“Game of Death” is a movie starring Bruce Lee, only Bruce Lee is not in most of the movie because he died before finishing the movie. Or starting, really. So of course it’s extremely sad that he died, but it also makes “Game of Death” that much more awkward.
Credits! Starring: Bruce Lee, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. SWEET.
So for some reason, the “Any resemblance/living/dead, yada yada” is in big block white letters in the opening credits. Weird. And also pretty ironic, since “Bruce Lee” doesn’t even resemble Bruce Lee, except for the few times when Bruce Lee is actually Bruce Lee.
Hey, here is Chuck Norris! “Delta Force,” dude. Chuck Norris is wearing teeny-tiny shorts and is very, very pale, as he fights Bruce, but not in an unhappy way, ’cause Chuck and Bruce are actors on a set. And there’s a red motorcycle. Because the only thing more manly than being named “Chuck” or “Bruce” is a red motorcycle.
Weird scene as this one dude with feathered hair wears a red and white suit, and he has a cane with a dog on the handle, and it is obvious by his hair, demeanor, and shifty eyes, that he is up to No Good.
Ho-lee crap. Remember when I told y’all about my ’81 Ford Fairlane stationwagon with the cut-out head of Mr. Drummond in the back windshield? Well, if it isn’t the same thing, only instead of Mr. Drummond, it is Bruce Lee, and instead of my station wagon, it’s a movie and we are supposed to be okay, this early on no less, that NotBruce is having a big emotional crisis while looking into the mirror and his reflection is a cutout photo of RealBruce’s face.
Here we have an actress named Colleen Camp, who much like Tanya Roberts in “Beastmaster,” is a perfect combination of ’70s and ’80s.
Now this bald man is talking to his pet fish. As you do.
Moving on, we have that very specific old-school brand of White People In Suits being boring through clouds of smoke. They’re looking at a fight poster and I feel like I’m at work. But I’m pretty sure that was supposed to be suspenseful.
Now we have a car scene, and CC is “acting,” and it’s something to behold, for sure. She’s even better than Debbie!
CC continues to be useless as Billy (Bruce Lee’s character) gets beaten up, and CC helps by yelling “Billy!” a lot from her car. Finally Billy’s attackers leave, and CC cradles him in the parking lot, healing his beating that she did absolutely nothing to stop.
Now there is a scene in a restaurant where a man tells a story about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and there is a very Tarantino/Whedonesque fight scene. Yes, yes, I know this came first. I’m just saying.
Here is the random motorcycle dude, and here are the white people again with their mustaches and canes and leisure suits and creepiness, and I’m not gonna lie, it reminds me of parties I used to get dragged to as a child.
There is a scene in a dressing room where NotBruce is imitating CC’s makeup look, and this might be the perfect time to ask: Whatever happened to pink and gray as a color combination? Why of all the things we left behind in 1986, did that have to be one of them? Why can’t I wear pink and gray makeup anymore? Or clothes?
Fight! In the dressing room! And Uma Thurman is here in her “Kill Bill” outfit!
Now there is some exceptionally horrible phone acting by CC, as though she is trying to fail Acting 101, which no one does, but she might.
Weird fight scene, and MORE dressing room. BUT what do we have here, but RealBruce, some obvious cuts, and then CC “acts” again.
And Billy gets shot in the face 😦 Because he is faking his own death to get away from the bad men, apparently. So now NotBruce is in a head bandage looking kind of like those creatures from explosm.net. And the scene is very reminiscent of that time in “Facts of Life” where Blair is in a car accident and gets very upset about her face and breaks a mirror and screams.
So yeahhhh, that surgery is being used to explain the NotBruce phenomenon. A bit too little, too late, Movie, and don’t think I’ve forgotten about the Mr. Drummond head!
Now there is footage of Bruce Lee’s real funeral, which is REALLY morbid. But as you see, they are pretending (Not?)Bruce died so he can be in the witness protection program. CC is crying and it’s as amazing as you would expect. She continues to carry on until fainting on a pink street that reminds me of San Antonio.
Oh, dude has his cane again, and has changed from a brown suit into that blue you never see anymore, and he and Bald Guy are in a taxi.
And someone gives CC a red rose and she “acts,” and has a Southern accent for this scene. It’s hard to tell what her accent is now though, ’cause she’s screaming on a roof in her bathrobe at Cane Dude and Bald Guy, and it’s awesome of course, but I’m distracted, because personally, I can’t see a reason to ever go up on a roof in my bathrobe.
Now there’s some exposition about NotBruce, and there is a very eager under-five doctor giving NotBruce a new face so that NotBruce can go hang out on a boat named The Donnie Wahlberg.
Which is chased! By a scary hybrid boat/airplane. And CC is saying the smartest thing she’s ever said: “The police aren’t the answer!” I wonder if that line was Chuck Norris’s idea.
Now there are Chinese dragons and firecrackers exploding everywhere in these alleys, and I wish I went to more festive parties in alleys. Bruce Lee finds Bald Guy in a garden and strangles him until guards come. NotBruce kicks lots of ass. Cane Dude comes and shoots NotBruce! But he escapes.
“I can’t place him, but there was…something about him that I recognized,” says the Bald Dude to remind us that RealBruce is still in the essence of the movie, and also to shout out to my dreams from 2008.
More parade and fireworks. And a martial arts match between two randoms. CC is wearing 17 gold necklaces, and pulls out a gun! Oh no! Not sure why though, and someone gets her to put it away, because CC is aggressively useless. A mustached dude drinks champagne while everyone shakes him ’cause he won the match.
Locker room scene. RealBruce and NotBruce take turns fighting Mr. Mustache and it’s like in Season Four “Buffy,” when Sarah Michelle Gellar lost ridiculous amounts of weight and the difference between her and Sophia Crawford her stunt double was glaringly obvious. Bruce kicks Mr. Mustache in the face lots of times, then shoves him into a locker like Joey Jeremiah used to do to broomheads on the original “Degrassi.”
Now people are looking for Billy, and they should know by now that nine times out of ten, Billy is in his dressing room. Remember how in “The Beastmaster,” half the movie was birds flying in the air? Well, same here, only instead of soaring birds, we get NotBruce and his makeup and his angst for half the movie.
Cane Dude is in a graveyard opening up a casket and seriously, what was up with the ’70s and ’80s and the fascination with opening up caskets? Did people used to die-yet-not a lot more back then? Does this have something to do with forensics and technology? Because no one seems to do it anymore and I’m curious as to why.
So anyway, bottom line is, here is where I SORT of start understanding what’s going on for longer than 30 seconds at a time. Because I’ve watched movies before, and you know that look. When someone digs up a grave, which is a lot of work, enough to be a combo of “I told you so!” and “OH NOOOOOO!!! BLAST!” when you are proven right, and there is no body in the casket! In a fit of effigy, he smashes Bruce’s ceramic “face.” And I would seriously like to know what Bruce Lee’s family had to say about this one big crossover episode with his death.
And here is Billy, heroically chasing CC away to safety, only he probably just doesn’t want to hear her screeching his name again the entire time. Boy’s got shit to do!
But the bad guys drag CC by her ponytail through a parking garage, and it’s pretty funny. Also, Billy’s in his dressing room again. I just thought you should know.
This bald dude is really obsessed with his fish.
Here I get another shoutout to my dream, as CC has Joker mouth from being gagged. Billy realizes how much better things were when CC couldn’t make noise, so he puts her in a closet so we can have more motorcycle and fight scenes, and this one dude dies very dramatically in the rain.
Oh, Uma Thurman is back! Except now she is RealBruce, and fights a straight-edge dude. And it’s only how long in, and I finally now see why people like RealBruce Lee movies. This scene is awesome!
Well hello again, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar! Nice of you to join us! Has there ever been a movie where the top-billed stars were in so little of the film? Anyway, Kareem is HUGE.
But Bruce wins, and Cane Dude shows up to to get his ass kicked and also pushed downstairs. Then it turns out Bald Dude killed himself at his desk or DID HE? He did not; it was a decoy. TWO CAN PLAY AT THE GAME OF DEATH, BRUCE LEE, is the message you get as Bruce Lee jumps through glass to get to Bald Guy, which seems a bit excessive. But I guess they needed some drama, because Bald Guy dies non-climactically, falling through a sign…
…and bringing the movie to a close, as the credits feature RealBruce and a ’70s lady warbling over: