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Birth of the Dragon

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for martial arts violence, language and thematic elements.
not reviewed
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Action Biography Martial-Arts
1 hr. 43 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 25, 2017 (wide)
DVD: November 21, 2017
Copyright, BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions Copyright, BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions
Relevant Issues
Copyright, BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions

developing expertise in martial-arts

Copyright, BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions
Featuring: Philip Ng … Bruce Lee (Philip Wan-Lung Ng)
Yu Xia … Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu)
Billy Magnussen … Steve McKee
Wang Xi'An … Tai Chi Grandmaster / Wang Lian
Hai Yu … Shaolin Abbot (Yu Hai)
Yue Wu … Wang Biao (Wu Yue)
Steven Roberts (Steven F. Roberts) … Beat Poet
Riley Wood … Hippie Girl
Simon Yin … Vinnie Wei
Terry Chen … Frankie Chen
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Director: George Nolfi—“The Adjustment Bureau,” co-writer of “The Bourne Ultimatum”
Producer: Jason Blum
Sunil Homes
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Distributor: BH Tilt, a division of Blumhouse Productions

“The fight that became legend. The legend that became Bruce Lee.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “At a time when the 1960s counterculture was in full swing in San Francisco, Lee (Philip Ng) was a rebel of his own, teaching his own type of martial arts to non-Chinese despite his community frowning upon it. A young actor named Steven McKee (Billy Magnussen) becomes a pupil of Lee’s, who in turn is fascinated by his new student’s line of work. However, kung fu master Wong Jack Man (Yu Xia) is sent from China to stop Lee’s heretical ways, soon giving birth to a legend.

BIRTH OF THE DRAGON is a modern take on the classic movies that Bruce Lee was known for. It takes its inspiration from the epic and still controversial showdown between an up-and-coming Bruce Lee and kung fu master Wong Jack Man—a battle that gave birth to a legend.”

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Movie Critics
…all cliché, all terrible, tone-deaf *cool*, all horrifying tropes years beyond their sell-by date… preposterous screenwriting… directed with all the flare of a mid-‘90s tourism video…
Scout Tafoya,
…The whole enterprise plays like a throwback, summoning up memories of Lee’s cut-rate/no-script “chop sockey” pictures where the charisma was obvious, the fights epic, the stories an afterthought and the effects wincingly obvious. …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…fictionalized drama… Rewatching “Enter the Dragon” would be a better choice…
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter
…As alternatingly silly and serious as its mix of wisdom and wallops, and even with that blond bro gumming up the works, “Birth” is nevertheless zippy, B-movie entertainment. …
Robert Abele, The Wrap
…It’s unusual to see a film like this make its nominal hero into a jerk, who learns something essential from his nemesis. True or not, the complex characterization does make for a better story. …
Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times
…Xia's humble sifu lends more gravitas than this dreck deserves, and a rousing, improbable finale in which Lee and Man take on the mob together offers some great fight choreography, but it's all too little, too late. …
Andrew Parker, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)