's. Bruce had opened a martial arts school and taught anyone that wanted to learn. Most of the Chinese martial artist did not like Bruce teaching non-Asians and let him know it-usually by getting into fights. Wong Jack Man was a Shaolin master that came to San Francisco for reasons of his own, but ended up getting into the legendary fight with the up and coming Bruce Lee in an abandoned warehouse that only about a dozen people witnessed. Philip plays Bruce and Yu plays Wong. Billy plays one of Bruce's students-the lone Caucasian in the film- that is based loosely on one of Bruce's real life students, Steve McQueen. Here, he is called Steve McKee and in my opinion, he could have been left out of the movie-he had a side story that was not that interesting. The actual fight is pretty good with both men getting some lumps as well as giving some-it wasn't lopsided in either man's favor. After this fight, Bruce developed his own fighting style, Jeet Kune Do, which in itself is the forefather of mixed martial arts. It's rated "PG-13" for martial arts violence and language and has a running time of 1 hour & 43 minutes. I enjoyed the fight scenes and I would buy this one on DVD.
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Without dissecting actual events vs. Hollywood version, this film was still enjoyable
TheTopDawgCritic7 May 2018
Sure there are added characters and the story is not accurate, but the premise is - the Bruce Lee & Wong Jack Man conflict. And even though the origin of this film has been adapted for a "Hollywood story", I still had difficulty getting past the poor acting. The fight choreography was decent though. A 7/10 from me
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How Bruce Lee was schooled by a genuine kungfu master
trueloverwestley8 February 2018
A refreshingly plausible story that exposes Bruce Lee's notoriously obnoxious personality and how a humbling defeat at the hands of a humble master forced him to reassess himself.

The script is cheesy in parts but the core story rings true.

Bruce Lee was a bully. The script gets that right.
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Haters got it so wrong!
lagriffe9 November 2017
i had to put a ten to balance up with underaters, as a great fan of Bruce Lee i watched the movie with a lot of expectation and whaooow i got blown away! i m glad they even come up with the story, bruce lee as a prick on his road to awesomeness, the shaolin yoda and the green hornet! that fight between Lee and Wong Jack Man is epic and i mean EPIC. movie is a tribute to me! i m gonna watch it over and over and over just like i did with the old ones. the more i look at him the more i m " isn't he supposed to be dead?" Peace!
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