A bi-opic it isn’t, but Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story never-the-less makes what CBS-TV called “an immeasurably entertaining movie”–ablaze with comedy, romance, and spectacular martial arts sequences.
From a childhood of rigorous martial arts training, Bruce Lee realises his dream of opening his own kung-fu school in America. Before long, he is discovered by a Hollywood producer (Robert Wagner) and begins a meteoric rise to fame and an all too short reign as one of the most charismatic action heroes in motion picture history.
The main source for the screenplay was the 1975 biography Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew, written by Lee’s wife, Linda Lee Cadwell. Director Rob Cohen also spent hours talking to Linda and Lee’s son Brandon Lee.
The result is an unforgettable, if highly fictionalised, glimpse into the life, love and unconquerable spirit of the legendary Bruce Lee.
Jason Scott Lee (no relation) stars and, while no will ever be quite as iconic as Bruce Lee , he makes a memorable leading man.
Cohen’s script decisions are interesting too, taking elements of Lee’s life, to weave a story whose dream-like sequences add that depth and drama. The idea of the Bruce Lee ‘curse’–based on the fact that Lee’s parents dressed him as a girl in infancy, to confuse the demons who try to steal the souls of first-born sons–is one that works particularly well.
In fact, when Lee’s 28-year-old son, Brandon, died of an accidental gunshot wound on the set of The Crow, a couple of months prior to the release of Dragon, conspiracy theorists were convinced it was the “curse” of Bruce Lee striking again.
Featurette on the Making of the Film.