Bruce Lee is one of the most famous actors in history and is a great subject for a film unfortunately the creators of Birth of the Dragon seemed to think otherwise. Instead of focusing on Bruce Lee the story of Birth of the Dragon focuses on one of Bruce Lee’s students who falls in love with a girl and develops a connection with Wong Jack Man, a martial arts teacher who Bruce Lee faces in battle in the film. Having an “every man” lead isn’t a bad thing however when the center piece of the film (the battle between Wong Jack Man and Bruce Lee) doesn’t include the main character of the film in any meaningful way there is a problem.
That being said, Bruce Lee in Birth of the Dragon is a rather unlikable character. He is very focused on fame and has a lot of pride. The fact that he is such an unlikable character in the film makes me wonder if that was why he wasn’t made the main character of the film…Especially since it doesn’t feel like he grew a lot between the the beginning and end of the film.
The character that was handled the best in the film was Wong Jack Man. I would have loved if he had been the focus of the film Especially since he isn’t a famous figure in the West but instead we had an “every man” character who I can’t remember the name of.
You are likely wonder how the actual fighting was in the film. The fighting was well done and enjoyable to watch. There were two main action set pieces and I enjoyed both of them. However if your main draw to the film you can just wait for the scenes to be posted to Youtube.
Though I am speaking quite negatively about the film I am not saying that it is terrible. The film just made a lot of poor decisions that the good parts of it couldn’t make up for. This is the kind of film you can have in the background while you are doing homework or could watch on an airplane and not feel like you wasted your time. That being said, I cannot recommend you actually spend money on the film unless the film is of a heavy interest to you.