With this, director Robert Clouse made what is easily Bruce Lee’s finest film (and then proceeded to follow it up with a never-ending string of schlock). While Lee is technically one point of a heroic triangle — with A Nightmare on Elm Street’s John Saxon and blaxploitation icon Jim Kelly being the others — let’s not kid ourselves: The movie is Lee’s showcase, through and through, as he goes undercover at an island tournament in order to thwart a crime lord named Han (Shih Kien).
All the stars aligned for this rousing epic — a 007-style adventure wrapped in Far East traditions and mystique. You have fights; you have beauty (Ahna Capri); you have intrigue; you have that kick-ass fight sequence in the hall of mirrors. No question about it: Enter the Dragon is a big, action-packed winner.
The only question is this: Buy the Blu-ray or retain Warner’s double-DVD special edition of 2004 that’s sitting in your closet? That depends on how much you love bells and whistles. While it lacks the older edition’s Bruce Lee: A Warrior’s Journey feature-length doc, the new one adds three feaurettes:
• “No Way as Way: A Discussion of Self Mastery,” a near-half-hour piece utilizing Lee’s wife, daughter and granddaughter as talking heads, as well as boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, Star Trek’s George Takei and, most baffling, electro-house producer Steve Aoki;
• “Return to Han’s Island: The Locales of Enter the Dragon,” a 10-minute return to the real-life spots in Hong Kong featured in the film — or at least the ones that remain standing; and
• “Wing Chun: The Art That Introduced Kung Fu to Bruce Lee,” at 20 minutes and recommended to martial-arts fans only — not of the movies, either, but the sport.
Rounding out the set is a packet filled with ephemeral goodies such as postcards, a lenticular card of Lee doing one of his signature moves and, for the kids in karate classes, an embroidered patch. —Rod Lott