While the movie is only set to open in Ireland and the United Kingdom this week, there's been a lot of discussion in the USA concerning the portrayal of Bruce Lee in 'Once Upon A Time. Lee's rant catches the ear of stuntman Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) and the two engage in a punching match that is quickly broken up by one of the show's producers. The sequence in question revolves around Lee, played by Mike Moh, boastfully claiming that he could best Muhammad Ali in a fight.
Tarantino also opined whether Brad Pitt's character Cliff Booth could defeat Bruce Lee in hand-to-hand combat.
Critics, including Inosanto, took umbrage with the scene's depiction of a stuntman holding his own against the Enter the Dragon actor, at one point catching Lee's kick and throwing him into a auto.
While at a news conference for the movie in Moscow this past week, Tarantino defended his decision to portray him such a way, describing what it was like to meet him.
Quentin Tarantino is standing by his fictionalized depiction of Bruce Lee. I just think I've given all I have to give to movies. And I kind of openly lament that to him, but he understands the math of when he feels like directors start falling off their game. People are saying, 'Well, he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali, ' yeah, he did... "In the first biography I ever read was Linda Lee's'Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew, ' and she absolutely said it".
While Brad Pitt's character was fictional, the idea that he could hold his own against Bruce Lee was intentional. If you ask me the question, OK, who would win in a fight: Bruce Lee or Dracula?
Tarantino and Thurman both co-created her character The Bride in Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Kill Bill Vol. 2 which were released in 2003 and 2004 respectively. "But if Cliff and Bruce Lee were fighting in the jungles of the Philippines in a hand-to-hand combat fight, Cliff would kill him".
Could Cliff beat up Bruce Lee?
"Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy". It's a fictional character.
"The reality of the situation is this: Cliff is a Green Beret", he continued.
Now, director/writer Quentin Tarantino has finally chimed in about the controversial segment of his latest critically-acclaimed film. The film has, however, been mired in bit of a controversy since Bruce Lee's daughter, Shannon Lee spoke about his negative portrayal in the film. He admires combat, and boxing is a closer approximation of combat as a sport, like martial arts tournaments are. Bruce said, "I'm studying every move he makes". Cliff is not part of the sport that is like combat, he is a warrior. "He is a combat person", Tarantino said.
These comments from Tarantino may not what some people were hoping for - namely those who agree with Shannon Lee's perception of the film and her statement that it made Bruce Lee look like a blowhard and an "arrogant a**hole who was full of hot air". He has killed many men in WWII in hand to hand combat.
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