The Legend of Bruce Lee (TV Series, 2008)
A remarkably scoped television series, this epic Chinese biopic of martial arts legend Bruce Lee chronicles his life from childhood right up to his tragic, premature death.
Originally broadcast as a 50-episode television series in China on CCTV (Chinese Central Television), the scope of this all-encompassing dramatised documentary is quite incredible. For the DVD release it has been trimmed to a 183-minute runtime and, while the change is noticeable, it still retains a fair amount of the depth present in the original cut.
In the lead role, Danny Chan is remarkably convincing as Bruce Lee. Not only does he act the part well, but he looks so convincing that you’ll often forget you’re not actually watch the real guy pummel people into the dust.
Unfortunately, while the huge cut in runtime is a worthy effort, it’s too dramatic a change to not be noticable. Some of the editing is juddery and confusing and often the plot flies from one place to another with little time for explanation in-between. For fans of Bruce Lee, it will be interesting to see his story dramatised with a decent budget and some good casting, otherwise this may be a bit too rough for a general audience.