• He was a child star in Hong Kong — the Macaulay Culkin of his day and place.
• He was a 1957 cha-cha champion.
• In college, he was obsessed with General Hospital.
• He was quoted as saying, “My obsession is to make, pardon the expression, the fuckingest action motion picture ever made.”
That film in question is, of course, 1973’s epic Enter the Dragon; the feature-length doc spends the last third covering his movie-star years. Throughout, the story is told by family members (including Lee’s daughter, Shannon, and widow, Linda), friends and admirers who never met the guy, from Kobe Bryant and various MMA fighters to Mickey Rourke and Ed O’Neill, who is identified as an “actor/martial artist.” Who knew?
Home footage and vintage interviews abound. It’s amazing to see him demonstrate his famous one-inch punch, and just plain fun to see him teaching moves in his backyard to fellow badass Steve McQueen.
A production of Spike TV, I Am Bruce Lee is slick and reverent, sometimes too much for its own good. For fans of Lee, and millions of us remain, it’s certainly worth one watch. —Rod Lott