THE GREATEST FIGHT WE NEVER SAW
"Enter the Dragon" (1973)
Directed by Robert Clouse
Sometimes, due to a person's age, they see current films before classic films of that same genre. Now, I must admit to you, I have seen the 1988 film, "Bloodsport" before I saw the iconic 1973 film, "Enter the Dragon". I can feel you cringe. I would like to explain why I am actually happy about this. Because I was a fan of this JCVD film, I experienced "Enter the Dragon" already aware of Bolo Yeung.This is what we live with. I love "Enter the Dragon". I love Bruce Lee, Jim Kelly as Williams, Han and his collection of weapon hands, the hall of mirrors, that amazing kick that Lee delivers to O'Hara, the gaudiness of the palace, the Lalo Schifrin score (complete with Lee's instantly recognizable kung-fu yells in the opening credits), the art of fighting without fighting, the fact that "Balls of Fury" is a parody of this film which exchanges martial arts with ping pong. I love ALL of this stuff. What I do not love is that Bruce Lee shares screen time with Bolo Yeung and these two men DO NOT fight.
You already know how this story ends.
People talk about what they would do, if they had a time machine. I know what I would do. I would travel back to the seventies and beg director Robert Clouse to make the Bruce Lee/Bolo fight happen. Not only does this NOT happen, but to add insult to injury, the man that Bolo does fight is John Saxon. I dig John Saxon. He is in many films that I love. But COME ON! No one wants to see John Saxon fight Bolo and no one would ever believe that John could defeat Bolo in a fight. That's like King Kong losing a fight to Curious George.
I am terrified of Bolo. His facial expressions alone, stop my heart. Clocks stop ticking in his intimidating physical presence. His name, Bolo, sounds like that of a foreign boogeyman. I love Bolo Yeung!When I first saw, "Enter the Dragon", Bolo appeared on screen and I nearly lost my mind! I couldn't believe it. I could not wait to see what I knew was bound to happen. Bolo fighting Bruce Lee would be one of the greatest things ever committed to celluloid.
Hey George Lucas, can you please make a "Special Edition" of "Enter the Dragon" where we swap John Saxon with Bruce Lee when he fights Bolo?
(Artwork by Isaac Keith Martinez)