Game of Death 2 (1981)
Director - Ng See Yuen
DVD Released by : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/Fortune Star
Player reviewed with : Malata 520
Receiver reviewed with : Sony 925
English Soundtracks 5.1 Dolby and DTS
English Subtitles
Enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
New and Original Trailers
Running Time : 96 mins.
Region 1

GAME OF DEATH 2 begins with Bruce Lee investigating the death of a friend. He begins by tracking down his friend's daughter. During the funeral, he is killed while trying to stop a helicopter form stealing the coffin. It is up to Bruce's brother to find out what happened and get revenge which leads him to seemingly endless battles.

Some may think of this movie as a cheap way of cashing in on a legend but the movie displays some top notch action sequences and does have some thought put into it. It's pretty obvious when a double is used for Lee but once you move past that you can enjoy the movie for what it is. The movie actually stands well on it's own once Lee's character is killed off. Bruce Lee fans will really hate this movie since his involvement is limited to outtakes and scenes from other movies and he had no true involvement with the film. The true stars of the film are Tong Lung and Wong Ching Lei.

The picture quality is pretty amazing for a film of this age. It's not perfect but aside from some excessive film grain in some scenes, the print is in very good shape. The film stock does vary at times as the stock footage of Lee is used. This makes the use of doubles a little more obvious than it would have been otherwise. The transfer itself is very good with good black levels and detail. The one thing I have to say about the Fox releases is that the detail has been very good. Fortune Star is relying more on decent film prints than having video restoration done. This is what the big difference is between these releases and the Hong Kong Legends versions. While video manipulation can remove scratches and other imperfections, it takes some of the film quality away and detail suffers. This Fox/Fortune Star GAME OF DEATH 2 is the best it has looked for home viewing.

There are two sound options. English 5.1 Dolby and English DTS. I am disappointed that there isn't a Cantonese track but it should be noted that the recent Bruce Lee box sets available in Hong Kong and Korea have the same options. The options do say "Original English 5.1" on the menu. With the absence of a mono sound mix, I would have to say the 5.1 is acceptable. There is some use of the rear surround speakers for sound effects during the fights. Lots of foot steps and kicks. Again, there are some animal sounds in the rear speakers for ambiance at times. Overall, the sound track is clean and mixed well. There are a couple of times when the vocals could be a little louder but overall well done. I know not having the original theatrical mix is a big minus for some but keep in mind that the Region 3 box set by IVL does include a mono mix although it is also English only.

The only extras are trailers for this movie as well as previous Fox releases.

GAME OF DEATH 2 isn't recommended for Bruce Lee fans but it is worth a watch just for the action scenes and the skills of the other actors in the film. It is unintentionally funny at times and the English dub is exactly what you would expect of one. I do miss the Cantonese track but it's possible that the only source materials that were available were for this cut of the film. I had heard that the English language version was different than the Cantonese one so this could be why. I hate to say it but if you watch this with the same expectations that you would have for Steve Oedekerk's Kung Pow:Enter the Fist, you will be very happy.

To wrap it up, GOD2 is a fun film but I wouldn't recommend it to people who are expecting a Bruce Lee movie.

Reviewed 5/19/2003 by Matt