Enter the Game of Death/Review
From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
What we've got here is a Bruceploitation flick which almost plays like "Greatest Hits" of the real Bruce Lee all into one. For starters, the film score for Enter The Dragon is mostly prevalent all throughout the film (It's either that or the score for The Spy Who Loved Me) even our lead character, Chang (Bruce Le) is given an assignment the way "Mr. Lee" was. There's also the anti-Japanese theme that was reminiscent of Fist of Fury. But most of all, we've got the return of the yellow tracksuit that was seen in Game of Death!
So how does this all come together, you ask? Well, let's try to get past the strange slopiness that occurs in the early going. We get the plot started by having a shady German named Keegan (Michael B. Christy) who has plans to obtain a Chinese document which will go through with Japan's occupation of WWII-China. The document has already gone missing. Later revealed to be stolen by a Chinese traitor. But before we get into the rest of the storyline, let's have some various bad guys attack Chang for no apparent reason! Good ol' Bolo Yeung shows up to briefly fight with Chang before the scene suddenly cuts to....Bolo fighting in a ring in front of spectators? Okay...So Bolo goes through his 4th opponent with ease and in comes, once again, Chang! Didn't they just fight in the previous scene? What the hell's going on? Alright enough of this nonsense. Let's get back to the case of the missing Chinese document! So Chang recieves a proposition from an un-credited Chinese female character to seek out the stolen document. Chang doesn't want to get involved with the task at first. But all he has to do is flashback to a time when his cousin was raped the Japanese. And since this is a perfect world, that certain rapist just so happens to be involved with the document! It's no surprise that Chang has a change of heart to retrieve the document and punish some "Japs". Word is out that the document is being held at the top of a certain pagoda (Sound familiar?) this gives Chang a reason to strap on his yellow tracksuit! (Even though yellow tracksuits like these weren't around in the 1940's, but you just have to go with the flow) So now's the moment that all the Bruceploitation fans want to know...How do the pagoda scenes compare with other Bruce Lee/Bruceploitation movies? The good news is that a little bit of care and effort went into making the pagoda rooms fit in with the theme of the floor's fighters rather than the bland, monotonous look that was seen in Goodbye Bruce Lee: His Last Game of Death or even the original Game of Death. There's more good news as a few of the fighters are recognizable to martial arts fans. Such as floor master #1, played by the great Lee Hoi San. Floor master #2, a snake-stylist who just doesn't use the snake style, but his room is filled with a ton of snakes! I think this character is played by the Hun Gar stylist, Chi Ling Chiu. Floor master #3 is a white-haired nunchuku fighter. And floor #4 has two fighters, one dark-haired and the other white-haired (The latter played by Five Fingers of Death's James Nam) But though it's good to see all these guys and their nice-looking sets, the fight choreography and their demise are handled quite poorly. To make things a bit more unsatisfactory,the final 20 minutes of the movie takes place outside the pagoda. But at least there's a few more decent fights to watch such as Chang taking on Bolo (For a 3rd time) and Steve James (Later known for appearing in the American Ninja series, but I'll always know him best as "Kung Fu Joe" in I'm Gonna Get you Sucka!)
So even though you have to deal with some shaky beginnings of this flick, as well as very few talky scenes, the filmmakers just try to fill this baby up with so much action that you can forget the bad details. Oh, I almost forgot all about Bruce Le's performance. Now I think this may be the first Bruce Le movie I've ever seen, but has there ever been a Bruce Lee-clone who has mimicked Bruce Lee's actions for nearly every single scene in a movie? That's got to be the first. At least the first that I've seen.
Reviewed by Laydback