A famous quote from Bruce Lee: “Adapt what is useful; reject what is unnecessary; and add something unique to your own style.”
In fact, Lee was much more than just a source of memorable quotes. Due to questionable portrayals of the martial arts champion in movies such as One More Time, Lee was one of the greatest actors and directors of all time. When it comes to combat films and fighting movies in general, Lee’s influence extends far beyond the work of Quentin Tarantino.
It’s a shame that Lee is better renowned today for his influence than for the films he made, which are some of the greatest ever made. Now, we’re going to dissect some of his best work.
5. The Way of the Dragon, aka Return of the Dragon (1972)
This is a far cry from Lee’s more serious works, which have a more somber and contemplative tone. In spite of the film’s cheesy nature, Lee’s comedic timing is flawless throughout. As a camp classic, the film’s unrepentant silliness and near incoherence are enjoyable to watch, and Chuck Norris’s absurd presence and bad acting make it even more enjoyable. A gangland attack on the restaurant owned by Lee’s Italian ancestors appears to be the main story, although it doesn’t really relevant.
4. Fist of Fury, aka The Chinese Connection (1972)
It’s no secret that Bruce Lee excelled at staging fight situations in which he was vastly outnumbered, and Fist of Fury exemplifies this particular ability to an impressive degree. Charmingly, the “I must avenge my master!” cliche is perfectly embodied in this story. With Lee embodying the honor of the Chinese people in their fight against the Japanese imperialists, there’s also a fair amount of jingoism. As a Monthly Film Bulletin reviewer put it, “inept,” but if you can’t see the appeal in that, you might be missing the purpose.
3. The Big Boss, aka Fists of Fury (1971)
As a careful examination of its politics reveals subtle Marxist motifs about worker revolutions, it rises above Lee’s more flashy flicks intellectually. A skilled martial artist (played by Lee) moves in with his family and works in an ice plant in The Big Boss, a martial arts film directed by Bruce Lee. On his quest for justice, Lee takes on an entire criminal organization while the proletariat takes to the streets in a fight for their own liberties and freedoms. Despite the lack of choreography, the film has a distinct look and feel because of its location in Thailand.
Wei Lo is the director, and Bruce Lee, Maria Yi, and James Tien are in the cast. For a total of 100 minutes, IMDb’s rating is 7.1.
2. Game of Death (1978)
Let’s start with the obvious: Poor taste was evident in the filming of Game of Death. Final edit of the film, which was made before Bruce Lee’s death, used footage of his funeral to replace him. Lee’s past films were then utilized to patch together the film, which resulted in a jumbled plot with a plastic surgery subplot to explain why Lee doesn’t always look like himself. For all its indignities, Game of Death is an astonishingly captivating and, most crucially, showcases Lee’s yellow-and-black striped uniform.
This game-like structure has Lee’s character against an ever-increasing number of enemies, one of which happens to be basketball legend Karem Abdul-Jabbar? It’s safe to say that Lee’s Game of Death is cursed, but it’s also one of his most enjoyable films, and its iconography has become synonymous with Lee’s oeuvre.
Robert Clouse is the director. Bruce Lee, Gig Young, and Dean Jagger make up the core cast. For a total of 100 minutes, This movie received an IMDb rating of 6.1
1. Enter The Dragon (1973)
Enter the Dragon is widely regarded as one of the greatest martial arts films of all time and one of the best movies of 1973. In addition, it is the final picture in which he appeared before his death in the same year. It’s no surprise that the Library of Congress considered it “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” in 2004 and included it in the National Film Registry.
Lee hooks up with James Minton Kelly and John Saxon to take on a criminal empire influenced by the James Bond franchise and the blaxploitation movement. Although academics have since viewed the film as a metaphor of post-colonial Asia, you can just sit back and enjoy the beautifully choreographed combat scenes and the sleazy 1970s appeal instead.