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Birth of the Dragon

  • Drama
  • 2016
  • George Nolfi
  • 91 mins
  • 12A

Summary

An aspiring martial artist trains under a young Bruce Lee in 1960s San Francisco, and is drawn into a showdown between his mentor and renowned Shaolin master Wong Jack Man. Martial arts biopic, starring Philip Ng, Billy Magnussen and Yu Xia.

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Review

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Bruce Lee's most famous off-screen fight provides the inspiration for this glossy but crowd-pleasing martial arts drama from The Adjustment Bureau director George Nolfi. In San Francisco during 1964, Lee and Shaolin master Wong Jack Man faced off against each other behind closed doors to a handful of spectators. For Bruce, it was an opportunity to prove he was the best; for Wong, a chance to put his opponent in his place for sharing Chinese traditions with westerners. Much conjecture surrounds what happened that day, but this telling leans heavily on Wong's account, with the former grand master acting as a consultant on the film. The big showdown is framed around a fictional, interracial romance set in Chinatown's gangland, which serves as mere padding before the main event. As likeable as Xia Yu is as the humble Wong, Philip Ng succeeds in capturing Lee's cocky bravado as well as the mannerisms and moves he would hone into his explosive movie persona. The story may descend into feel-good fantasy by the finish, but Corey Yuen's exciting fight choreography gives this unashamedly mainstream entertainment some convincing action chops.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Bruce LeePhilip Ng
Wong Jack ManXia Yu
Auntie BlossomJin Xing
Xiulan QuanQu Jingjing
Steve McKeeBilly Magnussen
Tony YuRon Yuan
Frankie ChenTerry Chen
Sonny LoVaness Wu
Vinnie WeiSimon Yin
Janet WeiLillian Lim
Winston PengYee Jee Tso

Crew

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DirectorGeorge Nolfi

Details

Theatrical distributor
Altitude
Released on
2018-02-23
Language
English
Guidance
Some violence and swearing
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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