Way of the Dragon Retold, Part 2

So we left Bruce Lee at the 25 minute mark with not so much as a punch thrown. Where does he go from there, and when does he fight Chuck Norris as advertised?! Well, first he has to go to the bathroom. Again. He even gets caught by a curious member of the staff.Don't ask, don't tell. And that's when the bad guys walk in, fresh out of their Bee Gees/Village People band practice.
The leader of the group is one of those gay stereotypes from the 70s who takes a shine to Bruce as soon as he sees him walk out of the turlet.
The baddies have threatened to come in and trash the place if Uncle doesn't sell, and that's exactly what they do. At 33 minutes, Bruce finally throws a kick. It's a short fight, but we're so starved by now...
Uncle's not happy, expecting retaliation. The next day, Bruce gets up early to craft some darts, and when he gets to the restaurant, the staff want that demonstration he promised. One guy gets kicked, everyone vows to give up that sissy karate, they start getting undressed, and then that spoilsport cook comes in and ruins their fun again. At the end of the day, Bruce walks back home with Nora and there's a guy with a gun waiting in his apartment. He throws the first of many darts in order to disarm him.
The next morning (this breakneck pace is killing me!), Bruce is doing exercises when he is distracted by a velvet painting.
The Nora comes in with breakfast and he eats for a while. Meanwhile, the gay goon and the big bad Westerner go and harass the restaurant to give them Bruce. But he's on Roman Holiday again, visiting many of the same spots Audrey Hepburn did. Aww, romantic! Except when Bruce talks about demolishing all those old ruins and building on them. They eventually get back to the restaurant and we finally get a prolonged action scene (we're close to the 50 minute mark), a pretty cool nun-chuck fight that does make you wonder why people untrained with the weapon would pick it up and use it anyway.
Nora is later shocked to learn Uncle wants to sell the restaurant. He's afraid for Bruce's life, ALL their lives. Nora tries to warn Bruce off before he's killed, and wouldn't you know it, the world's worst sniper tries to shoot him down. The bad guys miss, but they do kidnap Nora (I guess they need her signature to seal the deal). The whole restaurant staff, led by Bruce, attack the baddie's office and Bruce cracks his knuckles intimidatingly at him.
Gay goon makes a few calls and gets some martial arts experts into Rome to help fight the Bruce Lee threat. Back at the restaurant, it's the Chinese New Year and the gay goon even comes to to make amends, not that his over-the-top hypocrisy makes him in any way sincere. At 1h11, Chuck Norris finally gets off a plane!
Thing is, he isn't one of the two experts the gay goon called up. No, those guys are in the office right this minute fighting it out to see who will go up against Bruce. Because they can't send both. No, that would be ridiculous.
Wouldn't you know it, these guys only exist to give Chuck a work-out before he moves on to the main event. They both show up minutes later to fight the restaurant staff in the great outdoors. Bruce takes his time joining in, but he defeats both opponents with the help of his friends. After he runs off to get the bosses, Uncle surprises everyone by stabbing some of the staff!
Do you hear that? It's the sound of the plot not making any damn sense. There must be easier ways to sell a restaurant. For Bruce, it's a matter of getting to the Roman Coliseum for little reason and having his big fight with Chuck Norris. Are you excited?! The Coliseum turns into a set, and the two great martial artists prepare to fight. And prepare. And prepare. And prepare. No soup eating, but it's almost as excruciating. Shots of Chuck's back hair:
And I don't know WHAT's going on with Bruce's back.
The full fight between Bruce, Chuck and the cat has been posted here before, so I won't bore you with its details. By the time they start fighting, we're almost at 1h27 into the film. 6 and half minutes later, it's all over. But wait! What about Uncle? Bruce follows the gay goon from the Coliseum back to the creek, and just as Bruce is going to be stabbed in the back, the main bad guy shows up and shoots all his henchmen (by mistake?). And then the cops show up, and it's all over in the kind of anti-climax we really should have expected.
I'll leave you on that, my friends, because I don't have anything else to leave you...


Anonymous said...

It looks like Brian Bendis wrote the script! The same sloooow paaaaceeee....


Anonymous said...

bruce lee squatting on the toilet is actually a joke for chinese people. Many Chinese people had never used western style toilets, being more used to 'squat' toilets. So upon being confronted with a western style toilet, they would do what BL did (squat on top of the toilet). So the joke comes from the recognition of this familiar experience.

just to kill the joke for you.


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