Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

1974

Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 48,440
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Movie Info

Bruce Lee's pre-Enter the Dragon outing is a surprising change of pace from his usual hard-hitting action fare because it favors humor as much as it does kung-fu. It's also notable because it represents Lee's only venture as a director. For the most part, Return of the Dragon works thanks to its charismatic star. Lee shows great comic timing in the humorous set pieces in addition to the usual physical prowess he displays during the action scenes. He also manages to utilize both skills at once on occasion, the best example being a scene where he squares off with a group of mobster goons at a restaurant. It also benefits from its picturesque Italian setting (a novel location for a kung-fu film) and an impressive fight finale between Lee and Chuck Norris (making his film debut). On the down side, the film's low-budget shows and the other performers all pretty much pale in comparison to Lee. However, the real flaw with Return of the Dragon lies in its ending, which features a last-minute twist that doesn't work because it is too unexpectedly tragic for a film that had previously been so lighthearted. Despite this misstep, it remains a likeable blend of kung-fu and comedy that is likely to bring a smile to the face of Bruce Lee fans. ~ Donald Guarisco, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Return of the Dragon (The Way of the Dragon)

  • Oct 08, 2014
    This is probably Bruce Lee's best known, and most beloved film, which he directed, starred in, and dubbed. While the plot isn't especially new, and the humor is so amazingly corny, the action more than makes up for it. The film is set in Rome, which warrants many great sights, and an interesting setting. Lee's character helps saves a tiny restaurant from the clutches of the mafia, and they retaliate against him by calling Chuck Norris from America to come fight him. The fight between Lee and Norris has got to be one of the best onscreen, in film history. Each choreographs very interesting moves, there's a savagery to their vendetta, and it underlines the clear skill of both fighters. If there's any Bruce Lee film that you need to see, it's this very fast paced, and very badly dubbed adventure.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 07, 2013
    Bruce Lee fighting Chuck Norris in the Roman Colosseum 70s style is enough for me to declare this a potential manly celluloid device to cause the Universe to implode out of epicness. 91/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2012
    Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris. Even today the world's not ready for the epic-ness of this film.
    Joshua W Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2011
    Bruce Lee plus comedy equal gold in Return of the Dragon. While it's a unusual movie compared to other of Bruce Lee classic, it'a still a entertaining to watch. Bruce Lee both wrote and directed Return of the Dragon, by watching the movie you wouldn't be able to tell it's Bruce Lee first and only time directing a movie. Like his Martial Arts, he does it with grace and flows easily to watch. Main plot is Bruce Lee plays a man who visits his relatives at their restaurant in Italy and has to help them defend against brutal gangsters harassing them. It has a good blend of drama and humor, though I think it lack in Martial Art when compared to Enter the Dragon or Fists of Fury. It's still to this day that Bruce Lee died unprecedentedly, he had a bright future many more bright ideas. This movie reminds us of what could have been a legendary career of Martial Art cinema Icon.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer

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