Parents' Guide to

Birth of the Dragon

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Cheap-looking, whitewashed version of Bruce Lee's story.

Movie PG-13 2017 89 minutes
Birth of the Dragon Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+

This title has:

Too much consumerism
age 11+

Mandatory Martial Arts Must See

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6):
Kids say (1):

Feeling like a cheap, quickie effort, this story of Bruce Lee's early days has some good moments, but it makes the fatal mistake of inserting a white character to drive the plot and get the girl. The martial arts scenes aren't uniformly terrible; they're blessed with choreography by the great Corey Yuen. Ng does a reasonable job imitating Lee, and Yu's Wong Jack Man is appealing, but that's about all Birth of the Dragon does right. It's mostly a hack job, unworthy of its legendary subject.

White director George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau) apparently saw no problem with simplifying and sidelining the story's compelling Asian characters in favor of a boring white one whose romantic arc is somewhat silly. Worse, Lee's supposed character arc begins by showing the icon as arrogant and short-sighted. And then his redemption, which is mentioned, isn't shown and so doesn't really click. Lee's many fans will surely be disappointed (or even insulted) by this; they'd be better served by watching Lee himself in Enter the Dragon ... or just about anything else.

Movie Details

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