Bruce Lee Lives! Well, not really, but given the almost overwhelming quantity of conspiracy theories surrounding the king of martial arts and his untimely death exactly 30 years ago, it’s a tabloid headline itching to be written sooner or later. So, although the man-myth does live on in a very real sense through his movies, the knotty issue of unravelling the star from the legends - let alone separating out the films - is a perpetual headache. One that often fogs the true brilliance of Lee’s performances and his feline prowess as a martial artist.
Way Of The Dragon is memorable purely for its final Coliseum-set showdown between Lee and Chuck Norris (at the time the holder of countless US and World Karate championships). This is the film that provides just about the best combat sequence ever shot. No fancy camera work, no trickery. Just two guys at the peak of their powers knocking seven shades out of each other.
For better or worse, it’s also the film that launched Norris’ career and, whilst most of his straight-to-video output - along with that of Cynthia Rothrock, Michael Dudikoff and their ilk - is too easily dismissed, it was responsible for maintaining the momentum of martial arts films in America.