Loosely based on a real-life fight, this martial arts drama purports to explore the early years of Bruce Lee. The takeaway from the story, however, is that the martial arts hero and the star of films such as Enter the Dragon was kind of a dick in real life. As played by Philip Ng, Lee’s weapon of choice was not so much the famed “one-inch punch” but the insufferable smirk of superiority that accompanied it. The film, which is set in 1960s San Francisco, hinges around an epic showdown between Lee, the young pretender who has outraged the martial arts community by teaching westerners to fight, and kung fu master Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia), over in America from China to do penance for a grave misdemeanour. The fight sequences are slick, but this is a soulless slog.
Birth of the Dragon review – Bruce Lee takes a hit
This soulless biopic portrays the young kung fu master as insufferably smug
Wendy Ide is the Observer's deputy film critic