Bruce Lee died after shooting only a few scenes of his ambitious Game of Death, but that didn't stop greedy producers from finishing and releasing "Lee's last film," even if he's doubled for most of it. Lee planned an ambi... more »tious expression of his fighting philosophy, and his story culminates in the rigorous challenge of the "Game of Death," in which combatants take on successively greater and greater masters as they fight their way to the top of a tower. Only a few fight scenes were completed, and the released film is about a martial arts movie star who takes on a syndicate of drug dealers. Lee faces down the towering Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in an impressive battle, one of the only surviving scenes from Lee's original shoot, while outtakes from his battle with Chuck Norris in Return of the Dragon are used along with real-life footage from Lee's funeral. The rest of the film is a mishmash of car chases and clumsily edited fights, complete with awkward inserts of Lee's face. His double remains hidden behind a pair of dark glasses or a motorcycle helmet throughout, and he abruptly changes into a yellow jumpsuit for no reason other than to match Lee's costume in the final scene. --Sean Axmaker« less
Etionee D. (etionee) from MORROW, GA Reviewed on 11/20/2012...
Entertaining to say the least!
Game of Deception
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 05/04/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Regardless of what the filmmakers want you to believe, Bruce Lee completed only 15 minutes of fight scenes for "Game of Death" before his untimely death in 1973. Those exciting 15 minutes can be found in the last half-hour of this ludicrous ripoff. When will producers learn that they cannot resurrect a corpse from the cutting-room floor. It didn't work with Bela Lugosi or Peter Sellers - and it fails miserably in "Game of Death." However, the actual Lee footage is worth seeing."
Offensive....Or A Tribute?
Michael A. Quebec | Union City, CA United States | 07/06/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most Bruce Lee fans HATE this movie. They (or I should say "we", since I'm a Bruce Lee fan) note the use of very transparent doubling by Kim Tai Chung & others, the drastic change of plot from Lee's original story-line, & the use of footage from Lee's actual funeral in the film.I understand why these fans dislike "Game of Death" so much & I respect their beliefs. However, I think these fans are reacting a bit too strongly.There are some good points to this movie:1. The high production values. Remember, this is 1978. Hong-Kong movies from THIS time period weren't what they are today. Jackie Chan was just starting to find his way with "Snake In The Eagle's Shadow" & with the exception of the Shaw Brothers, most Hong-Kong films from this time period were cheap, exploitation flicks. We're still a few years away from John Woo, Tsui Hark, or Ang Lee.2. The John Barry musical score. Remember him? He's the one behind "The James Bond Theme."3. The opening title credits by John Christopher Strong the Third. The floating games of chance, combined with John Barry's musical score give the film a "classy" action-movie feel, like a Bond film, quality-wise, that is.4. The major American stars Dean Jagger, Hugh O'Brien, Gig Young, & Colleen Camp. Okay, this is supposed to be Hong-Kong & one reviewer pointed out that in real-life, the heads of Hong-Kong's papers & crime-syndicates would be Chinese. But again, this is 1978. Lee did want to break out onto the mainstream by working with major "American" actors. (Lee himself, of course was an American, since Lee was born in San Francisco, but raised in Hong-Kong.) "Enter The Dragon", while being an obvious James Bond swipe, was successful, not only because of Lee's great talent & charisma, but also because that film featured American stars at the time. (If you can consider John Saxon a "star", that is.)5. The locker-room fight. No, that's not Bruce Lee fighting Bob Wall, it's doubles Kim Tai Chung & Chen Yao Po. But it still is impressive & for this scene, at least, the cutting in of clips from "Way of The Dragon" (or "Return of The Dragon") actually works.6. The plot. Okay, some people don't like the story, but it's obviouse that writer Jan Spears based the story on the rumors surrounding Lee's death. (In truth, he died of an allergic reaction to the pain-pill Equagesic, causing his brain to swell with an edema. However, there were rumors, and that's all they were, just rumors, that he was killed by the Triads for refusing to give them a piece of his successful film-company.) The character of "Billy Lo", faking his death after an attempted murder, so that he can do battle with the syndicate, is based on the Bruce Lee MYTH. (Kind of like the way the 1957 Elvis vehicle "Loving You" is based on the Elvis Presley myth.)I'm not arguing with the fans who hate this movie. They are fans of a true innovative genius of the martial-arts & so I can't say that they are wrong. However, the REAL script & missing additional footage from Lee's original "Game of Death" wasn't uncovered until the mid-1990's. I'm not saying Raymond Chow & Robert Clouse weren't thinking of money when they "finished" "Game of Death." (After all, the film industry is a business.) But I don't see an exploitation picture when I watch "Game of Death." Instead, I see a well-intentioned (if somewhat misguided) tribute to the genius of Bruce Lee.P.S. To see what Bruce Lee intended for his original version of "Game of Death", watch "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey." This documentary has a detailed rendering of Lee's script outline, as well as over 30 minutes of completed footage for the film's finale."
Rip-off of Bruce Lee's unfinished work
weirdo_106 | 11/11/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is a hodgepodge of film being passed off as a Bruce Lee movie. Bruce Lee died before finishing this movie, and has less than 20 minutes of actual footage of him. The plot of the movie does not even correspond with Bruce Lee's original intentions. The parts that actually show Bruce Lee are heavily edited.
If you want to see the intended parts of the movie that were filmed before Bruce Lee's death, rent "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey." While that is still not a complete movie, it explains his philosophy, not just flashy fight scenes.
This movie is a waste of money, time, and space."
Elijah Chingosho | Nairobi, Kenya | 05/06/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
I love Bruce Lee movies. However, when I got "Game of death", I knew that it was fake since Bruce Lee died before finishing this movie. The film was completed about six years after Lee's death. However, for the memory of Bruce Lee, I decided to watch it anyway.
Bruce Lee plays as Billy Lo who is being blackmailed by some mafia gangsters. Naturally, Billy refuses to cooperate and that makes him a target for elimination by the gangsters. Since Bruce Lee died during the making of the movie, most of the film is played by Tai Chung Kim, who performed reasonably well. To disguise the fake Bruce Lee, he can be seen wearing sunglasses, fake beards and bandages. I, however, enjoyed the fights, although they are not up to the standard of Bruce Lee.
Of course, the parts that Bruce Lee really appeared were first class. An example is when he has to fight Kareem Abdul-Jabber. Unfortunately, Bruce Lee only appears for only about 11 minutes or so.
The movie could have been made better if the plot was sensible. So my recommendation is to rent the movie and not to buy it: it is not worth buying.