Exit the Dragon, Enter the Tiger (1977)

Genres - Action, Adventure, Crime  |   Sub-Genres - Martial Arts  |   Release Date - Jan 2, 1976 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - China  |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Donald Guarisco

This lame quickie delivers about what you'd expect from a film designed to cash in on the mysterious demise of Bruce Lee: namely, a silly story, bad acting and cut-rate action. The script is flat-out ridiculous: the hero is a buffoon who constantly gets anyone who helps him attacked and/or killed through his own carelessness and the villains, while suitably nasty, are a pretty generic and brainless lot (the nonsensical reason they targeted and killed Bruce Lee is unintentionally hilarious once it is revealed). It's also worth noting that it takes about a half-hour for the actual fight scenes to begin, though it is tough to say whether this happens due to ineptitude or just cheapness. Tso Nam Lee's direction has energy but is crude from both technical and artistic standpoints, resulting in a film that looks cheap and lacks any style. Star Bruce Li has decent martial arts skills and shows a basic knack for humor in the few scenes that involve it but is a lost cause when it comes to dramatic acting, hopelessly over-signifying every big emotion during the scenes where he's supposed to get fired up. If there's anything nice to say about Exit The Dragon, Enter The Tiger, it is that the fight choreography is fairly solid. That said, there are several dozen kung-fu films one could watch that are better made and have more interesting stories. Basically, this film is best left to kung-fu flick completists and trash aficionados -- and even they are likely to consider it slim pickings.