Archive for the Robert Wall Category

Review: I Am Bruce Lee (2012)

Posted in Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee, Cung Le, Dan Inosanto, Diana Lee Inosanto, Gina Carano, Robert Wall with tags , on February 12, 2012 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, Shannon Lee, Linda Lee Cadwell, Dan Inosanto, Diana Lee Inosanto, Cung Le, Gina Carano, Manny Pacquiao, Robert Wall, Gene LeBell, Ed O’Neill, Mickey Rourke, Taboo, Kobe Bryant, Reginald Hudlin, Teri Tom, Jon Jones, Ray “Boom Boom Mancini”, Daniele Bolelli, Dana White, David Tadman, Dr. Paul Bowman. Richard Bustillo, Paul Rodriguez, Stephan Bonnar

Directed by Pete McCormack

“Water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”

-Bruce Lee

I Am Bruce Lee is a documentary that follows the life–and death–of Bruce Lee, cinema’s greatest martial arts star, and one of the greatest martial artists who ever lived. There have been other documentaries done over the years about Bruce, so how does this one stack up?

I’ll say it’s probably the best one yet, with one slight problem I’ll touch on shortly. The film really starts with slam bang intro that mixes scenes from Bruce’s films along with sound bytes from some of the stars being interviewed, and it will really get one salivating to see Bruce Lee’s films brought back to the big screen (you listening, whomever holds those rights? If Blade Runner and Star Wars can get rereleased in theaters, why not Bruce?). Then we go into Bruce’s life, and the film does a great job of going step by step through Bruce’s tumultuous time in China to his difficulties in America to when he met Linda and things started falling into place, but not without hard work and sacrifice.

The film then traces the TV shows he was a part of, some of which I had never heard of and wall thrilled to see scenes of, to his departure to China and his surprise at how popular the Green Hornet (or the Kato Show, as it was called there.) was, to his involvement–and problems–with Lo Wei (Jackie Chan would have his own set of problems with Lo Wei years later), to the success of The Big Boss, his other films in China, his matchup with Chuck Norris (I wonder why he wasn’t interviewed for this?) and his eventual death, which becomes the most affecting moments in the film as we see, maybe for the first time, what it meant to not just the fans, but to the people who were closest to Bruce.

Pete McCormack does a great job conducting the interviews and getting the maximum affect interspersing them among footage of Bruce Lee’s screen test, and his only real interview on the Pierre Berton Show, along with video footage in Bruce’s backyard to just pictures from his life before stardom hit. The scenes from all of Bruce’s films are done just right, and are fantastic to see and make perfect sense regarding the discussion or comment at that moment. The interviewees are people who are really Bruce Lee fans, and most are martial artists themselves, and they do a great job.

The only part of the film that rubbed me the wrong way came at about the midpoint of the film. A semi-debate started about whether Bruce was the Father of MMA or not. One side, notably those close to Bruce, are iffy and don’t seem to be comfortable even talking about it, but aren’t really convinced that he is. Dana White and the UFC group profess that he is, Gene LeBell definitely believes in fact that HE is the father of MMA rather than Bruce, and a lot of UFC fight footage is shown. This is a jarring moment that really pulled me out of the film, wondering why this was there. I then remembered that Spike TV helped produce this, and they promote many UFC events, so that explains that, but that is a discussion/debate that needed to be elsewhere, not in a documentary about Bruce Lee, regardless of how popular the MMA style is to today’s fight fans. Maybe MMA fans like it, but I found myself checking my watch at that point. When the film returns to Bruce’s life, it felt like coming back from a commercial break.

For those who are well-versed in Bruce Lee’s life there isn’t anything here that may be new to them, but to those who don’t know as much will find it a rich and exhilarating film. There were things I didn’t know, like the fact that Bruce and James Coburn had tried to location scout for The Silent Flute, eventually to be made by David Carradine, but the film was dropped because no locations could be found, and it was great to see the photos of Coburn and Bruce scouting the locales. I also didn’t know that Bruce had become a big child star in Hong Kong before he was forced to leave to America because of his problems after beating up the son of a police chief. I was aware he had made films as a child, but I didn’t know that he was a very famous child star, so there was an extra treat when the Kato Show came out and people could see the grown up Bruce Lee. I was also unaware of just how much the Manson murder spree affected him.

My personal, most affected moment of the film was after Bruce Lee’s death, and when Dan Inosanto and Richard Bustillo starting talking about it, you could really feel the shock and pain as they recount when they had heard about it and their feelings that day and both men looked as if they went right back to that moment and the hard days afterward. You may as well have tossed them both into a time machine and dated it July 20th, 1973. That is the moment that was driven home to me that while we think of Bruce Lee the martial arts savant, his family and friends were utterly crushed as they lost a husband, father, friend, and master.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

Final Grade: (9) Overall, I am Bruce Lee delivers on its title. It is hard-hitting, philosophical, excellent even in its imperfections, emotional in its punches and always dancing around, and is fantastic fun to watch on the big screen, just as the man himself.

The film will have selected showings again on February 15th. You can check the listings of their showtimes here: http://www.iambruceleemovie.com/

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Review: Blood And Bone (2009)

Posted in Bob Sapp, JJ Perry, Kimbo Slice, Matt Mullins, Michael Jai White, Robert Wall, Ron Yuan with tags , , on April 28, 2011 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Michael Jai White, Eamonn Walker, Nona Gaye, Julian Sands,

Dante Basco, Bob Sapp, Kimbo Slice, Matt Mullins, Ron Yuan

Fight Choreography by JJ Perry and Fernando Chien

Directed by Ben Ramsey

Michael Jai White is one of those mysteries that Hollywood hasn’t figured out yet, but fans and martial arts enthusiasts have been waiting for “MJW” to finally star in a film of his own, and somewhere out the there martial arts gods were listening to us, and gave us Undisputed 2, which finally gave MJW the starring film he deserved. It was a huge success on DTV, and MJW follows it up with this film. Can he keep the momentum going?

To quote one random line from the film, “That Bones is the truth!”

The film tells the story of Bone (MJW), a man just released from prison, whom we know from the first fight at the beginning of the film that he’s a martial arts badass who can beat the tar out of Kimbo Slice and a group of unfortunate henchmen who weren’t aware that attacking Bone meant losing both their dignity–and their teeth.

He soon arrives at a boarding home, where he is taken in by Tamara (Gaye) and it’s apparent that he’s there for a reason that won’t be explained until much later. That night he attends an underground fight tournament where he sees a fighter named the Cowboy getting his butt whipped by the HammerMan (Sapp), and Bone uses the beat down to get Cowboy’s promotor Pinball (Basco) to get him into a fight, where Bone obliterates his opponent, and brings him , and after a few fights is brought to the attention of The Hammerman’s promotor James, a street kingpin who is looking to move up to a group called the Consortium, of which his boss Franklin McVeigh (Sands) is a member. And yes, they sound like James Bond villains, but never mind that. Of course, I always viewed Julian Sands as a Bond villain. Score one for MJW’s crew for figuring that one out first!

This is what Bone wants, although it will be midway through the film before we see why, which actually helps keep the story interesting. Bone is offered to join James, by fighting in a special bout financed by the Consortium against their best fighter, Pretty Boy Price (Mullins), considered to be the best in the world. Bone has other plans that involves James’s girl Angela, who has a secret connected with Bone that not even she is aware of until later.

Soon all of Bone’s plans come to fruition, and he had foreshadowed this to James earlier in the film when he quoted Genghis Khan:

I am the punishment of God. And if you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you.

Now that is some badass shit to say, ‘cause Genghis Khan was the original badass who said it, and you better be one to use it. Unfortunately James didn’t really put this bit of logic together, else he would have retired early, say, to Siberia.

Bone finally faces off with Price, and James has one last confrontation with Bone, and the results are not what you might expect…

Blood and Bone is a fun film that somewhat hearkens back to the heights of Jean-Claude Van Damme’s popularity, and share some story beats with his own film Lionheart.  MJW owns this role, exuding a great deal of screen presence along with some well-acted scenes. He never portrays Bone as some sort of unstoppable badass, but as a very intelligent man who has a plan, and intends to keep his plan and his promise to a friend. He has a spirituality to himself that is shown in his martial arts, as he never applies more force than what’s necessary to defeat his opponent. In a great montage scene of his fights he also shows that he knows Tai Chi, and it is this form he uses to defeat James at the end. Eamonn Walker also does a fantastic job as James. He plays him as a sociopathic street kingpin with delusions of believing that he is above the thugs he employs, but in reality is a worse monster, and there are some really good moments where he states that he doesn’t curse because it makes man barbaric, but then curses a bunch toward the end when things start to unravel. He becomes what he thought he wasn’t. All of the rest of the cast, particularly Dante Basco as Pinball and Ron Yuan (yep, little brother of  Roger Yuan (Shanghai Noon)) add some hip-hop flavor to the proceedings.

The fights are stand out here. The first few fights show what is in Bone’s mind, how he sees his opponent, and his fight against the Hispanic gang that won’t pay up is fantastic. The 4-man jump kick was astounding. I don’t know how MJW does it. No one that big should be able to do that, but he can. His fight with Bob Sapp is also good, but quick, which is appropriate given the circumstances and his opponent, and holy crap is Bob Sapp scary! The final fight between MJW and Matt Mullins is fantastic, as each fighter sizes up the other, and the choreography is fluid and smooth, and really allows both men to shine.

Ben Ramsey does a great job staging the fights, keeping the camera at good angles so we can see the action, and not quick-cut editing the film to hell. The film also has some good references for those who love martial arts films. In the final fight look for Robert Wall (Enter the Dragon) as one of the Consortium members throwing MJW a sword as McVeigh yells out his name “O’Hara!” I actually laughed out loud at that scene. Sands does a great Shih Kein impersonation!

Blood and Bone is a fun martial arts film that finally allows MJW to cut loose and show us what he can do, and he puts it all together here, the acting, the fighting, the humor. It’s all there, and well worth watching. Also, watch the credits at the end to see James meet a fate that may be worse than death…

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best):

CHOREOGRAPHY: (8) JJ Perry and Co do a great job staging these fights, and they have a good mix of MMA and traditional martial arts. The final fight between Bone and Price is fantastic. Matt Mullins and MJW really get a chance to show off  their stuff.

STUNTWORK: (8) Good stuff from everyone involved, especially the other fighters, whom I believe are all the real deal.

STAR POWER: (10) Michael Jai White really gets to put himself out there, and it works. Since then his slate has gotten really, really full, so good on him! Eamonn Walker, Bob Sapp  Matt Mullins, Dante Basco, Ron Yuan , Julian Sands and Kimbo Slice all give good contributions to a good film. Hey, so does Robert Wall!

FINAL GRADE: (9) MJW delivers another great martial arts film. I’m glad he’s taken his career into his own hands. Now how about a sequel? Bone did tell McVeigh he would see him later…

Review: Enter The Dragon (1973)

Posted in Angela Mao, Bolo Yeung, Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly, Reviews, Robert Wall, Sammo Hung, Shih Kien with tags , , , on October 19, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly, Robert Wall, Bolo Yeung,

Shih Kien, Angela Mao, Sammo Hung

Fight Choreography by Bruce Lee

Directed by Robert Clouse

Amazing.

Astounding.

The greatest of all time.

Those hyperboles and more have been used to describe this film ever since it came out and to this very day. Unfortunately Bruce never lived long enough to see the film’s release and what would come afterward, but he did see the final cut of the film, and even he had to have known it would be badass, but he couldn’t dream of what happened next.

The film opens as Lee, a disciple of the Shaolin monks, fights an opponent played by Sammo Hung. It’s a terrific duel, and what a way to open the film! Afterward, the abbot tells Lee about a Shaolin traitor named Han who must be stopped, and so he has Lee speak with Mr. Braithwaite, an intelligence officer who is gathering information on Mr. Han so that interested foreign powers can act once it is proven that he’s keeping illegal arms and drugs on his island fortress. He’s holding a martial arts tournament, which is the only time outsiders can gain access to the island, and Lee was already invited. Bruce interrupts the conversation to have a training moment with a pupil, which seems to hold a level of danger for the pupil, who gets popped on the head every time he answers wrong. This film is full of so many quotables but it starts here.

“Don’t concentrate on the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory!”

“Fuck You, Mr. Hand Man!”

“Wanna Bet?”

“Your skills are extra-ordinary!”

“Boards don’t hit back.”

“You come straight out of a comic book!”

See? The script here was fantastic, but for whatever reason Bruce Lee and the screenplay writer didn’t get along, so during production he changed the name of one character to Braithwaite, because he knew Bruce had trouble pronouncing his W’s and R’s, and he was right. Bruce never did pronounce the name well.

Back to the review…after his run in with Braithwaite, we get flashbacks to all three of the main leads, to give us an idea as to why they are all attending Han’s tournament. It’s here that we learn that Lee’s sister Su Lin (Angela Mao) was killed while one of Han’s men O’hara (Wall) and some of his flunkies attempted to rape her. Great fighting here, although Su Lin must not have had much power in her punches and kicks, since right after she jacks a dude up he’s right back up again and chasing her. The end scene is great as she chooses death over being raped. Powerful stuff.

We then jump to Roper (Saxon) a gambling man who has gambled way too much and finds himself attacked while playing golf by some goons he owes money to. I don’t think John Saxon knows any martial arts, but he looks pretty decent here. He’ll look better as the film goes on. After that we meet Williams (Kelly) who is forced to beat up some racist cops on his way out. He kicks their asses and takes their car. That was cool. We soon find out that both Williams and Roper served together in Vietnam.

After a great scene on the boat between Lee and a bully, they arrive at the island and first meet Bolo (Yeung) and Han’s greeter, played by Anha Capri, and they are treated to a grand feast, and complementary women. Han comes off as a great James Bond Villain (like Dr. No), and he’s larger than life, and Shih Kein plays him with a lot of menace that virtually drips while making the smallest gesture. The next day the tournament begins, and Bruce shows up, refusing to wear the yellow gi’s that are provided and practically dares the fashion police to tell him otherwise.

The first day of fights are quite funny as Roper and Williams make side bets with one of Han’s men on each other’s fights, but the meat of everything is what happens that night, when Lee leaves his room, which is forbidden, so he can search the island for a way into Han’s inner headquarters, but is found by some guards, whom be beats quickly and painfully. The next day Han makes those same guards fight Bolo to keep their jobs, and you can’t help but feel sorry for them. First Bruce and now Bolo?! That’s some cold shit, and made even colder by the way that Bolo dispatches each of them, one at a time and in a very painful manner. I think I would have rather quit that job, but it looks like death is the only way out, and I’m sure it didn’t say that on the application. I would say the Legend of Bolo Yeung, and the kinds of characters he would play from now on truly started here.

Lee then faces O’hara in a fantastic fight scene that really shows off Bruce’s speed and grace, and ends in the greatest body stomp of all time. During that fight Bruce Lee and Robert Wall agreed that there was no way to give that last big kick and look good unless it was for real, and so that scene was real. Bruce really did kick Robert Wall that hard, breaking his chestbone, and two of the arms of the guys Robert slammed into on his way to the ground. Now that is dedication to your craft!

After ward Williams, Lee and Roper find themselves facing off against nearly the entire island, and an epic fight to the end ensues, and it only gets bigger and bigger until the final battle, where Lee faces Han in the classic Mirror Room…

What is it that this film has that other martial arts films don’t? They have a classic, if sort of James Bondish, story, and have filled it with larger than life characters embodied by men who were larger than life. The scale is epic, going from China to America and to Han’s island fortress, and has a cast of hundreds you rarely see in a martial arts film.

Add to all of this a cracking good screenplay, and classic music by Lalo Schifrin, and mix it up in a bowl with a huge helping of Bruce Lee, and there you have it! The scene where Lee entered Han’s fortress is a classic that hasn’t been surpassed to this day. Look out for Jackie Chan as one of Han’s guards that Bruce is forced to break his neck. The fighting is electric here and everywhere else in the film, which many martial arts films rarely achieve.

Props to Shih Kien for the end fight with Bruce. He performed fantastically, even though we knew he couldn’t beat Bruce, he still gave you a small sliver of doubt.

I love that scene when he sends his men to go kill Lee and Roper, and knows the names of each henchman! That make the guards that Bolo killed seem a bit colder…

Enter The Dragon changed martial arts films in China and introduced Americans to a style of fighting and choreography we hadn’t seen before, and sparked a boom that would introduce us to new stars, and the world of martial arts opened to the United States, and suddenly everyone wanted to know it. There are peaks and valleys, and the new pead wouldn’t come again until Jackie Chan made one last attempt at breaking through in the USA but all martial arts films and their stars past and current owe a lot to Bruce Lee, and to Enter the Dragon. I’ll go ahead and say it. The greatest mainstream martial arts film of them all.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) Every fight scene is fantastic and builds from the story and character, and the fight between Bruce and Han’s men is an instant classic. Bruce did a great job of playing to everyone’s strengths, so even John Saxon can come off looking good.

STUNTS: (9) The stuntmen didn’t do anything death-defying except to take Bruce’s punches and kicks. I take that back. It was death-defying. Yeah, great job all around.

STAR POWER: (10) Bruce Lee at his best, and Jim Kelly’s career takes off from here, as does Bolo Yeung’s. Great cameo by Sammo Hung to start it all off.

FINAL GRADE: (10) A martial arts classic that has stood the test of time and still hasn’t been surpassed. Bruce Lee’s final real film, and created a legend that the world would fall in love with, and a doorway into the martial arts world was opened to Americans, who stepped through, and both worlds would never be the same again…

Review: Game of Death (1978)

Posted in Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, James Tien, Robert Wall, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao with tags , , , , , , on October 8, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Bruce Lee, Dan Inosanto, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,

Robert Wall, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Kim Tai Jong, James Tien

Fight Choreography for Bruce Lee’s fights by Bruce Lee

Fight Choreography for everyone else by Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao

Directed by Robert Clouse

Let’s get one thing cleared up first: Game of Death is not Bruce Lee’s last film. That moniker belongs to Enter the Dragon, and to that film alone. Game of Death could be best described as a compilation/tribute/b-sides album. The film compiles memorable scenes from Bruce’s earlier films, new scenes shot by a bunch of fake Bruces (Yuen Biao being one of them) and the final fights that feature the actual Bruce Lee.

Was it a good tribute to Bruce? In a small way.

Was it a grab for more cash after the success of Enter the Dragon? Hell yes.

Bruce Lee–or actually his body doubles–stars as Billy Lo, a martial arts film star who is filming a scene with Chuck Norris (archived scenes from Way of the Dragon) when a light from above crashes on the ground near him, stopping production. During these scenes you see Bruce from behind only, and I just knew this was gonna be a long film. I almost died laughing when they would show Bruce speaking to different people from behind, and then Bruce’s reaction shots would be clipped scenes from his other films. Anyway, some douchy fight promotor who works for some shadowy company called the Syndicate wants Billy to fight in the ring, and Billy slaps the guy away. Shit, the real Bruce would’ve slapped the guy through the door. During this scene they had the audacity to actually superimpose a cut out of Bruce’s head on the actor’s body!

Anyway, we then cut to the Meeting of Evil Villians, where the same douchy promotor and his lackeys played by Robert Wall (what’s the deal with him being Bruce’s bitch?) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar decide to beat Billy into signing the contract. Billy goes out to dinner that night with his girlfriend played by Colleen Camp, when he gets ambushed by some of douchy’s men. This first fight of Fake Bruce is exactly what you would expect-badly shot scenes of a guy trying to pretend to be Bruce, but isn’t even close.

This brings me to what would be common theme in this film until you get near the end: Billy gets his ass kicked. A lot. WTF?! Okay, I can accept a lot of things, but the sight of a couple of hired thugs beating up someone who is supposed to be BRUCE LEE just kills me. I’m surprised Bruce not only didn’t roll around in his grave at this, but didn’t outright punch his way back to the land of the living so he could smack Robert Clouse around for a second, telling him what the hell, man?! There is not one scene, in any of Bruce’s films, where anyone—and I mean no one—kicks his ass. Yeah, some guys get their shots in, but Bruce NEVER LOSES. It’s not boring, that’s just Bruce. He doesn’t lose. And who would be equal to him for him to lose to? Nobody, that’s who. And yet in several fight scenes with Fake Bruce, he gets his ass owned by everyone, hell even Robert Wall. He punches and kicks these thugs, and they get right back up. If Real Bruce hits them, they ain’t gettin’ back up.

Before long Billy is shot on the set of his film, but isn’t killed, and with the help of an old friend stages what has to be the absolute worst scene ever filmed, lacking in any amount of taste whatsoever. Any respect I might’ve had for Robert Clouse died right at this moment. Billy fakes his own death, and the funeral scenes were ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF BRUCE’S FUNERAL. That takes some balls, but holy shit that was a dung pile of bad decision making to allow it into a fictional film.

Not long afterward I was able to briefly set aside my disdain by watching a fight between Robert Wall and Sammo Hung, which was actually well done—no where near Sammo’s normal quality—but well done nevertheless. It allowed Sammo to show off some fancy moves before Robert Wall kicks his ass, and then in turn gets his ass killed by Fake Bruce following this fight. I’ll say this for Mr. Wall, he always looks great getting his ass kicked.

Soon Billy’s girlfriend is kidnapped by Douchy, and Billy frees her and goes after Douchy and his boys, and here is where Real Bruce returns for the final fights between himself and Dan Inosanto, nunchuck to nunchuck, a fight with another karate master, and the crowning moment, the fight between Bruce and his real life student NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Each fight is great in it’s own way, and the fight with Kareem is fantastic, a study of fighting while facing a great size disadvantage (it could be argued both ways) and Kareem does a great job here.

After that we go back to Fake Bruce and he has to fight Douchy, in a fight that tries to make Douchy feel like a threat, but his isn’t, and is weakly killed and the film thankfully ends. This is really a horrid film, but I get what they wanted to do. They tried to honor the memory of Bruce and to make sure that audiences would feel that absence would make the heart grow fonder, and at least in this film, it succeeds.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (4) Sammo tried his best to choreograph fights the way Bruce would’ve, but without the secret ingredient of Bruce, none of it works. Sammo’s fight with Robert Wall was the best non-real Bruce Lee fight in the entire film.

BRUCE’S CHOREOGRAHY: (8) For what there was, was terrific. The fight with Kareem was a classic. The last we would ever get from Bruce.

STUNTS: (3) Not much here. Some good acrobatic here and there, but that’s about it.

STAR POWER: (8) There really was a lot of star power from the martial arts world here. Too bad that power was used in this film.

FINAL GRADE: (4) Only the Bruce fights, because they are classic, keeps this film from getting a lower grade that this. Unfortunately the success of this film would spawn the legion of fake Bruces to follow, and an insipid sequel.

Review: Way of the Dragon (1973)

Posted in Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Reviews, Robert Wall with tags , , on July 14, 2010 by Michael S. Moore

Starring Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Robert Wall

Fight Choreography by Bruce Lee and Unicorn Chan

Directed by Bruce Lee

Way of the Dragon is a bit of a different creature from some of Bruce’s other films. He tries to inject a bit more humor than we’re used to, and he succeeds for at least the beginning of the film, but it seems misplaced considering how the film progresses, which leaves the rest of the film…

The movie opens as Ah Lung (Lee) arrives in Rome from China (playing yet another country bumpkin. Remember, in Kung Fu films bumpkin=badass.) to help out a friend. He begins his stay by scaring the living daylights out of a poor kid by making crazy faces for no apparent reason. Bruce, WTF? He must really do that shit in his spare time. Kid looked like he crapped his britches when he saw Bruce’s face. I would too, and I’m a grown ass man. He soon meets the niece of his buddy, Miss Chen and together they go to the restaurant, where he is needed because he’s a fighter, and the restaurant has had a problem with the local crime lord who wants to buy the place.

Ms Chen runs him around Rome, and I got a little browbeaten with the fish out of water moments. Bruce, we get it. Country Chinese guy in Italy. Check. Soon he meets the waiters, a bunch of weak ass bitches practicing behind the restaurant with what one could call karate, but I would call embarrassing. Ah Lung is about to school them when they are interrupted. While Ah Lung is in the bathroom, the thugs show up, led by a frilly little bastard whose crew look like backup singers for Fleetwood Mac. They couldn’t block a punch if there was a wall between them. Which means the karate the waiters had learned wasn’t for shit. Soon they leave, but not before they toss an insult Ah Lung’s way that he didn’t understand.

Soon some of the same victi-I mean thugs return to start some crap. The waiters challenge them to a fight in the alley, and they agree, and one or two of the waiter get their asses kicked before Ah Lung shows up, and so help me it was a good thing YouTube didn’t exist at this time, else the ass-whupping the thugs received would have been seen from Iowa to Osaka. The fight is short, as it sure as hell should be. Of course the reserved Miss Chen takes a liking to him. Women dig a guy who can kick ass gracefully. The next day the waiters all want to learn kung-fu from Ah Lung, except for the waiter who was teaching them karate he saw on the Learning Channel, who has developed a case of bitch attitude, still not convinced that the mass ass-kicking he had witnessed the day before was worth a shit, so Ah Lung takes them out back and demonstrates kicks by having a guy hold up a pad, and it’s funny to see the look on his face as he realized that his doom may well be at hand, as that pad would not protect him from the kick, just let his body know through vibration a quarter second before he gets hit that the kick would be rather painful.

That night Ah Lung and Miss Chen are ambushed by a really crappy hitman, telling Miss Chen that the boss wants to see her. Two problems here: One, he says it in English. Two, he holds a gun, two things that Ah Lung doesn’t care for. A lot is lost in translation when someone holds a gun on Ah Lung. Suddenly “The boss wants to see you” instead translates into “ Please kick my ass repeatedly.” Which is exactly what Ah Lung does, and dumps his ass over the balcony. The hitman goes back to the boss, who is shocked that one dude was able to do this, so he sends them back, this time with weapons! The boss also comes himself to see if Ah Lung really is that good. So they take him out back to send his ass back to Hong Kong, and unfortunately for them he doesn’t want to, and beats up two of them, causing the rest to go into the alley to see what happened, and what does happen is a moment of epic asskicking, and sends the boss running for the hills.

That night, after that same silly hitman tries to kill Ah Lung and fails, Ah Lung returns home to find that Miss Chen has been kidnapped while he was out playing ‘pin the knife on the hitman’. We soon find her with the Boss ad his remaining men, all of whom were convinced that the multiple ass beatings they have received just weren’t enough. Ah Lung and crew do show up, but this time Ah Lung lets them beat on the thugs, embarrassing the boss again. This time the boss decides to fight fire with fire, and hires a group of karate masters led by the American champion Colt (Chuck Norris) to finish Ah Lung.

Soon Ah Lung, Uncle Wang and two waiters is led into their trap, with a Japanese and American (Robert Wall) waiting for them. Ah Lung takes care of them both, and the american gets the worst of it. In a complete left field moment Uncle Wang turns out to have been working for the Boss the whole time, and kills two of his own waiters.

Lung doesn’t see this as he is led to the Roman Coliseum, where Colt waits for him. The showdown here is incredible, one of the greatest one on one fights you’ll ever see in a film, and Chuck Norris proves to be no match for Bruce, but he’s close. After Ah Lung takes care of Colt, he returns to find out about Uncle Wang’s betrayal, who is in turn killed by the boss, who in turn is captured by the police. Ah Lung says his goodbyes and leaves to search the world for more asses to kick.

(On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the best)

CHOREOGRAPHY: (10) All of this goes to the fight between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris. A fight that is a classic the world over, one of the best ever, featuring everything you would think would happen in a battle between titans.

STUNTS: (6) Nothing to write home about, but adequate for what was asked of them.

STAR POWER: (10) Bruce Lee. Chuck Norris. What more do you need?

FINAL GRADE: (9) Not really one of Bruce’s best, but it gave us that terrific all time classic fight, and also a new talent who would become the primary ambassador in the USA to promote martial arts, Chuck Norris.