When Bruce Lee passed away suddenly at the age of just 32 back on July 20, 1973, movie fans the world over were left mourning the passing of the martial arts legend.
Plenty of notable martial artists have made the switch over into movies since then but few, if any, have ever been quite like Lee.
All of which makes the upcoming Birth of the Dragon such an appealing prospect – it’s a chance to get some glimpse, at least, of Lee’s early life.
The year is 1965, and Lee is a young, hungry martial artist looking to make a name for himself. Against this backdrop, Lee finds himself challenging the legendary Shaolin monk and kung fu master Wong Jack Man to a fight.
Their eventual meeting would become the stuff of legends and, for the first time ever, the story behind those events is being brought to the big screen.
Directed by George Nolfi, whose previous credits include The Adjustment Bureau, and boasting a cast that includes Philip Ng as Lee and Xia Yu as Man, the film is loosely based on the true events of the time and looks fast, frenetic and, most importantly, a lot of fun.
Produced by WWE Studios, who have been making a habit of delivering colourful, action-led efforts of late, Birth of the Dragon looks like being essential viewing for anyone with a love of Bruce Lee.
Featuring fascinating insights into the life and times of a Hollywood icon, along with some eye-catching fight scenes, Birth of the Dragon chronicles a largely overlooked period in Lee’s life.
Debate still rages as to what exactly happened during this legendary encounter – there was no internet back then, of course, so reports vary – with the movie attempting to shed some light on the face-off.
Ng is perfect as the main man, meanwhile, with the film coming off as the perfect movie for anyone with a love of old school martial arts movies.
So sack off Steven Seagal’s latest effort and give this one a look – you won’t regret it.
Birth of The Dragon arrives on February 23, 2018.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.