What list of great movies would be complete without including what is one of the most influential martial arts movies starring one of the biggest poster boys for the martial arts in recent history. “Enter the Dragon” was a stunning box office success having been made on a budget of around $500,000 and making an estimated $90,000,000 worldwide. The movie continues to garner high praise from people on ratings sites like Rotten Tomatoes. The film has endured for nearly forty years and shows no signs of being relegated to the trash heap. So is this film deserving of the accolades in my humble opinion? Source
Should this film be considered a classic? This movie is an incredible showcase of the raw talent and martial arts skills of Bruce Lee. This is his movie and a lesser man could not have pulled off this film. Watching this movie reminded me of just how differently fights were filmed in decades past when compared to today. There are some camera angles that looked odd, but the most striking thing was how the film relied on the skills of Lee and the various other fighters and stuntmen to sell the fights and not quick cuts and the headache inducing shaky cam. This is not a film that is beloved because of its story, acting, or direction. It is a film that is beloved because it is one of the best showcases of the sheer physicality required to perform martial arts at a level like Bruce Lee. Taken with that in mind, this film does indeed deserve to be listed as a classic. Bruce Lee and his work in this film and certainly helped pave the way for stars like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Chow Yun Fat to storm on to the national and international scene and inspire millions of people with their incredible physical skills.
Would I own this film? I don’t think so. While I completely recognize and appreciate the important role this film has played and continues to play in cinema history, it’s not really my cup of tea. It is easy to see why this film is oft parodied when you watch it. I appreciate the skill and intensity that Bruce Lee brought to this movie, but I have a hard time getting passed the high pitched screams and sometimes comical reactions of the various actors (Lee included). I know that might be sacrilege to some, but do remember that I think this film is worthy of its accolades. It’s just that this type of martial arts movie is not really my thing. That said, if you haven’t seen this movie and you enjoy martial arts movies of any type, you need to watch this film.
By the way, any film that uses the word “inscrutable” in the trailer is bound to be a winner!