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Category:    Home > Reviews > Martial Arts Cycle > Game Of Death II

Game of Death II


Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: C Film: C+



Just like Tupac having more records released since his death, Bruce Lee was still starring in films long after his 1973 untimely murder/accidental death. Using stock footage of Lee and body doubles, Game of Death II follows Billy Lo (Lee) whose best friend Chin Ku dies of a sudden illness, but there is suspicion of foul play involved (kind of like the mysterious death of Bruce Lee?). A gang tries to steal the coffin and this leads to Los younger brother Bobby Lo becoming involved in order to find out the truth of the matter.


This takes our story to The Castle of Death (ironically the last place that Chin Ku was seen alive), where Bobby Lo finds a martial arts expert, but when his master dies (Bruce Lee does a good death scene) there are powers out there he never imagined that he must deal with!


Game of Death II is not even a film that the biggest Bruce Lee fan would really embrace. Since he is really not even in the film, this almost seems like sacrilegious on all fours. Even the story is tired and by this point in time (1981) most people are worn out with the Kung Fu genre and other bad martial arts gimmicks. However, this newly mastered DVD from Fox must put some spark into an otherwise dead title.


Along with some other Fox titles from the Martial Arts scene, Game of Death II is remastered and includes a newly mixed 5.1 Dolby Digital and DTS sound mix, plus an anamorphic 2.35 X 1 scope transfer. This makes for a much more interesting viewing just to see how the film works in a surround setting and what liberties were taken to give the film a whole new dimension. The picture looks a tad muddy and the scenes with stock footage of Bruce Lee do not match up at all! Otherwise, the transfer is pleasing and the real kicker (no pun intended) is the overall design of the DTS sound mix. While it is not nearly as engaged as it could be, this is some serious reworking and accomplishment in terms of taking a mono origin and boosting an entirely different feel for the film, which in turn causes for a more dynamic viewing. Most of the action scenes are where the soundstage becomes more active and the surrounds become heavily engaged when on-screen effects are thrown out of frame.


This is sure to turn some heads when they see that this film has been remastered and might put some inclination in Bruce Lee fans minds to check it out again and give it a chance. This is by far the best its ever looked or sounded, so that opportunity alone makes for a visit to this title all the more demanding.



- Nate Goss


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