I Am Bruce Lee (2012)

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poster

Director: Pete McCormack

Starring: Bruce Lee, Ray Mancini, Gina Carano, Linda Lee Caldwell

94 Minutes

Originally airing on Spike TV, I Am Bruce is the latest in a line of Bruce Lee documentaries. Featuring archive footage, talking head interviews with actors, athletes, historians, and personal friends, I Am Bruce Lee also features collaboration with the Lee family and estate.

Following a history of his life, the documentary intersperses clips from his films along with photos and interviews to give a general outline on the man. Tracing his influences with his life as a child star, to his martial philosophy, and stardom, interviews illuminate his life and attempt to give a view of just who this charismatic and legendary figure truly was. Interviewees include: athletes Manny Pacquiao, Ray Mancini, Jon Jones, Gina Carano, Kobe Bryant; actors Ed O’Neill, Mickey Rourke; and contemporaries Dan Inosanto, Gene LeBell, Linda Lee Caldwell and daughter Shannon Lee. Some interviews are better than others; Dan Inosanto has a very touching moment recounting Lee’s death which is pretty moving, while the Taboo interview about Bruce ‘teaching’ him how to ‘dance’ is puzzling and generally eye-rolling.

I Am Bruce Lee is a solid if somewhat lionizing documentary on a mysterious and popular figure. Offering a pretty in depth look at the man, it does not however, offer much for the Lee aficionados. As someone who has read numerous books and seen many other docs about this very subject, it was almost a rehash of knowledge that I had gleamed in other places. It is a good entry level documentary on Bruce for the newer fans and great way to make fans for the few out there that are uninitiated.

You may enjoy this film if you enjoyed: Dragon the Bruce Lee Story, Warrior’s Journey, Curse of the Dragon

Special thanks to Shout! Factory for providing a viewing copy!

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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