User Reviews (138)

  • omegle-6676728 September 2016
    1/10
    Misses the Mark
    It's been 23 years since the last major Hollywood biopic on Bruce Lee. While we're a full generation forward, the 20-odd year interval wasn't sufficient to outlast the durable media biases that afflict how minorities, in this case, Asian-Americans, are depicted.

    Birth of the Dragon will pull in fans off the street by claiming to tell the story of Bruce Lee, an iconic figure in American history. However, they may be surprised to find that the movie actually has very little to say about Lee. About his love life. About who he is as a human being. In fact, he is dealt with in such a stylized, mysterious manner -- and not as a full human being -- it's unclear the movie gives the viewer anything more than he already knew. Instead, Lee's primary purpose is to serve the white protagonist Steve McKnee in various ways.

    First, the film gives short shrift to the actual epic fight between Lee and his rival. We do not even know how that fight impacted Lee's life afterwards, what he learned from it, or how it changed his fighting style. But we do know Lee went through all that trouble, and the animating force behind it was that Lee's rival was against Caucasians like McKnee being trained to fight. What's happening here is that - this really isn't about Lee. It's more about some character we've never heard of but somehow has the country's greatest martial arts fighter fighting on his behalf.

    It doesn't end there. Lee, a role model for Americans, including Asian-Americans, is seen as flat. He is shown as without a romantic interest. In contrast, McKnee has an Asian Girlfriend...and lo and behold he needs Lee to fight for him again to get the girlfriend back after she's abducted by "bad Asians". And Lee does.

    I think we came to watch Bruce Lee. Not Bruce Lee aid some random fictional nobody on his mission to belong, and then his mission to get back said nobody's girlfriend.
  • chrisleeisworking18 September 2016
    1/10
    this film seriously offends me
    I wanted to throw my popcorn at the screen!! This is cash grab garbage, crock of s***. The director has turned Bruce Lee into a caricature. This is spitting on the memory of Bruce Lee. As a loyal fan of Bruce Lee and as an Asian, this film seriously offends me. ENOUGH! We in the Asian communities will make sure this film earns ZERO dollars. The script is shockingly dull and absurd, the fight scenes aren't exceptional, the stunt guy who plays Bruce Lee captures zero essence of Bruce Lee, his acting pure ham. The director should go back to writing to spare us further torture. ******** BIRTH OF A DRAGON is NOT sanctioned by the Lee family ******** http://www.yomyomf.com/your-1st-look-at-birth-of-a-dragon/
  • EqualityForAll222 September 2016
    1/10
    I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to
    I never write reviews for anything, but this time I absolutely had to. THIS IS NOT A FILM. IT'S ANTI-Asian PROPAGANDA. Yellow Peril, 2016 version.

    This entire film is a carefully hidden propaganda piece that portrays Lee as some unsexual, angry, kung fu loser who accomplishes nothing.

    Meanwhile, a white guy actually stars as the main character of the movie, gets the (Asian) girl, and wins the day.

    What? What just happened? A film about Bruce Lee that ISN'T actually about Bruce? This propaganda piece focuses on stereotyping, dehumanizing, and denigrating Asians and Asian culture.

    Of course, that's no surprise. If you google 'kulturemedia' , you'll find a bunch more examples where western media wages war against Asians in this century.

    Highly recommend people to avoid this film, and watch 'The slanted screen' instead.
  • David Chen28 September 2016
    2/10
    This 2016 Biopic is dull, aimless, and squanders its premise
    I bought the tickets to this movie thinking it would be a cool Bruce Lee biopic. Or failing that, at least a good action film.

    It turns out Birth of the Dragon was NEITHER, giving the focus instead to an obscure side character, and failing to entertain on the action front.

    First, let's talk about the pacing. After slogging through the first half of the film, we finally get to the fight that's been promised, which actually turns out OK. But after that, we're dragged through a shoehorned side-plot about the side character's love life, which feels quite empty after it's been resolved.

    After leaving the theaters in disbelief that I actually spent money on this movie, I looked on the internet for alternatives to scratch my action flick itch.

    Lo and behold, the 1993 biopic DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY was a MUCH better action film, and a fantastic character study on the legend of a man we know today.

    Overall, if you're looking for a biopic, skip this movie and watch DRAGON: THE BRUCE LEE STORY instead. If you're looking for an action film, watch literally ANY OTHER movie than this one.
  • cpcaines8 November 2017
    10/10
    Review from someone who doesn't (currently) hate the Director
    Warning: Spoilers
    Some notes Before the review: It appears that a few people have posted reviews expressing their disinterest in the movie for various non-film related reasons(Albeit justified or not). However in some of these reviews I can't understand some of the points made specifically pertaining to the white person in the film that they portray as the "lead" and the negative light the film apparently portrays Bruce Lee in. I did not find any negative light towards Bruce Lee, and I didn't get the feeling the white guy was the lead in the movie while watching it.

    The movie shows a younger extremely talented Bruce Lee that maybe had one final thing to learn from a Master before making a notable adjustment into becoming his best self. I'm not sure if that was how he was in real life at the time or if this is an inaccurate portrayal. But it says in the Movie that Bruce did notably alter his fighting style after the event.

    I didn't regret watching the movie. Would watch again in a month or so with people people who haven't seen it.(Also if anyone cares to know Bruce Lee is truly an inspiration in my life and I honestly don't think this movie shames him...)
  • moonbaby-4707228 September 2016
    1/10
    Boycott !! Shameless money-hungry producers and director
    I seriously wanted to puke by 2/3 of the film. Lee is the antagonist here, portrayed as a trash-talking hooligan versus the wise and philosophical Wong Jack Man. The real Bruce Lee was a philosopher with depth, not an egomaniac constantly looking to "kick ass'. It's terribly sad that even after his death, greedy slimy Hollywood producers still want to give him and his family the shaft by bastardizing and disrespecting his legacy with this dumbed down cash grab trash. The producers are desperately trying to sell this piece of disgusting trash in the US and in Asia. Please make your voice heard here so the studios and distributors can see how fans of Bruce Lee feel about this film. We will boycott it! They must know we DON'T WANT TO SEE this film on a screen big or small. We will cancel our Netflix subscription if they buy this garbage. Listen, this film was made WITHOUT Bruce Lee Foundation's approval. The Lee family didn't want it but the shameless money-hungry producers (Michael London, Stephen J. Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Janice Williams, James Hong Pang, Leo Shi Young) and director (George Nolfi) went ahead anyway. Total disrespect.
  • Jack Bear28 September 2016
    1/10
    This movie is what is wrong with Hollywood.
    This movie is terrible. I was expecting a story about Bruce Lee but what got is a story focusing on unknown nobody. I don't believe Bruce Lee's fans would enjoy this movie because it is insulting to Bruce Lee and his family and an exploitation of his name for profit.

    It is a shameful act by the writers and the directors of the movie to use Bruce Lee's fame to dupe his worldwide fans into watching this piece of junk.

    If I can give it 0 out of 10, I would; but unfortunately it's only have a rating scale of 1 to 10. Avoid this movie at all cost if you're a Bruce Lee's fan.
  • consciouskendrik21 September 2016
    1/10
    A disrespectful appropriation of Bruce Lee
    Hollywood is racist. This movie disrespects the legacy of Bruce Lee. I highly recommend everyone to boycott this movie. The movie serves to perpetuate negative stereotypes regarding Asian women, men, and the culture.

    It's perspective forces the viewer to indulge in racism against people of color. The racism is very subversive and is spread by more than just one movie. Movies like these are bountiful in Hollywood(denigrating Asian culture).

    I noticed a very disturbing pattern in Hollywood. They do not want Asian men in the lead role even in their own biopic.
  • Bawlife21 September 2016
    1/10
    Hollywood racism galore.
    Hollywood racism galore.

    Film reduces Bruce Lee into a side character in his own story to force a white guy into the lead. Why is the main focus of the trailer on this silly white American dude? Asian males can never take the lead role. Only the side kick even in their own movie. It is disgusting. White people, would it kill you to stop inserting yourselves into everything?

    And of course the white guy is dating the Asian girl. Can you stop socially engineer Asian girls to only see white guys as acceptable dating partner? Stop shoving this down our throat. A white guy kisses an Asian girl. Every movie. It's like they want to brainwash us that Asian girls belong to white men. This turns into a sickening Asian fetish in real life.
  • severaltradeslater1 October 2016
    1/10
    Bruce Lee would not have approved.
    Warning: Spoilers
    I didn't even have a IMDb account before writing this review, but I NEEDED to give this movie a bad review and judging by some of the reviews here other people feel the same way.

    Bruce Lee would not have approved of Birth of the Dragon. However, he would have approved of Dragon: The Bruce Lee story (1993).

    Bruce Lee would have wanted himself to be portrayed as more than a martial artist. Yes Martial Arts is cool, but he would not have wanted to be portrayed as an asexual martial artist. There should have been a focus on his relationship with Linda C. Emery instead of delegating time on Steve McKee.A movie about Bruce should only focus on Bruce.

    Hollywood racism sucks and it sucks hard. I will be telling my Chinese friends here in United States and China to boycott Hollywood films that continue to marginalize Asian actors by forcing them into stereotypical roles. Until Hollywood starts permitting good looking and sexual Asian males to appear on screen they should not even be getting a dime from Asian audiences.
  • John Smith28 September 2016
    1/10
    Hollywood and Tradition as the Root of Racism
    Quotes by Bruce Lee - Big Boss (1971) Fist of Fury (1972) Way of the Dragon (1972) Enter the Dragon (1973)

    "It is an unfortunate fact but still a cold fact that cinema is a marriage of business and art, in Hollywood or Hong Kong.

    Many people are still bound by tradition; when the elder generation says 'no' to something, then these other people will strongly disapprove of it as well. If the elders say that something is wrong, then they also will believe that it is wrong.

    They seldom use their mind to find out the truth and seldom express sincerely their real feeling.

    The simple truth is that these opinions on such things as racism are traditions, which are nothing more than a "formula" laid down by these elder people's experience.

    As we progress and time changes, it is necessary to reform this formula."
  • Rose T30 September 2016
    1/10
    Not actually a movie about Bruce Lee.....
    I have no idea what I just watched, I thought this was supposed to be about Bruce Lee?

    It somehow ended up being about some random white guy with Bruce Lee as a flat, one-dimensional side character.

    I don't mind whitewashing that much, like I understand it up to a certain point (gotta sell those tickets) but considering that this was supposed to be a biopic of Bruce Lee I almost feel embarrassed for how far Hollywood decided to go in order to avoid having an Asian main character.

    What a massive disappointment, this movie was so disrespectful to the memory of Bruce Lee. Rather than a biopic, Birth of the Dragon is more of a fantasy movie.
  • tvanphan4 October 2016
    1/10
    Anti-Asian propaganda disguised as biopic.
    We need to make an example out of this film. As an Asian American MALE, I am sick and tired of our portrayal in Western media, and specifically Hollywood. It seems like they'll keeping poking and prodding us until something gives. Sure, Asians don't make up a lot of Americas population, but what we lack in numbers we'll make up for with our collective wallets. This film and any other films whitewashed should be boycotted till the producers get the message. It is bad enough that Asians don't get any respect in the media, but to make a biopic about BRUCE LEE and make him the side kick to some random White guy? That is just a cash grab, plain and simple. Stop using Bruce Lee's name to make money. No wonder his family didn't even endorse this pile of trash.

    And also, stop with the white guy saves the day with the Asian girl by his side trope. It really shows White people's insecurity when they always have to shove "White is right" down everyone's throats, especially Asian Women. Bruce Lee was married to a White woman. Get a load of that White guys.
  • genxfob29 September 2016
    1/10
    Yet another racist Hollywood production aimed at unknown target audience....
    The relevance of this low-budget excuse for a movie and its b-grade "actors" is inconsequential. More than likely, it will lose money. But what amazes me is that producers should have and would have known this. Anyone would see that offerings like this would anger more people than it would entertain. So why make a movie that will be a box office bust? Obviously it isn't about the money and these type of Hollywood propaganda disguised as film no longer surprise me. Hmm. So the protagonist is a fictional white nobody played by some new run-of-the-bill nobody and the movies sole selling-point, the great Bruce Lee, is a sidekick. And oh wait, they also give the white guy an Asian love interest to boot. So original...just another racist whitewashing prelude to Matt Damon's "Great Wall"...
  • mnmike-858444 October 2016
    1/10
    Why is a white guy the lead in a Bruce Lee biopic?
    What a load of #$@! #$@!. Typical Hollywood white washing. UNBELIEVABLE. Get your head out of your asses, you #$@!ng idiots. Birth of the Dragon, a Bruce Lee biopic, but starring a white guy. Because, of course, Bruce Lee can't star in a movie that's supposed to be about him? Kung Fu has to be from a white person's perspective. The lead has to be white. WHITE PEOPLE ruin everything.

    It's about time Hollywood add some diversity to their casting, production and screen writing. Better yet, learn to write form someone else's perspective? Put yourself in other's shoe without #$@!ing inserting yourself in everything. This is shameful. I hope this movie tanks and it gets terrible reviews. The sad thing is that even though this might be a good movie, learn to #$@!ng humble yourself and stop acting as though every movie needs a white lead. This is the 21st century America. Cast some Latinos, Blacks, and Asians as leads. Why do white guys have to be the center of EVERYTHING? You already have 99% of all other movies. THe 1% of movies that do call for Asian leads, you can't even do that?

    What the #$@! is wrong with Hollywood?
  • atk-74 October 2016
    1/10
    Hollywood at it again: white kid takes center stage to actual Asian main character
    You know it will be a problem when the first listed name on the actor credits is the white dude instead of the one actor playing Bruce Lee.

    When the movie is about a white guy "finding himself".

    When they force a romance plot into it where the white guy gets to kiss an Asian gal.

    By all means create a narrative about Bruce Lee building up his gym before meeting his ultimate fight. By all means have a sub-plot where it's the white kid he trained who first met the kung fu master first.

    But that does not *necessitate* you to have the main plot line evolve around the white nobody.
  • Angela Ang6 October 2016
    1/10
    Bruce Lee daughter has spoken out against this film !
    I saw the film and thought the film was boring and not well made at all. Worse still, Bruce Lee is portrayed in such a disrespectful manner that it was embarrassing to watch. Please boycott this film when it comes out. We must not encourage Hollywood to turn out more films like this. I am Asian but I won't support a film just because it has provided work for many Asian actors. We want roles that aren't insulting !!

    Shannon Lee Responds To BIRTH OF THE DRAGON on Bruce Lee FB page. She Calls It A 'Travesty', 'Inaccurate' And 'Insulting'. "A great number of you have written to me with your concerns about Birth of the Dragon. I share your concerns and want to make it clear that Birth of the Dragon was made without my family's consent or involvement. I have seen the film (out of necessity alone) and, in my opinion and the opinions of many (see link), this film is a travesty on many levels. I think this film is a step backward for Asians in film not to mention that the portrayal of Bruce Lee is inaccurate and insulting. I am disappointed that such a project would be funded and produced." Shannon
  • noll-249-39669722 August 2017
    10/10
    I am Asian American - Why I LOVE this movie!!! (Why it's not ONE dimensionally all Bruce)
    I have seen all of his movies. Yes, even "Dragon-The Bruce Lee Story." First, I am NOT racist toward anyone because I am friends of all races! This is NOT racist toward Asians as MANY of you suppose because it's from 3 people's angles!

    Stop focusing on what is dividing this country today because this country is made up of EVERYBODY, and all colors.

    Here are the 3 angles: This was a 3 dimensional movie about how people grow (not literally) because of 3 main characters: #1 Steve - He went from "I learn Kung Fu to gain respect," (self) to "I am willing to die for someone else." (love others unconditionally). Personally, he was a stumbling, bumbling quirky guy with a quirky Asian friend (there were amusing parts to their characters.) #2 WJM - He learned from nearly killing someone to being able to have self control. Thus, he liberated himself from his tormented past. (Wouldn't it be nice to learn from your past and be victorious when presented with a similar challenge?) #3 Bruce - He went from bragging all the time to learning some humility and maturity (even working together to form 2 heroes that saved many women's lives in the end.) He learned how to liberate his own style and re-create himself so he definitely grew into an even more awesome martial artist and STAR.

    What a powerful, inspiring life message for us all! THANK YOU director for honoring these things: respect for one another (WJM and Bruce), teamwork, living unselfishly, wisdom of Kung Fu, self-actualization. Asians win, Whites win. the beautiful Asian art of Kung Fun wins. Win - WIn.
  • niwgwl4 October 2016
    1/10
    this movie isn't even about bruce lee..
    this was an absolutely horrendous movie that i couldn't even finish. its a tired white saviour unoriginal trashy offensive movie based on a juvenile directors idea of making a film about bruce lee wait...its not even about bruce lee whys there a white guy there whats with the girl romance with him whats the relation to bruce lee ... this movie is absolutely worthless and a total waste of time 0/10 would burn it's a racist movie that takes attention away from bruce lee's achievements and tarnishes his good reputation; if this was the first movie about bruce lee that someone watched i'm sure they would not get an accurate depiction of who he really was.
  • plungg5 October 2016
    1/10
    Terrible movie
    Plot was terrible, casting choice was even worse. How is it that the main character is a sidekick to some white dude? Yes, it's an almost all Asian cast but can't they have done it with just an Asian male protagonist?

    Don't tell Asians that it's OK because it's not. It's movies like these that spread propaganda and influence people's perceptions. Movies like these are the reason why Fox News can be racist and people think it's humorous. Movies like these that lead to a divided America that doesn't understand each other's struggles.

    This movie could have been a turning point but instead was just a thinly veiled insult to the Asian community. If I could give this a 0, I would.
  • Alan Duong7 October 2016
    1/10
    Terrible
    Okay, not sure if everyone here actually watched the film... But I did... I wanted to withhold any judgment until I actually watched it.

    I didn't think it would be that bad. I was wrong. It was even worse. The trailer portrays this movie to be about Bruce Lee's legacy, however the film itself goes off on so many tangents to inject this young white man into the film. It does it's best to take the attention away from the man in which this movie was made about.

    I don't review movies often, but as an Asian-American male, I thought it was important that I at least watch this as objectively as I could.

    I'm extremely disappointed by this trope and garbage.
  • tchau-025994 October 2016
    1/10
    Please rename this move to "Bruce Lee as Sideshow Bob"
    I was sooooo looking forward to this movie. Nothing has been nearly as good since Dragon back in 1993.

    Then I saw the movie.

    WTH??? Why not cast Justin Timberlake as Bruce Lee? This movie is an absolute travesty. We all knew Hollywood is pretty damn racist, but holy cow man! Bruce Lee reduced to Sideshow Bob in a movie ABOUT BRUCE LEE!! I can already see a reimagining of Ip Man, starring Matt Damon as Ip Man himself.

    As if this isn't bad enough. More garbage about white-guy always gets Asian girl. Really??

    Another absolutely racist liberal Hollywood pile of cow dung shoved down our throats.
  • moviefan4 October 2016
    1/10
    Not again...
    Once again, Hollywood is living up to its agenda to marginalize Asian males and promote sanctioned one-way interracial relationships:

    White male + Asian female = Oh yeah! Asian male + white female = HELL NO!

    What is sad is that this is in total contrast to real life, where Bruce Lee got the white woman.

    Furthermore, the movie fulfills about 8 or 9 of the stereotypes exclusively used against Asians by the movie industry. There's an excellent piece of writing and a comprehensive database on the subject:

    Search for: Zak Keith Hollywood Asian stereotypes

    Some excerpts:

    "Racism against Asians is often "unawares"—a form of racism that flies under the radar due to its widespread acceptance as the norm."

    "Hollywood is unfair and pernicious in its portrayal of Asians, the research shows time and again. Stereotypical and often contradictory characteristics are imposed on Asians. There are clear indications that such media characterizations are reinforcing misperceptions that are manifesting in real life as everything from covert discrimination to unabashed racism."

    "Stereotypes have very real consequences for Asians living in the West in terms of day-to-day interaction, current events and governmental legislation."

    "In 2016, Asian characters continue to be whitewashed (substituted by white characters), with the excuse that it is not socially acceptable for US and international markets—and thus commercially unsafe—to cast an Asian (in a lead role).

    "Hollywood is yet to cast an Asian male in a lead role that is not linked to his status as a foreigner or martial artist. Although Lucy Liu was cast in a leading role in Charlie's Angels, she was portrayed as having a Caucasian father and continued to fulfill all the sexual stereotypes assigned to Asian females.

    "Asian American actors, particularly Asian males, are yet to be cast in a lead role that is not related to their ethnicity — meaning a story line that would work regardless of their origins and which does not need to explain or justify their presence in the West in order for the story line to work.

    Hollywood writers and producers: It's 2016! One in 20 of your population are of Asian descent. It's high time to accord this demographic its due respect.
  • Tom4 October 2016
    1/10
    Worst movie I've ever seen by far!
    When the main casting and movie stars a white guy and the film is suppose to be about Bruce Lee, there is something wrong.

    I still gave it a chance and watched the entire film. From a pure film perspective, it was horrible. The director and screen writers should never be able to work on any movies again.

    Now lets get to the film itself and all its controversy. This pathetic film is a prime example of white washing. The movie does not center around the legendary Lee, but a white guy who I could care less about because I (and I'm pretty sure all audiences) wanted the film to be about Bruce Lee! As a movie lover, I'm tired of seeing culturals whitewashed on film. If a movie is about a certain culture or around it's hero, let the cast be about that culture in ethnicity. There was no need to have this pathetic white character in this film. And of course, we have the obvious white guy getting the ethnic girl in the film, how original and talk about white men being insecure.

    The action was pathetic and this was no where near the masterpiece, The Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story was back in the 90s.

    I would have gave this movie a 0, but 1(awful) was unfortunately the lowest grade I can give this pathetic film. Everyone involved, including the studio should be embarrassed for this garbage and this will go down in history as one of the worst whitewashed films ever produced along with The Last Air Bender, Dragon Ball Z, and Aloha.

    DO NOT WATCH THIS TRASH FILM BY ANY MEANS! WASTE OF TIME!
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