Birth of the Dragon

Birth of the Dragon

Birth of the Dragon

Martial arts semi-biopic chronicling Bruce Lee’s emergence as a martial-arts superstar after his legendary showdown with Wong Jack Man.

"In 1960s Oakland, a hotbed of hippie counterculture and radical politics, young Bruce Lee (Philip Wan-Lung Ng) does some radical cultural work of his own, teaching a martial arts style he himself developed. The Bay Area Chinese community frowns on his sharing of ancient ways with non-Chinese, but Lee is a rebel. He's intrigued when rugged white American Steve McKee (Billy Magnussen) walks into the class. McKee is a film actor and a risk-taker who proves an apt pupil, and Lee, fascinated by the American's line of work, is equally eager to learn the way of motion pictures. But Shaolin martial arts master Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu) has been sent from China to stop Lee's heretical education initiative. And so things lead towards an epic showdown between Lee and Wong — with the very legacy of Chinese tradition at stake." (Toronto International Film Festival)

2016Rating: M, Violence103 minsUSA, China, CanadaEnglish and Mandarin with English subtitles
ActionDramaTrue Story & BiographyMartial Arts
50%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

"Birth of the Dragon" is a strange film: It huffs and puffs about what a mythic fight this was, yet it bumbles and stumbles when it comes to showing us what happened, and why it mattered.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

It wants to be a character study, an explication of martial arts philosophy and an action picture ... But the film never really gets fully juiced until the climax...

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

A preposterous screenwriting-for-dummies exercise directed with all the flare of a mid-‘90s tourism video...

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

...an interesting, if corny, take on Bruce Lee legend.

0
IGN

IGN

press

Birth of the Dragon is not the Bruce Lee biopic you've been waiting for.

0
Huffington Post

Huffington Post

press

The lead actors are basically unknown to American audiences and so are easily accepted in their roles. This adds to the overall believability of the film.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An inferior effort that fails to do justice to both its central character and provocative premise.

0
Variety

Variety

press

"Birth of the Dragon" is a strange film: It huffs and puffs about what a mythic fight this was, yet it bumbles and stumbles when it comes to showing us what happened, and why it mattered.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

It wants to be a character study, an explication of martial arts philosophy and an action picture ... But the film never really gets fully juiced until the climax...

0
Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

A preposterous screenwriting-for-dummies exercise directed with all the flare of a mid-‘90s tourism video...

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

...an interesting, if corny, take on Bruce Lee legend.

0
IGN

IGN

press

Birth of the Dragon is not the Bruce Lee biopic you've been waiting for.

0
Huffington Post

Huffington Post

press

The lead actors are basically unknown to American audiences and so are easily accepted in their roles. This adds to the overall believability of the film.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

An inferior effort that fails to do justice to both its central character and provocative premise.

0

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