Why Enter the Dragon is one of our favourite Martial Arts Movie of All Time
1 – It stars Bruce Lee
The film stars Bruce Lee, there’s a good enough reason for anyone.
2 – It set the bar high for future martial arts movies
The film was the first Chinese martial arts film to be produced by a Hollywood studio and went on to be a box office smash, paving the way and setting the bar high in terms of quality for future movies in this genre.
3 – Subtle but potent statements in the storyline
Whilst the storyline may not have been anything spectacular in terms of originality, there were some aspects of it that there were quite potent at the time the film was shot.
The back story about the sister of Bruce Lee’s character killing herself in the face of being raped by Han’s henchmen was quite a statement.
In addition to this, fellow leading character, ‘Williams’, being on the run after beating up a couple of white racist cops back in America highlighted the tensions of the civil rights movement in 1970’s America.
4 – Those Kempo Gloves!
Made famous to a wider Western audience by Bruce Lee in his films, his good old Kempo, Kenpo or JKD Gloves, whatever you want to call them, look so cool.
5 – The Mirrored Walls scene
Sporting the now famous open slashes across his torso in a James Bond style showdown with the big boss of the film, Lee smashes his way through the mind bending maze of walled mirrors to confront and defeat the claw handed Han.
6 – The almost James Bond style plot
The plot might not be revolutionary, but what is not to love about a Chinese martial arts expert working as a British spy infiltrating a secret drug factory on an island, via the means of a martial arts tournament organised by a megalomaniac with a prosthetic clawed hand?!
7 – The Wisdom of Bruce Lee
There are few moments of Bruce Lee’s philosophical wisdom on display in this classic movie, but our favourite has to be the “… don’t think, feeeeel…” moment, when he instructs a young student on nurturing “…emotional content – not anger!” in to his technique.
8 – The display of different fighting styles
Without going in to the now tiresome debate of “how would Bruce Lee perform in the UFC today”, there’s no doubting his influence on MMA.
His ideas of developing a seamless multi disciplinary style are summed for us in this quote;
“the best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style, to be formless, to adopt an individual’s own style and not following the system of styles.”
9 – The yellow and black colour combo
Yellow Gi’s and black belts – a colour combination following in the foot steps of that now famous black and yellow jump suit as worn by Lee in the Game of Death.
This super cool colour combo is now commonly used by many sports brands, such as the Hayabusa Limited Edition Black and Yellow Ikusa Gloves, and even though the brands may not have meant it to, for us, it will always pay homage to the master himself.
10 – Geek alert fact!
The two main characters from the epic 1980’s video game, Double Dragon, are named after “Roper” and “Williams”, the two main co-star characters from Enter the Dragon.