action, martial arts, movie, movie review

October 31st, 2017 Movie – Spirits Of Bruce Lee

the spirit of bruce lee

Happy Halloween everyone. I was hoping that the holiday would coincide with a horror movie but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Now I always found it funny that martial arts movies from the late 70’s would capitalize on Bruce Lee’s name in order to market them in the US, even if they had nothing to do with Bruce Lee. Granted, it was probably the studio that released them in the US that did this but still, I feel like it is kind of sad that they couldn’t come up with a better way of marketing than to use the name of a dead man. Now let’s see if today’s movie, Spirits Of Bruce Lee, would have been able to stand up on it’s own marketing

The plot: A Chinese man named Chang Fan travels to Thailand to purchase some jade but as he makes his way through the jungle, his guide betrays him and Chang Fan finds himself surrounded by bandits. Chang Fan attempts to fend them off but his guide stabs him and the bandits steal the jade and Chang Fan’s watch, then leave him for dead. One year later, Chang Fan’s brother, Chang Chen-Wai, travels to Thailand to look for his missing brother. Stopping at a roadside restaurant, Chang witnesses a group of thugs arrive and force other patrons away from one of the tables. When the thugs see two girls walking towards the restaurant, they quickly surround them and attempt to rape them but a man, Li Pai-Yu, attacks them, allowing the girls to escape. Chang goes to help and the two men quickly drive off the thugs. Afterwards Chang and Li discuss where they are headed, Chang going to find his brother while Li is looking for work, and when they realize they are heading to the same place, decide to travel together. Reaching the town, the two friends part ways after Chang gets a room at an inn. Later, Chang talks to the innkeeper about his brother and the innkeeper says that he did stay there but just disappeared and after holding his room for a while, he was forced to sell his luggage. Chang goes around town and asks people if they have seen his brother with no luck but when he returns to the inn, the innkeeper introduces him to Mr. Wong, another Chinese man who had settled in the area, and Mr. Wong invites Chang to his restaurant the next day. Chang accepts, thinking Wong might be able to help him with his search but he finds out that Wong invited him there in the hopes that Chang would marry his daughter. As they are talking, Li shows up looking for Chang and Wong comments about Li becoming a new martial arts teacher in the area. As the two friends talk with Wong, Wong’s son shows up and Chang notices he has his brother’s necklace so he questions him about it, revealing his matching necklace that he owns. Wong’s son tells him that he and his sister found Chang’s brother near death on the path and he gave him the necklace before he died. Learning that his brother died, Chang asked to be taken to where they buried him and as he cries over the grave, Chang vows vengeance on whoever killed him. As Chang starts training, Wong’s daughter becomes attracted to him, showing him her own fighting skills as they briefly spar. One day, the two head into town and Chang notices a man gambling nearby who has his brother’s watch. Wong’s daughter lures the man away to where Chang is waiting and after a brief fight, the man tells Chang where he got the watch and takes him there. When Chang reaches the house, he questions the man inside, who turns out to be Chang Fan’s guide, Chang starts battling with the guide and as he gets the upper hand, the guide says his boss, Ming Pan-Tin ordered him to take Chang Fan on a dark path so Ming’s men could attack him but doesn’t tell him that he was the one to kill Chang Fan. As Chang swears to kill Ming, the guide attacks him but Wong’s daughter kicks the guide and knocks him off of a cliff. Meanwhile, Ming is told about Chang coming for him so he orders the guards around his house to be increased and his men leave, passing by Li, who had just been hired as a guard. Chang returns to Wong’s home, where Wong and his family agree to help him in his quest but Chang doesn’t want to get them involved so he sneaks out that night. Heading to Ming’s home, he takes out two of the guards and then sneaks into a bedroom, where he finds a man and woman having sex. Mistaking the man for Ming, Chang attacks and kills him, then leaves when the girl starts screaming for help. Chang starts fighting off the guards as he goes to escape but the real Ming, spotting Chang from his balcony, throws a knife into Chang’s leg then orders his men to take him alive. Chang continues to run but as he is cornered, Li knocks out the guard, then hides Chang until the rest of Ming’s men pass by. After the move on, Li and Chang are able to leave the property. Back at his home, Ming is upset that his men couldn’t find Chang but when he learns that Chang is staying at Wong’s place, he tells his men to go there the next day and deal with him. The next day, Wong’s daughter is tending to Chang’s injury when Li shows up and says he will help Chang get Ming but that they should make a plan and not rush in bull-headed like Chang did last night. That night, Ming’s men arrive at Wong’s house but when they find it empty, decide to burn it down. Chang and Wong’s daughter, hiding with Wong and his son in a nearby cave, see the fire and Wong stops Chang from rushing out to attack the men, saying they will deal with Ming later. Meanwhile, Li is keeping watch at Ming’s house and sees one of Ming’s men go into a secret room and bring back a rifle, revealing that Ming is smuggling guns into the area. Chang continues to mend and after his injuries are healed, he and the Wong family head to Ming’s place and take out his guards and then start attacking Ming. Meanwhile, one of Ming’s men heads into town and alerts the rest of Ming’s men and as they head to the house, Li sees them and goes to get the police. At Ming’s house, Ming fights with Chang and the Wong’s and manages to kill Wong before Chang kills him. As Ming’s daughter weeps over the death of her father, the rest of Ming’s men attack Chang and Wong’s daughter and son when Li and the police show up, taking Ming’s men into custody. As Li goes and finds the rest of the weapons while Chang grabs Wong’s body and leaves with Wong’s children.

This was a pretty confusing movie to be honest. The acting was ok from what I could tell but the dubbing was about what I would expect. The story was kind of a confusing mess, primarily where Li is involved as you had no idea he was working for the police until the very end. The fight scenes were kind of a mix in how good they were, with some being pretty good but some looked pretty poorly coordinated. So yeh, this is about as average of a martial arts movie as you would expect and pretty much par for the course with this time frame.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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