Saturday, February 7, 2015

292 of 1001 Movies: Enter the Dragon (1973)

I've heard about Enter the Dragon my whole life. I decided to finally watch it and also found out my husband is a fan. I can see why. Bruce Lee choreographed the fight scenes very well, and they did shape an intriguing story around the scenes that not only show off the skill, but give you something to follow. Truly this movie is for the 70s action fan or a martial arts enthusiast.

Summary: Lee is a Shaolin martial artist from Hong Kong. He also has philosophical insight that helps his skill. He is recruited to visit an island as a spy to investigate Mr. Han. Mr. Han was a former Shaolin student until he was expelled. Now it is alleged he running a drug and prostitution ring. The arrival of Lee is very warm from Mr. Han, but as suspicions begin to rise on the island so does the comfort of blending in. The other people who are coming to the island to fight are Roper and Williams, both con men. Even their comfort is threatened among the growing concerns a spy has come on the island. Without the jurisdiction of the government thy could be in a lot of trouble.

The movie does have great fighting scenes, and if nothing else you'll be intrigued by what the human body is capable of. I think in some ways this might take forefront over the story, which isn't really a bad thing.

Bruce Lee also seemed to want more in the original, and it has since been rereleased, as stated by his then wife at the beginning of the movie. The version I watched was the version he was hoping would be released. I like how Lee wanted to use this as a tool to introduce people to his culture and the philosophy of it. As said, the story itself might take away from some of that.

Now I did enjoy this movie. There are some actors who struggle though, even though they are small, and there are a bunch of sound effects. What does work is the soundtrack.

There were several sound options you could choose from when beginning the movie. You could choose just the English format, one without speaking and just the soundtrack, or one with commentary. The soundtrack is very catchy, and it adds a lot to the scenes. Plus it immerses you in the 70s culture, and an interesting blend of Chinese instrumentals.

Robert Clouse does a good job at directing, but I think the well captured fighting shots may have been more so Bruce Lee's part. There are some moments it seems the scenes end awkwardly, and there are some moments that flow long, but overall it's an entertaining movie, and the lead actors get us to care about them.

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