First, lets all agree that BRUCE LEE changed the world. If for some crazy reason you disagree, you need to sit down, right now, and watch HOW BRUCE LEE CHANGED THE WORLD. We will wait for you.
Welcome back. So now that you have seen the light, you may be wondering what is an homage?
- respect or honor
- something that is done to honor someone or something
Bruce Lee has become so globally influential that artists of every ilk find ways to pay homage to the man. He is referenced in songs, video games craft characters inspired by him, and there are far too many films to name that work in subtle and not so subtle references to the man-myth.
And arguably the most referenced depiction of Bruce Lee is of him in the yellow & black track suit from GAME OF DEATH (1972). The Suit has become synonymous with the legend, and just as recognizable as Batman's cowl and Superman's shield. It stands to reason then, that homages to the Suit would pop up in all types of films, from action to comedy. So in no particular order:
Here are THE TOP 5 BRUCE LEE HOMAGES
THE LAST DRAGON (1985)
The film itself is an all out homage to Bruce Lee. With so many direct and indirect reference's to the legend and his films and philosophies crammed in it, having Taimak sport the yellow and black suit just might be its crowning glory. Plus you can't get enough Sho'nuff.
SHAOLIN SOCCER (2001)
This kung-fu sports movie, what a cool mash-up concept, from actor/director Stephan Chow, is a must see for any martial arts and comedy fan. As with his other films, Chow cleverly combines the best of both worlds in this underdog story. Showcasing the Suit on the look alike goaltender was a stroke of genius.
KILL BILL: VOL. 1 (2003)
Possibly the most recognized homage to Bruce Lee in recent times, QUENTIN TARANTINO's bloody and violent revenge opus plays homage to so many things: spaghetti westerns, martial arts films, blaxploitation, the brutal sword fight sequence re-enforces the prominence of the Suit culturally.
REVENGE OF THE NERDS (1984)
If you haven't seen this classic 80's R-rated comedy about nerds one upping the jocks, you really should. This homage to the track suit comes during the chug-cycle contest in the inter-Fraternal competition.
EA SPORTS UFC (2014)
Not so much an homage, but an out right representation, Bruce Lee's likeness was recently incorporated, with much fan-fair, into this video game as an unlockable character. Although not seen in the traditional track suit, the yellow and black trunks are a clear reference to that classic look.
This game joins a long line of games in which he has appeared: RETURN OF THE LEGEND, QUEST OF THE DRAGON, DRAGON WARRIOR HD. Add in all the direct homages like Jann Lee, Marshall Law, Kim Dragon, Fei Long, and Lui Kang, and it is clear that Bruce Lee is well respected in the gaming community.
ADDED BONUS - GAME CHANGER COMMERCIAL
Had to include this incredible CGI "performance" brought to life for Johnnie Walker by director Joseph Kahn.
Still, nothing compares to the original.
Please take the time to check out this great article by Dominique Hatcher : Resurrecting the Dragon: Ip Man 3 to feature digital Bruce Lee