TELESCOPE beta Find international film

Advanced Options

Birth of the Dragon

Set against the backdrop of San Francisco’s Chinatown, this cross-cultural biopic chronicles Bruce Lee’s emergence as a martial-arts superstar after his legendary secret showdown with fellow martial artist Wong Jack Man.
X

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Be the first to comment about this film.

WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

38

The Globe and Mail (Toronto) by

Xia's humble sifu lends more gravitas than this dreck deserves, and a rousing, improbable finale in which Lee and Man take on the mob together offers some great fight choreography, but it's all too little, too late.
50

San Francisco Chronicle by G. Allen Johnson

The problem with Birth of the Dragon, George Nolfi’s largely fictionalized account of a 1964 fight between an Oakland martial arts instructor named Bruce Lee and San Francisco instructor Wong Jack Man is that Lee...is the third-most important character in the film.
50

The New York Times by Glenn Kenny

Birth of the Dragon is ambitious: it wants to be a character study, an explication of martial arts philosophy and an action picture.... But the film never really gets fully juiced until the climax.
33

The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

The aura of cheap-o emptiness is overwhelming: Scenes tend to be visually featureless, composed against strangely empty walls or Vancouver street corners. Even the occasionally decent fight choreography looks unappealing.
40

Los Angeles Times by Noel Murray

It’s unusual to see a film like this make its nominal hero into a jerk, who learns something essential from his nemesis. True or not, the complex characterization does make for a better story.
60

TheWrap by Robert Abele

As alternatingly silly and serious as its mix of wisdom and wallops, and even with that blond bro gumming up the works, “Birth” is nevertheless zippy, B-movie entertainment.
38

Movie Nation by Roger Moore

The whole enterprise plays like a throwback, summoning up memories of Lee’s cut-rate/no-script “chop sockey” pictures where the charisma was obvious, the fights epic, the stories an afterthought and the effects wincingly obvious.

USERS WHO LIKED THIS FILM ALSO LIKED