Enter the Dragon

"Very few people can be totally ruthless. It isn't easy...it takes more strength than you might believe."   - Han

release year: 1973
genre: martial arts
viewing setting: home Bluray 6/14/20 and 11/14/17 and 7/26/15 and home DVD, 1/31/06 (and many other times over the years)

synopsis: The mysterious and reclusive Han hosts a big martial arts tournament on his remote island...but something's fishy, and it's up to an expert fighter to go in and take care of business.

impressions: This movie has it all: action, stunts, humor, revenge, an evil villain with evil henchmen, espionage, weapon use, and more. After a somewhat-slow (but vital to the plot backgrond) beginning, the movie really takes off, moving fast and well. Bruce Lee not only does his best fighting work here, but he does perhaps the most of any of his five movies. There were elements borrowed from James Bond movies, like the "agent" idea and the mass battle at the end, but it all works.

things to watch for: Bruce Lee's second foray into the secret underground complex - it's basically one big moving fight scene, and he kicks 50 peoples' asses in this sequence alone (I counted.) Of particular entertainment value is the nunchaku scene beginning at 1:23:30 (it's become a classic.)

something this movie has that no other movie has: Women who can throw darts to spear thrown fruit in midair.

acting: Bruce Lee has more physical presence than he does lines, but his fists and feet do all the acting needed to immortalize him in this movie. John Saxon and Jim Kelly lend some American star presence to the action. Kien Shih is the evil Han, and does a good job despite having all his lines dubbed. Bob Wall and Bolo Yeung play menacing bad-guy henchmen.

final word: One of the greatest martial arts movies ever made.

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