Warning: there are minor spoilers ahead for Birth of the Dragon.
Birth of the Dragon is not the Bruce Lee biopic you’ve been waiting for, as strong performances and martial arts action by Philip Ng and Xia Yu are wasted on a movie that had too little faith in the real story.
In 1965, martial arts icons Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man had a private match away from the public that became legendary, even though neither man agreed upon the outcome. Director George Nolfi’s Birth of the Dragon is very loosely inspired by that chapter of their history. But the movie itself is being marketed in a way that misrepresents the finished film. If we were to judge by the posters of Philip Ng as Lee, it would be easy to believe that this is a Bruce Lee biopic. That’s not what this is, and the movie treats Lee as if he is only the third most important character in his own story.