Bruceploitation At It's Finest!
Decatur Redd | Decatur,GA | 02/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I actually own both versions of this movie. This film was originally released as "Bruce Lee Star of Stars" in Cantonese(which can be found on the Return of the Dragon Pack with 3 other such Bruceploitation flicks), but for the purpose of marketing and promoting Ho Chuong Tao(Bruce Li) in the U.S., it was re-cut, dubbed over and released as "Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger." Predictably, in either case...the film begins with Tiger(Bruce Li) meeting up with Bruce Lee(Bruce Li) and Betty Ting Pei during a movie shoot about 3 days before his passing. On the set he's having multiple headaches, tells Tiger about mysterious phone calls, and deems Tiger as his successor in the event of his death. In either version, Bruce's death leads to Tiger's own investigation into what turns out to be Bruce's murder and his findings lead him into a mafia-like conspiracy that ends with Tiger battling the Baron, who lures him into a duel of the death by kidnapping Betty Ting Pei and his(Tiger's) girlfriend and holding them hostage.
Honestly, the only thing that cheese up the film as that they're exploiting the mysterious circumstances surrounding Bruce Lee's death and incorporate the use of actual, real-life personalities into the plot, meaning we see the fictionalized torturing of Betty Ting Pei my syndicate thugs, meetings between Tiger and Betty Ting Pei, pictures in her apartment with love notes from Bruce Lee, a mysterious recording of a supposed phone conversation about Bruce's murder,etc. However, the action is there, and I was particularly impressed with the quality of product. This one's a keeper not just because of the action, but because it's a 2006 re-issue and the best, remastered Bruce Li flick since Anchor Bay re-released Goodbye Bruce Lee:His Last Game of Death(Bruce Li). Only thing is that you can't fast fwd and there are no chapter selections, but overall, good movie, good quality, just falls short of a 5 in my book for being Bruceploitation as opposed to an authentic Ho Chuong Tao production.
A mediocre film playing off Bruce Lee's mysterious death
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 10/14/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Films such as this which exploit the memory of Bruce Lee do bother me to some degree, yet I swear I can't get enough of them for some reason. Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger (1976) actually makes the mystery of Bruce's death its underlying premise, yet like all movies that supposedly seek an answer to Bruce's early demise, no real answers are ever really forthcoming in the end. Bruce Li, whom I can never really get all that excited about, plays Tiger, one of Bruce Lee's friends and his chosen successor. Tiger visits Bruce on the set just before his death, and Bruce tells him he has been receiving some strange phone calls. Reminding him to always uphold the honor of martial arts, Bruce pretty much tells Tiger that, should something happen to him, Tiger must seek out the truth and avenge him. When Bruce dies suddenly, Tiger honors his friend's wishes by investigating matters himself. He is most anxious to speak to Susie Young, in whose apartment Bruce supposedly died, but she is squirreled away in the hospital after a suicide attempt. Still, he makes headway, learning about a gang of drug-dealing thugs headed by the Baron. The Baron, I have to say, is about the silliest and least intimidating bad guy I've ever seen, going around dressed in a white sheet and hideous scarf. Susie ends up being kidnapped by the Baron's gang, who are desperate to find a tape in her possession that ties them to their drug operation and possible involvement in Bruce's death. The Tiger refuses to give up his search for the truth, no matter how badly his reporter friend George gets beaten up by the bad guys. There is just something about Bruce Li's style of fighting that I don't like, although I won't deny the fact he is a decent martial arts fighter. In the case of Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger, I was less impressed with Li's fights than ever. Let's just say that this Tiger doesn't always roar; his greatest strength seems to be his ability to endure heaps of punishment and bodily harm, put the lives of his loved ones in grave danger, and still come back fighting. His encounter with the Baron is particularly unimpressive, as the real Bruce Lee could have taken the guy with both hands tied behind his back and his eyes closed. My biggest issue with this film, though, has to do with the video quality of the fights. It seems apparent in some of the early fight scenes that the filmmakers have removed a few frames in order to make the moves appear quicker than they are. In the latter half of the film, the fights always seem to be sort of jumpy, and I'm not sure if this is a deliberate attempt by the filmmakers once again to make the fighters appear faster than they are or if it is due to bad film quality. I would be remiss if I neglected to mention the fact that the Tiger uses a couple of disguises taken directly from Lee's The Chinese Connection, and I admit I got quite a kick out of this. I should also note that Bruce Lee's memory is given a great deal of respect here, even though the film is exploiting that death for economic purposes. I and many others have long suspected foul play in the Dragon's untimely passing, and movies such as this had a great deal to do with stoking the early fires of questions and doubts that have lingered to this day. Don't expect any answers (or impressive fight scenes) from Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger, however."