The Legend of Bruce Lee (1976)

The Legend of Bruce Lee (1976)

  • 5.5
  • 80 mins
  • Drama, Action


Bruce, a disciple of Chinese boxing, leads the Liu City gang. When his skills aren't enough to fend off his rivals, Bruce becomes a student of Wing Chun and learns new fighting styles.

Short Review

In the mood for some good old fashioned martial arts fun, The Legend of Bruce Lee was a film I expected little from but hoped to find some good action in.I could summarize everything about The Legend of Bruce Lee by simply saying that it is conventional, but it is just way too conventional for its own good in essentially every single way.As typical with countless films which adhere to the same low production values as The Legend of Bruce Lee, the camera quality is really rough. Everything is fuzzy which blurs everything in the background and foreground to essentially the same rough level of monochromatic dullness. This means that what little there is to look at in the film is even more dull while even the potential appeal of the Chinese architecture is pushed out of focus by all this. To make matters worse, the cinematography is constantly shaking with little stability and most of the shots are zoomed in way too much. Parts of the actors get cut out of frame by the poor cinematography, and the unsteady zooms just seem way too cheap. Every aspect of the cinematography in The Legend of Bruce Lee contributes to making it a negative experience, so the visual appeal of the feature is minimal. Considering that the film is no insightful drama and is actually just a low budget fighting film which only aims to appeal to the esoteric audience of action junkies with the lowest expectations or demand to see anything with Bruce Lee's name on it, for it to have such a poor visual quality is not likely to draw any more viewers in.The audio dubbing in the film is poor. The only people watching the English language version of The Legend of Bruce Lee are more than likely to be used to that by this point, but it does little other than remind viewers of just how cheap a film this is. Although, occasionally it is worth a laugh at some of the most ridiculous moments in the film. It just doesn't give the feature any credibility, but then again there was little hope of that in the first place really. It's funny mainly not because the dubbing fails to match the actors timing, but because the voice actors are all wrong. Occasionally, the dubbed voice of Bruce Le is some actor who decides to deliver an English accent for some godforsaken reason while the few female characters seem to have rather squeaky voices. As well as this, the musical score in The Legend of Bruce Lee is oddly cartoonish. It is a cheaply constructed one and at times it feels like it is straight out of a bad episode of Pingu. It doesn't match the film at all aside from reinforcing the shoddy nature of the production. The bad audio of the film does not stop there though because it goes even further in the fight scenes. Like the audio dubbing, the sound effects in The Legend of Bruce Lee are edited very out of sync during the fight scenes which is laughable at times. The only thing that won't have viewers laughing is the actual sound effects used. The same basic punch sounds are used for every moment of impact as predicted, but more annoyingly there is an odd scratching sound that plays in the film at the moments where the protagonist moves his arms in the style of the snake. It is lame at first, but a the film progresses it becomes way more excessively repetitive than you would have originally thought which is just frustrating. But again, you wouldn't be putting much thought at all into the film or expecting anything from the low production values which means that you just have to suck it up if you want to enjoy what little the feature has to offer. But I just couldn't do it.The genre of kung fu films which pay homage to the style of Bruce Lee is called Bruceploitation, but The Legend of Bruce Lee could not have less to do with the man. It tries to appeal to fans with a star who is intended to look like the Kung Fu legend, but Bruce Le does not look nearly enough like Bruce Lee. The poor visual quality of the film may hide it at times and the cinematography may put more focus on the slight similarities between the hair and muscles of the two men, but there is no denying the distinct differences between the two human beings. There is a mild sense of entertainment that comes from seeing him train and fight, but it is too mild for its own good for essentially anything in The Legend of Bruce Lee to live up to a title which uses the name of a true kung fu legend and the general word legend in any context. The Legend of Brulce Lee does not have enough strength to be considered part of the Bruceploitation genre, and it is instead just another dull low budget kung fu film.The one thing that really determines if the lowest standard of film aficianados will actually enjoy The Legend of Bruce Lee falls into the category of the action. With poorly edited stock sound effects and weak visual camera quality there is little technical value of it all, but that can often be saved with intelligent choreography. In The Legend of Bruce Lee, the choreography is tame. There are some mildly entertaining moments in the fight scenes, but they are extremely sporadic and are too often buried underneath the hundreds of other weak aspects of the film that surround it. The efforts of the actors are slightly admirable, but the choreography they have to deal with does not entertain.So due to countless weak technical aspects of this low budget kung fu film and tame fight scenes, The Legend of Bruce Lee is another forgettable movie with a weak narrative and thoroughly misleading title.


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