Philip Ng Is Bruce Lee In George Nolfi's BIRTH OF THE DRAGON

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Philip Ng Is Bruce Lee In George Nolfi's BIRTH OF THE DRAGON
Word first broke about The Adjustment Bureau director George Nolfi's upcoming Birth Of The Dragon back in February and with production just around the corner further details have arrived on the Bruce Lee biopic.

Birth of The Dragon recreates the mid-1960's fight between Lee and Wong from the point of view of a young martial arts student whose allegiance became torn between Lee and Wong Jack Man. To this day, people still argue about who won the famous fight, but one thing is certain: after his battle with Wong, Bruce Lee reinvented himself and his style of kung fu.
The story here will be told from the point of view of fictional character Steve McKee, to played by Billy Magnussen, a student of Lee's whose loyalty is torn between Lee and Shaolin master Wong Jack Man as he enters the world of kung fu.

Playing Lee himself will be Hong Kong star Philip Ng (Once Upon A Time In Shanghai), who seems rather a good choice in terms of both acting and martial arts ability, while his flawless English is certainly also a plus for a film set in the American portion of Lee's life. Playing Wong will be mainland actor Yu Xia (The Painted Veil) with Jinging Qu rounding out the cast and the whole thing based on a cast by Academy Award nominees Christopher Wilkinson and Stephen J. Rivele (Nixon, Ali), who know a thing or two about bio-pics.

On the martial arts front, fight choreography and action design comes courtesy of Corey Yuen, so things should be very solid on that front. Principal photography begins today.
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adjustment bureaubiopicbirth of the dragonbruce leecorey yuenGeorge Nolfikung fumartial artsphilip ngChristopher WilkinsonStephen J. RiveleBilly MagnussenTerry ChenRon YuanVanessa RossBiographyDrama

More about Birth of the Dragon

Pasta_BearNovember 18, 2015 10:40 PM


HeijoshinNovember 19, 2015 12:56 AM

I have to say that Corey Yuen seems kind of an odd choice for choreography for a Bruce Lee Bio-pic. Makes me wonder how grounded the action sequences are going to be.

I'm not knocking Yuen as a Choreographer at all but if this is supposed to be a more realistic style of action, as a bio-pic usually should portray, then someone else might have been better suited to the task.

ToryKNovember 19, 2015 1:48 AM

If Yuen were still doing the sort of thing he did in the 80's, this choice would make total sense. But he doesn't, so it doesn't, I agree.

QinlongNovember 19, 2015 10:36 AM

I think we're in for the "grounded but enhanced" style of Rise of the Legend. 80% realistic, with a few gravity-free flourishes.

ToryKNovember 19, 2015 12:01 PM

I haven't seen it (yet), so I really can't comment there. On that note, was Rise as in-the-middle as I heard it was? I keep telling myself there's a chance I'll like it more than most.

QinlongNovember 19, 2015 12:12 PM

In-the-middle sums it up well in my opinion. It's a visually stunning but narratively half-baked film that suffers from a miscast Eddie Peng as Wong Fei Hung.

HeijoshinNovember 19, 2015 4:53 PM

Not sure that works well for bio-pic. I am pretty critical about that sort of thing and especially so when it comes to stuff about Bruce Lee. I would much rather see a more honest and realistic portrayal of the man that has reached 'folk hero' status like Wong Fei-hung and the others. I have issue with Lee being consistently touted as 'the best there ever was or ever will be' as so many people make him out to be.

I will admit that part of my sticklering here is due to the central character but I would like to think that I would be just as critical of a bio-pic about any other real life martial artist.

HeijoshinNovember 19, 2015 5:06 PM

I know you weren't asking me but I just thought I'd offer my opinion as I have a little bit of a different one on Rise than most people I talk to.

I actually liked it. I liked Eddie Peng in the the role, I liked the story and for the most part I liked the action. Martial Arts movies aren't usually known for very strong plots and this was by no means a way better story than most but it certainly wasn't bad in my opinion.

It was a different take on the character and how he came to be who he was. It was not like the Once Upon A Time series and others like it that have shown a young Wong Fei-hung coming into his own. It was very different and really kind of refreshing as that kind of thing goes as I have seen so many Wong Fei-hung movies and several series that are all very similar in their stories.

The Choreography was fairly solid. Really, the only actual complaints that I have about the film are some of the CGI flourishes that they added in and, for what seems like the one millionth time of me making this complaint, use of wires to assist Sammo Hung in doing things that he either can't do anymore or in this case, could have never done in even in his younger days. Almost all of the action was great but their were a few times I had to grimace at the screen wondering why the people involved thought that what they were doing to 'enhance' a scene didn't make it look worse.

Honestly though, the little bit that I didn't like was far outweighed what I did like about the movie. So as you can see that Qinlong and I have two different options here, I would recommend just checking it out for yourself and keeping an open mind about it. As you said, you might like it more than most.

ToryKNovember 20, 2015 10:59 PM

No, hey, any feedback is appreciated, so thanks man. I'll get around to it eventually. I can't really miss out on a new shot at Wong Fei-Hung. It's not like we have a ton of Fu movies floating around nowadays, mediocre or not.