Enter The Fat Dragon (HK 1978)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 6/6/04
Director: Samo Hung
Action Director: Samo Hung
Cast: Samo Hung, Roy Chiao, Leung Ka-Yan, cameos by Mars, Yuen Biao, Mung Hoi, Eric Tsang

Bruce Lee fans rejoice! This is the finest Bruce Lee tribute film I've ever seen, and Samo Hung proves beyond a doubt that he is the finest Bruce Lee impersonator on the planet. Samo's legendary action choreography and stunt work are unmatched to begin with, and if you're a Bruce Lee fan, you owe it to yourself to see this film. Samo Hung plays a swineherd who is obsessed with Bruce Lee. When he travels to Hong Kong to find work, his naivete gets him into all sorts of trouble, which usually results in birdcalls and fisticuffs. At one point, he even challenges another Bruce Lee look-alike, with outrageous results. The ultimate showdown takes place in a warehouse against a Jim Kelly look-alike karate master (who is a Chinese kung fu actor in black-face and a wig), a caucasian boxer, and a Chinese kung fu expert (Leung Ka-Yan). Most of the brawls focus on Samo's uncanny impersonation, but the final battle turns out to be a traditional kung fu fight, which alters the pacing a bit. As you would expect from Samo, the fighting is incredibly well staged and executed, and the humor is awkward and tedious. It's manageable, though, and the breaks between action scenes are relatively short. If you have any interest in Chinese cinema at all, this is a classic that is definitely worth checking out.