Saturday, January 17, 2015

563. Enter the Dragon (1973)

Running Time: 98 minutes
Directed By: Robert Clouse
Written By: Michael Allin
Main Cast: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Ahna Capri, Shih Kien
Click here to view the trailer


What a chore it was to get to watch this one. First, it didn't arrive from Netflix on the day it was supposed to be here, so I when me and my wife made plans to watch it on Thursday night, we had to revert to ordering it OnDemand (for $3.99). Then, with twenty minutes to go, the OnDemand freezes up and I end up having to call my cable company, who told me that I'd have to reset my cable box and then wait thirty minutes before I could access the movie again. Geez! What a disaster. Anyway, finally got it finished. Read on...

Bruce Lee is our main character (just named Lee), who is contacted by British Intelligence to infiltrate the private island of the film's villain - Han (Kien). Every three years Han holds a karate tournament on his island, which is the perfect cover to get Lee in - since he is a master, Shaolin martial artist. Joining Lee is Roper (Saxon) and Williams (Kelly), two American kung fu experts, ready to compete in the tournament. Once there, the tournament commences, with Han treating his "guests" like prisoners, not allowing them to exit their rooms after hours and keeping a close eye on everyone. Han's lackeys stir up trouble, eventually killing some of the good guys and it all leads to a big showdown at the end of the film with Bruce Lee dishing out some punishment.

Tell me why there's a seven paragraph plot synopsis on Wikipedia for this movie? Someone with WAY too much time on their hands, perhaps? It's not really a complicated picture and it really all boils down to the meat & potatoes plot that I just laid out for you. This one reminded me of Shaft in that it was really only included in THE BOOK due to the popularity that it garnered throughout the years. Richard Roundtree made Shaft a household name and Enter the Dragon did the same for Bruce Lee. Tragically, Lee died the very same year this film was released due to a brain aneurysm, or else we probably could've looked forward to YEARS of Bruce Lee movies. Despite being a martial arts hater, I kind of dug this. I enjoyed finally seeing Bruce Lee, a guy I've of course heard of MANY TIMES, but before watching this, couldn't have picked him out of a lineup. The plot was kept nice and simple and I liked it that way. The big action sequence at the end was a lot of fun too, with Lee releasing dozens of prisoners dressed in black to help him and Roper take it to the white clad army of Han. I can admit easily that this film was poorly made, cheap featuring bad acting, bad dialogue and lots of cheesiness, but I didn't have a hard time getting into it at all and watching it with my wife, so that we could both make fun of the offensive stuff made it even more fun.

RATING: 6/10  Short, sweet and to the point - just how I likes 'em. Five to go before the season wraps and it'd be nice to come up with at least one more TOP 20 contender.


January 17, 2014  5:12pm


  1. This movie really helped to make martial arts films more popular. Lee is legendary, but also of note is Jim Kelly, who sadly passed away a few years ago. He also made a pretty big impact that is often overlooked. Anyway, you hit it perfectly this one is on the list for it's impact to the genre and to recognize Lee. Sure it's not a great film in a lot of ways and I could break it down and state all of the problems but I love every minute of it. Good review.

    1. I had a blast with it and that's all that matters! Thanks Larry!

  2. Well, I think I've said most things i'd want to say already..
    A great example of it's type.. an absolute essential to be in the book, and although it passed by at a reasonable pace.. sorry, people hitting each other - however skilfully and with great art to the movement.. just fails to hit my buttons.
    But I'd still agree well worth a good 6.

    1. I think we're in agreement on the martial arts stuff. A good '6' is about as good as it gets for these, IMO


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