This movie is magnificent!
Better Late Then Never
It's not great by any means, but it's a pretty good movie that didn't leave me filled with regret for investing time in it.
It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.
In his final project, kung fu icon Bruce Lee stars as Billy Lo, a martial arts movie star who is targeted by a "syndicate" that likes to lay claim to entertainers such as him. Of course, they want more than just a piece of the action. When an attempt is made on his life on a film set, he decides to "play dead" (a morbid twist, given Lees' fate) in order to pull the wool over the eyes of the gangsters, and rescue his girlfriend Ann (a very appealing and sexy Colleen Camp), a successful singer.For a movie that will always be viewed by some as an exploitative hack-job, "Game of Death" is entertaining enough to keep the audience watching. Production on this had started back in 1972, but only limited footage of Lee had been produced. Several years later, Robert Clouse, who had directed Lee in his most well-known film, "Enter the Dragon", reunited the surviving cast members and used doubles (Tae-jeong Kim and Biao Yuen) to fashion new scenes for the Billy character. This works moderately well, except for one glaring instance near the beginning where Lees' head is obviously superimposed over somebody else."Game of Death" benefits from a rich cast of familiar faces - Gig Young as Billy and Anns' newspaperman friend, Dean Jagger and Hugh O'Brian as mobsters, Mel Novak, Danny Inosanto, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (!) as henchmen, Chuck Norris as a fighter, Roy Chiao as Billy's uncle, etc. Old pros Young, O'Brian, and especially Jagger come off pretty well, and Camp offers a bright presence as the girlfriend. Lee, as always, is cool and charismatic, what little we see of him.As could be expected, it really comes to life in various fight and action scenes. The final 20 or so minutes, when Billy works his way up the floors of a warehouse and combats one henchman after another, is an impressive highlight; even the fight with Kareem is pretty effective.In some ways, this *can* be seen as a tasteless effort to trade on Lees' brand name (real footage of his funeral is utilized), and martial arts enthusiasts may be disappointed. Among those who refused to participate were Steve McQueen, James Coburn, and Muhammad Ali, who each dismissed the project as exploitative and were underwhelmed by the paychecks offered. But more casual fans of this kind of thing may find it an okay view, if not a particularly good film.In an extremely sad note, the maiming of Billy on the film set is all too reminiscent of what would happen to Bruces' son Brandon approximately 20 years later when the latter starred in "The Crow".Seven out of 10.
for me , it is the film of a single scene. because, from childhood, except the fight between Bruce Lee and Kareem Abdul - Jabbar, nothing else could be interesting. sure, it is not a sin. because it is the film of the Bruce Lee choreography. because the story is only a pretext. and it is enough for impress a precise target . all is well known from the other films of Bruce Lee. and this fact is the good motif for could not define it as a bad movie. because, from the first scenes, you knows - it is only a large collection of clichés. junk ? off course. but this verdict is less well choice if you do not ignore the contemporary films, with the significant exceptions, from Hollywood.
Let's face it - no one can finish Game of Death in the same way Bruce Lee would've done it. One would think that if anyone could've come the closest to his vision it had to be Robert Clouse, the director of "Enter The Dragon". Sadly if you've seen his version of it, you'll notice that his contribution is, lightly put, a disaster. Its shameless attempts at camouflaging the fact that Bruce Lee wasn't already part of it are commonly known: The infamous Cardboard-cutout, the doubles that don't look at all like Bruce, the shades, the beards, the recycled footage from past films, hilarious editing and the list goes on. Everyone knows it and everyone laughs at it.The only saving grace is the footage Bruce had already filmed. These are truly great fights, but they are way overshadowed by the poor quality of the rest of the movie. You never get the feeling like you are watching one whole movie, rather than a mess of two movies.The first half hour is though to sit-through and I was almost overwhelmed with boredom. It desperately lacks Bruces' charisma and his sense of direction and it goes to show that he was the true mastermind behind "Enter the Dragon". The original footage was also terribly dubbed, at least in the version I saw. Even for someone who is used to bad dubbing of HK movies, this one was exceptionally annoying and off.The good thing is that you can find the Bruces' original, unedited footage online or on DVD, and it's best watched that way, with minimal editing from third parties and without some other directors involvement. There's roughly 40 minutes of it and it has scenes that didn't make it into Robert Clouses version. Now this is the good stuff one expects from a Bruce Lee film. I imagine this could've been his best movie to its date, even better than "Enter The Dragon". Its fights are awesome, full of memorable ideas and they are brimming with Bruces' charisma and intensity. Clouses Version gets a 3 out of 10 only because of the so-bad-it's-good factor. If you want some genuine Bruce Lee action; go for the unedited footage. Even at its unfinished state it's light-years ahead of this one.
Bruce Lee challenges the underworld to a Game of Death. A martial arts movie star (Bruce Lee) and his girlfriend (Colleen Camp) must fake his death to find the people who are trying to kill him . Syndicate boss (Dean Jagger) and his hoodlums (Hugh O'Brian) hire the best foreign martial artists (Robert Wall who played some films with Lee , he had also been slated to appear in the early 1970s version as intended by Bruce) to fight Lee , but he easily finishes them off . The giant American , basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is also hired and takes place a deadly ending combat .This violent Chop-Socky displays action-packed , thrills , fast-paced and wild fighting images . It is a corny , action-filled and violent film , being filmed in Hong Kong . Breathtaking fights and embarrassing acting , the whole thing was shot without sound, with the actors looping their lines in post-production . Overwhelming final duel between Lee and various fighters , in fact it was last movie to be filmed by Lee . In the film, Bruce Lee's character fakes his own death ; the funeral scene includes real footage of Lee's actual funeral . Bruce Lee had filmed over 30 minutes of fight scenes for this film when work was suspended to allow Lee to work on Enter the dragon . However, Lee died before he could return . Six years later, director Robert Clouse fleshed out a feature around the original footage with a new cast, including two stand-ins for Lee, who faces are hidden by dark sunglasses and shadows. Close-ups and stills of Lee's face -including a cardboard cut-out- were also used.Steve McQueen, James Coburn and Muhammad Ali refused roles in the film because they felt it exploited Bruce Lee's death . And 'Bruce Li' or Ho-Chung Tao was offered the role as 'Bruce Lee's' stand-in, but declined because he said it was disrespectful to Lee . In 1978 was added a footage shot by Bruce Lee ; Dan Inosanto was the only cast member of the original to shoot scenes , the rest of the actors , James Tien, Han Jae Ji, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar only feature in archive footage . Hapkido Master Ji Han Jae, who plays the second guardian 'Bruce Lee' battles in the Pagoda/Restaurant, gets no screen credit in the 1978 version of the film. The inspiration for progressively ascending a pagoda tower to fight opponents was originally featured in Chang Cheh's swordplay epic 'Have Sword Will Travel' . The motion picture was lousily realized by director Robert Clouse who wrote the script under the pseudonym Jan Spears .Bruce Lee formerly played one of the biggest international hit smashes , ¨Fist of Fury¨ , it was previously realized to his American box office ¨Enter the dragon¨. This one was made later but released before ¨Lee's Return of dragon¨ , and Lee had formerly starred ¨Fists of fury¨ or ¨The big boss¨. ¨Enter the dragon¨ was realized by an expert on Chop-Socky movies , Robert Clouse , and he directed Bruce Lee's last film , this ¨Game of death¨ . ¨Enter the Dragon¨ is his last complete movie character but his next film ¨ Game of death¨ was absurdly edited after his death .Bruce Lee also realized the Kung-Fu actioner titled ¨Return of Dragon¨ . His last picture was ¨Game of death ¨ , it is indispensable and essential seeing for Lee fans and Karate enthusiastic for its last 20 minutes . It is not ¨Enter the Dragon¨ but his fans -who have so few to choose from- undoubtedly will want to see it again .