Eye of the Dragon

Reviewed By Charles Tatum
Posted 12/05/03 15:52:31

"This review can be used as evidence in a copyright infringement lawsuit..."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

Bruce Le (not to be confused with Bruce Lee or Bruce Li, or even Bruce Springsteen), plays Bruce, a crime lord's henchman who gets sent to prison after a drug deal gone wrong.

He is released, and decides to retire from the henchman game. He's going to marry his girlfriend and settle down, but unfortunately his old gang kidnaps the local ambassador's hot daughter. Bruce is recruited by the police to find her, and he begins flying around the world, finally rescuing her and having it out in a climactic duel to the death.

Poor Bruce cannot catch a break. Not only does his old gang accidentally kill his fiancee instead of him (on a topless beach, no less), but the gang is also involved in the death of Bruce's father and the kidnapping of his sister! What's a martial arts trained former henchman to do?

This film, known under about half a dozen other names, definitely falls into the "so bad, it's good" category, and I never cater to that type of flick. The action is okay for this type of film, nothing really earth shattering. Le bears a slight resemblance to Bruce Lee, but Le is smaller in stature. Harold Sakata somehow got involved in this, playing one of the villains. If you do not remember him as Oddjob in "Goldfinger," don't worry. The film makers ignore copyright laws by playing Monte Norman's "James Bond Theme" every time Sakata is onscreen. Sakata also has a razor edged hat, and he wears a metallic glove on one hand fingers (I kid you not). Simon and Garfunkel and a few late '70's disco acts also contribute to the soundtrack, and may not even know it. Bolo Yeung is another villain, I swear he has appeared in every martial arts film ever made in Hong Kong.

For such a B flick, this certainly had a travel agent working overtime. You do not see many kung fu moves taking place in Rome, Paris, or Macau, yet Le is seen running around all three locations. The direction is weird. The final showdown (in Rome's Coliseum) has Bruce kicking some major tail. Suddenly, the film makers thrown in actual animation to show us what Bruce is doing to his opponent's body! A broken leg, a busted rib, a beating heart, all drawn in some of the silliest cartoon footage I have ever seen.

There is also an abundance of nude women, even more than usual in a martial arts flick. "Eye of the Dragon," aka "Bruce Le Strikes Back," "Bruce Le Fights Back," "Ninja Strikes Back," and "Xiong zhong," is awful...and awfully fascinating.

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