REVIEW: Bruce Lee: The Invincible
Oh boy. What can be said about such a movie? Not since the days of my teenage youth where I witnessed Bloodsport and Kickboxer, has a movie inspired me in such a way. Of course what people don't is that this indeed a lost Bruce Lee classic that somehow never gets its due credit from the mainstream. I mean Bruce Lee:The Invincible was made in 1977 and it clearly shows that Bruce Lee could make movies from beyond the grave. Of course we all know that Bruce Lee is really living on an island somewhere due to return one day (According to his 70's biography Bruce Lee:The Man The Myth) Of course they said he would return in 1983 but my theory is that the reason he hasn't returned is because he's been running secret missions. Bruce Lee:The Invincible is of course a documentary of one said mission.
I mean seriously, no producer would honestly think that the audience in question would buy into a notion that Bruce Li and Bruce Lee weren't the same guy. I mean how else can you explain the uncanny looks and the fact that Bruce Li was indeed an alias. Of course sadly, this was the case. Bruce Lee isn't in this movie and in reality they cast Bruce Li and of course this was made to capitalize on Bruce Lee's image. Bruce Lee of course was awesome. Bruce Li was well, Bruce Li.
However Bruce Li did make some great bad movies, among them are classics such as Exit The Dragon, Enter The Tiger (The offical sequel to Enter The Dragon?), Bruce Li In New Guinea (Because the country Li is in, makes all the difference) and of course Deadly Strike which actually promised Bruce Le but instead gave us Bruce Li. Poor Bruce Li, his whole career was ripping off Bruce Lee but somehow one of his movies was advertised as having Bruce Le (The title is "Bruce Le:Deadly Strike") when it in fact starred Bruce Li. Ouch.
Bruce Lee:The Invinicble stars Bruce Li not as Bruce Lee, but as a martial artist who travels with his master, to confront a bad guy martial artist who is causing all kinds of trouble in some area of the world, different from China. (Honestly i'm not sure if this takes place in Singapore, Malaysia or somewhere else in China away from the village our heroes come from.) Anyway the main bad guy martial artist is named Cheng, and why is he such a bad guy? Well as it turns out, he wants to settle down and being that there are no unmarried women (Maybe this is China) he decides to force Bruce Li's female cousin in an unwanted marriage. Really is Cheng that bad of a guy? All he wants is consistent pussy and this is not unreasonable for a bad guy. I mean this woman is apparently infatuated with Bruce Li (Who is her cousin no less) and Cheng would probably be better than Bruce Li. But I digress.
The sequence where Cheng kidnaps the woman is truly as hilarious as it comes. She screams in such an over exaggerated way (Think of a high school students making a horror film) and Cheng comes in and beats up both her parents as well as her brother. This is all hilarious of course but what is even better is the bad dubbing that for my money is the only way to watch a 70's Kung Fu movie. Plus the dialogue is truly inspired in its atrocious badness.
However what provides Bruce Lee:The Invincible the greatness of classic bad movie status, is that Bruce Li actually fights kung fu apes. That's right, Cheng's last line of defense against Bruce Li and his master, is to sic his kung fu fighting gorillas. Once again it's BLATANTLY obvious that these are guys in suits (And these suits are incredibly hilarious, think of the worst halloween costume and you're not even coming close.) Watching these stuntmen do back flips and all kinds of karate kicks on Bruce Li is truly inspired genius. What is even better is that when these gorillas die, their eyes pop out (Think Total Recall) so this kung fu theater classic provides everything that is great (awful) about the genre.
The fight sequences are also good, the production values are above average for the time and Bruce Li seems to have charisma, all of this though pales into comparison of what is the greatness of Bruce Lee:The Invincible. Which is of course Bruce Li using his kung fu on gorillas.
This is the definition of a movie that has cowbell. I of course have a fever and the prescription is of course Bruce Lee:The Invincible. I gotta have my Bruce Lee:The Invincible. And for one dollar you can too.
Hamlin Grade: 8
-Board certified professional safety dancer