Thursday, July 31, 2014

Game of Death (1978)

Director: Robert Clouse

Writer: Robert Clouse

Composer: John Barry

Starring: Bruce Lee, Colleen Camp, Dean Jagger, Gig Young, Tai Chung Kim, Biao Yuen, Robert Wall, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mel Novak, Hugh O'Brian, Roy Chiao, Sammo Hung, Stephen Chang

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Bruce Lee challenges the underworld to a Game of Death.

Plot: A martial arts movie star must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

The back story on this is pretty famous.  Clouse, who directed Bruce Lee in ENTER THE DRAGON (1973), was hired to write and direct a movie that incorporated the footage shot by Lee just before he died.  Clouse was given the unenviable task of trying to make it work.  Did he?  Probably as best as you could do under the incredible circumstances.  It's a reasonably entertaining movie that's part ludicrous (knowing that Lee is being played by one of two actors and almost always in disguise), which prods you for unintentional laughs, and fun.  The goods are delivered like a great money shot at the end of the picture with about fifteen minutes of fights which include one with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that you've got to see.  In the context of the movie it's the part that you've been waiting for since the flick started.  This picture really isn't that great but it's got some fum moments and it looks great plus you get a nice John Barry soundtrack which I'm always down for.  If you'd like to skip the bullshit, you can see that same sequence, unedited, in its entirety in the excellent documentary, BRUCE LEE: A WARRIOR'S JOURNEY (2000).

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