|Bruce Lee's fashion sensibilities are offended by last season's yellow gi.|
The Wikipedia article on Enter the Dragon doesn't even have a section on "plot", which is a good indicator of the kind of film you're getting into. It's kung-fu as porn: things do happen, but they only happen so that we can see as much kung fu as possible, as quickly as possible. Motivations for the characters are halfheartedly supplied, then quickly forgotten about. We never find out what happens to the kidnapped girls Han is trying to sell as sex slaves, despite the fact that it is largely on their behalf that Lee undertook his investigation to begin with. Similarly, backstory about Lee's sister, who committed suicide to avoid being raped by Han's henchman, is squicky not only because it turns the film into a revenge-fantasy-by-proxy but also because it feels emotionally manipulative. "How can we make the audience care? I don't know, let's throw in a sexual assault." Color me bored.
Enter the Dragon gets a 2/5. Required watching if you're into action flicks, but not what I'd call a masterpiece. Nostalgia is a potent drug, but if you lived in 1973 and this movie came out tomorrow, would you love it? Really? I suspect that a large part of Enter the Dragon's lasting fame has to do with Bruce Lee's hypnotic star power combined with the overlap of its release with his mysterious death. As in the equally over-hyped Rebel Without A Cause and The Dark Knight, a killer performer's real-life demise creates powerful, and lasting, box office. Am I a cynic?
|Williams knows kung fu like the back of his hand.|
HAN: It is defeat that you must learn to prepare for.
WILLIAMS: I don't waste my time with it. When it comes, I won't even notice.
HAN: Oh? How so?
WILLIAMS: I'll be too busy looking good.
I hope when my time's up, I say something so profound.