Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey (2000)
15

When Bruce Lee died in 1973, he left behind the uncompleted "Game of Death", having already filmed three important scenes. Golden Harvest later incorporated 11 minutes of that fight footage into a new story created using Lee look-a-likes that became the dubious enterprise of the same name. What Harvest wasn't telling anyone was that there was a further 23 minutes of footage that they left out. Discovered by Bey Logan in 1999 (rotting away in a back yard, and covered in chicken shit) this previously unseen material has been incorporated into the part documentary, part movie that is "Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey".

This docu-movie is divided into five clear parts, with the first three dealing with the life of Bruce Lee. There's not much new information here for Lee fans, but the footage from a number of sources including Lee's home movies, TV interviews, and shows is well presented and paints a vivid picture of a man whose phenomenal talents were only just beginning to mature.

These archive moments are interspersed with new interviews with Linda Lee Caldwell (widow of Lee), Taky Kimura (Lee's highest rated student), Ji Han Jae (Hapkido Grandmaster), and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (co-star in "Game of Death"). In particular, it's great to see Abdul-Jabbar offer forth his thoughts on the man because he tends to be missing from other documentaries.

With the overview of Lee's life complete, "A Warrior's Journey" then moves into the final two segments. The first examines Lee's intentions with "Game of Death", with the second part devoted to showing the available (and usable) footage that Bruce shot, edited to as close as possible to the original script, and film notes.

The result is the final three levels of the five-level pagoda sequence now shown as intended. It should leave the viewer in no doubt that Lee's film would have been very different to the hokey effort that Golden Harvest cobbled together.

Read a review of the "A Warrior's Journey" DVD.

End Credits

Director: John Little

Writer: John Little

Stars: Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Tien, Dan Inosanto, Taky Kimura, Ji Han Jae

Genre: Documentary, Martial Arts

Original: 2000

DVD: 08 October 2000

Country: USA

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