Christopher J. Deasy | Depends on the time of year | 07/26/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Almost everything following the opening scene is horrible... the way they kill off Bruce is SOOOOOOOOO lame and misleading... he's barely in the film. The rest of the film relies on lesser talents and a hack of an editor. Stupid story lines are ok if the fighting's good... BUT its not. Don't waste your time when there are plenty of good Kung Fu movies out there."
A strange one...
Joe Kenney | Dallas, TX USA | 04/02/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, this one is unusual, due to some very heavy editing. First of all, I must respectfully point out that the below reviewer isn't talking about this flick, New Game of Death. He's talking about an entirely different movie: Tower of Death, aka Game of Death 2. That movie is an indirect sequel to the 1978, Robert Clouse-directed Game of Death. This movie, however, is something else. Like most kung-fu movies, it is known by another name: Goodbye Bruce Lee. But here it has been edited and changed around. Goodbye Bruce Lee was a psuedo-documentary in which Bruce Li was introduced as the man who would complete Bruce Lee's unfinished movie Game of Death. There was even a short interview with Kareem Abdul Jabbar at the beginning, as well as some shots of Li working the high-bar, giving us a peek at his acrobatic skills. Then, mid-course through this documentary, a "movie" began, in which Li fought some crooks and eventually rescues his fiancee, who is held in a martial artist-filled pagoda. This edit of Goodbye Bruce Lee features all of that, save for the Jabbar interview and the original narration, which have both been removed. Now it is made to resemble just a regular movie, and not a documentary at all. However the editing has left it very odd. For example, it still begins with Li working the high-bar. But instead of narration explaining who this man is, the theme music (a very Blaxploitation sounding song called "King of Kung Fu") plays relentlessly, and there is no dialog. Then Li is taken to a producer's office, where he's told that he's been chosen to complete Bruce Lee's movie Game of Death. Li agrees, and the producers have him and his girlfriend sit down in a projection room, so they can show him "the portion of the movie that Bruce finished." The projectionist starts the movie and from there on we're into the New Game of Death. There is no more mention of Bruce Li and his girlfriend in the projection room. Sound confusing? It is. As for the movie itself, it's confusing too - and I think this is mostly due to the English dubbing. Back when this was released, I think US distributors just tried to get the dialog to match the movements of the actors' mouths - they weren't so worried about accurately-translated dialog. And that really shows in this movie. Several times it's very obvious that the dialog has nothing to do with what's going on. And as for the fighting, well it isn't that great. Bruce Li was no Bruce Lee. As if you didn't already know that. There are some saving graces, though: the pagoda guardians are fairly interesting in a campy way, and Li does the best with what he's been given in this film. Two scenes that had me laughing: Li's brother discovers that his apartment has been trashed as the opening chords of the James Bond theme blast on the soundtrack. And two, Li walks into his trashed home, steps into a room, and steps back out in the black and yellow tracksuit that the real Bruce Lee wore in his Game of Death. Anyway, my advice: rent the movie if you want to see it. Maybe one day the original version, Goodbye Bruce Lee, will be released."
Lets just not complete his unfinished work ok?
Stephen | Tx,Usa | 07/26/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Well I gotta comment of the people who want to view Real Bruce Lee movies to get to know him first from a reliable source and not the Dragon the bruce lee story but a book. Bruce chorographed all his fightin and wouldn't want someone else do it as Yuen Bao. Every attempt to finish his movie or imitate is just unrealistic that people will say "Hey he is just like Bruce!" Tower of Death does not have the Bruce quality or realistic fighting scenes. It is made up of acrobatic moves. Unless u want to see that then go ahead rent or buy it. Remember the "New" and Tower of Death does not include real footage of Bruce Lee just reminders of other movies(setting & clothes he wore.) Go for a real movie of his. (He made only 4)"
Beware of the Killer Peacocks!
Shawn McKenna | Modesto, CA USA | 06/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Game of Death II (aka Tower of Death) is a dichotomy of a film. It is a Bruceploitation film (though it is one of the better ones) and it is an exiting revenge flick. Raymond Chow had apparently not made enough money off of the insipid Game of Death and was slowly leaking "newly found" footage of Bruce so it was bound that he would create another film with spliced in footage, redubbed dialog and, of course, Bruce's namesake. A lot of people were using Lee's name to promote their own productions, but Golden Harvest (who Bruce worked for; though technically this was a Seasonal production) was the worst of these offenders.
The first act of the movie is the least interesting and worst part of the film. Bruce Lee stars (posthumously edited in) as Billy Lo (Bruce Lee) who visits his friend Chin Ku (Hwang Jang Lee) who is currently beating up an under-classed challenger. After an reestablishment of friendship between the two (never a good sign in a Kung Fu film), he visits an abbot (Roy Chiao revisiting his role from Enter the Dragon so they can reuse and redub footage) to discuss about his contumacious brother Bobby Lo (Tong Lung who also starred in Game of Death).
Of course, the scenes that compromise the first act are not only exploitative of Bruce Lee they are also poorly done. The most obvious is that the backgrounds do not match between Bruce's footage and the new footage. Also check out the sculpted back muscles of Bruce and compare them to his double. It is not even close. The fight scenes with Bruce (and his double) do not flow well. However, anytime you see a fight scene and that Bruce (or his double) does a difficult move such as a flip you will notice that it is the incomparable Yuen Biao (he even has a small role toward the beginning.) Bruce later visits the funeral of his friend Chin Ku and he is prevented from examining the body (this must mean something to the plot.) When the ceremony takes place a helicopter comes by and snags the coffin. For some strange reason, well to dispose of the fake Bruce character, he jumps on the coffin as it is flying away and is hit with a dart and falls to his death. This is absolutely absurd. Though this is not as bad as the 70s clothes at the funeral or the tacky real funeral footage of Bruce Lee that would come next.
Now the movie gets more interesting and less exploitative. Bobby learns of his brother's death from his father who tells him to meet Sherman Lan. Sherman tells him to go to the Palace of Death. Now this is an interesting place. It is owned by Lewis, played by Roy Horan who has been an executive at Seasonal, an actor who also acted in Snake in the Eagle's Shadow, a student of Hwang Jang Lee and currently a lecturer at HK Polytechnic University; obviously his life is more interesting than this film. Bobby suspects Lewis as the culprit behind his brother's death. Lewis likes to eat raw meat, is surrounded by lions (who are fed the fighters that he defeats), Killer Peacocks and a one-armed valet (oh my). The one-armed assistant, a monk from the Fan Yu temple) does not seem that he could be of great use to Lewis, but Lewis says that he is faithful and he has known him for a long time (do not dwell on this fact because the absurdity of what happens later is quite hilarious). I really do not trust one-armed people in Hong Kong films unless they are played by Jimmy Wang Yu.
Lewis tells Bobby of a tower built by abbot Hung Kuang. However, it cannot be found above ground. The abbot had it built underground (this is a nice twist until you see how much they spent on the set design and how many levels there actually are). Obviously there is going to be a show down there with Bobby fighting however is behind all of this madness. I will not give it away (or tell what happens at the Palace of Death) but it is fairly obvious who it will be.
The final act of the film leads to some good fighting scenes, obviously with the help of action director Yuen Wo-Ping, as Bobby makes his way down the tower (try to see how many times Yuen Biao is used as a stunt double; hint check every other move Bobby makes). Most of the film is entertaining (not counting the irritating and unnecessary flashbacks). There is always going to be tackiness involved anytime you invoke Bruce Lee's inimitable name; but once the movie gets past that it is fun to watch. In fact it is the best Bruceploitation film out there -- though that does not necessarily mean that much.
Not BRUCE...but NOT BAD
Decatur Redd | Decatur,GA | 08/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Speaking as a die-hard Bruce Lee fan, I share the opinions of those who don't consider Game of Death(the 20th Century FOX version) to be rhe real deal because of all of the doubles, awkward fight scenes and snippets(not to mention the altered storyline and plot), however, having grown to watch the film with an open mind, I think the film was OK(I still feel it would've been better to just feauture the double, change the title, and cut the snippets). Likewise, I consider Game of Death 2 to be a pretty good sequel because it's done in similar fashion, features more unreleased Game of Death footage,continues to follow the character Billy Lo, has better fight sequences, and is actually inspired by Lee's original Game of Death concept(the Death Tower). However, as with the 1st GOD, you may find the snippets and doubling a tad bit irritating...BUT, when watched with an open mind I think that viewers will find that Tong Lung(the REAL star,Bruce Lee double, Bobby Lo) shines in this movie as Lee's character meets an untimely demise and is succeeded by his younger brother(exit Billy Lo,enter Bobby Lo). The only reason I wouldn't score this film above 3 stars is because of the one fight scene in which there was an attempt on Bobby's life in the Palace of Death via what was supposed to be a LION(someone please tell me that it was supposed to be some sort of warrior, fighting off a LION with a chair...get real). Aside from the LION disaster, I have to be a little critical of the fact that they'd attempted sneak in a little "Enter the Dragon" setup for the Death Tower(drug trafficking, underground factory,etc). But overall, I feel this is as good a sequel to Game of Death(the 20th Century FOX version) as Bruce Li's Chinese Connection 2 was to Bruce Lee's original.However, only buy this film if you have an open enough mind NOT to be turned off by the doubles and snippets as used in the 1st."