The 1965 fight between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man is infamous largely due to the fact it was played out in private in front of a handful of individuals. Accounts of what actually happened differ greatly (some say it lasted three minutes, others say 20, for instance) but all are agreed that Lee came out on top and that it helped give birth to his martial arts legend status.
It's no surprise then, that Birth of the Dragon chooses to focus on this episode from Bruce Lee's life. Not only does it provide opportunity for some creative freedom (the film is only loosely based on the true events surrounding the fight), but also to show off plenty of Lee’s trademark fighting styles. And in this respect especially, Philip Ng excels as Lee. A master of the martial arts himself, he handles the fight scenes with aplomb and is always captivating as the charismatic future kung fu star.
A must for fans of Bruce Lee, kung fu films and students of martial arts, Birth of the Dragon gives a fascinating portrayal of Lee's younger years and his defining moment.
On EST (Digital Download) 7th May and DVD and Blu-ray 4th June from Altitude.