Birth of the Dragon [2016]

This was nothing short of a wholesale cultural appropriation, a colonial appropriation of Kung Fu and its most important proponent in The West, Bruce Lee. It was so good-natured, predictable, clean-cut, and all-American – a Kung Fu film without a single Chinese name in the production credits – I fucking hated it.

That said, I knew all that when I purchased the ticket, and I enjoyed pretty much every minute of what I’m sure will be a mainstream blockbuster that makes tonnes of money. I mean, I should have fucking hated it – but I kinda liked it. And actually, it wasn’t a bad film, all things considered. The charm and appeal of the three main characters was very beneficial, but I think what I ended up liking about it was that it did what I think good martial-arts films should do, which is express character and resolve emotional story arcs through the choreography of the fight scenes.

This isn’t going to make anyone’s list of classic cinema, but what I hear most from most people is that they want a “popcorn film” that they can “just enjoy” – and this is the film for those people.

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