Director: Raymond Yip, Manfred Wong
Writer: Robert Lee, Manfred Wong
Producer: Robert Lee, Manfred Wong
Cast: Aarif Lee, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Christy Chung, Jennifer Tse, Michelle Ye, Jin Au-yeung, Angela Gong Mi, Wilfred Lau, Lawrence Cheng, Candice Yu, Chin Kar-lok, Frankie Ng, Andrew Nelson, Ken Lo, Kristy Yang, Charles Ying, Alex Man, Robert Lee, Phoebe Lee
Running Time: 130 min.
By Mighty Peking Man
Directed by Raymond Yip (The Warlords) and Manfred Wong (prolific writer/producer of hundreds of popular titles), Bruce Lee, My Brother is a biographical film about Bruce Lee’s teenage life. It begins in 1940 and ends in 1959, when he’s off to America with a $100 bucks in his pocket.
The film opens with a warm introduction from Bruce Lee’s real siblings: Robert Lee, his younger brother; and Phoebe Lee, his older sister. Robert not only serves as producer, but also provides much of what the movie is based on, hence, the film’s title.
Bruce Lee, My Brother is a decent film. At times, you get the feeling that there wasn’t enough content (made up or not) to warrant an interesting story about Bruce’s teenage life, but for the most part, it glides at a steady pace.
It’s a very lavish looking production. The sets, the clothing, the soundtrack, and the hues applied to the film, bring the 40’s and 50’s alive.
Aarif Lee, who portrays Bruce Lee, plays the part to a T. There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the best Bruce Lee respresentation ever (although, there is a huge drop after this film). The way Aarif walks, smiles, talks, dances, moves – you totally see “Bruce.” It’s worth to watch this movie for Aarif’s epic performance alone.
The film also stars Tony Leung Ka-fai (Bruce’s father) and Christy Chung (Bruce’s mother); as well as many cameo appearances, including ones by Anders Nelson (Way of the Dragon), Kristy Yang (The Stormriders) and even Chin Kar Lok (also action director), who pays a young Shek Kin.
The film ends with interesting closing credits, which compare production photo shoots to actual photos from the Lee Family album. It really shows how much time, effort, and quality was put in to trying to get the images as close to the originals as possible.
I have read that Bruce Lee, My Brother is supposedly the first in a series of movies to be based on Bruce Lee’s life. If this does happen, my guess is that the 2nd one would revolve around his Seattle Years (1959) and end with his with early, ill-fated Hollywood career (“The Green Hornet, etc.” 1966-1969). The 3rd would most likely take place in the early 1970’s, with Bruce returning to Hong Kong to negotiate deals with Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest, his rise to stardom, and end with his untimely death.
As long as you’re not expecting a whole lot of action, or anything during Bruce’s stardom era, you shouldn’t be disappointed. I respect the entire Bruce Lee, My Brother crew – they kept it as real as they could for this kind of film.
Mighty Peking Man’s Rating: 7/10