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McCaleb Burnett, Roger Fan, Sung Kang, Mousa Kraish, Dustin Nguyen ... see more see more... , M.C. Hammer , Ron Jeremy , Vail Bloom , Monique Curnen , Meredith Scott Lynn

Better Luck Tomorrow and Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift director Justin Lin takes a comic look at a longstanding bit of cinema mythology with this mockumentary exploring the making of Bruce Lee's u... read more read more...nfinished final film, Game of Death. When martial arts star Lee died in 1973 after having shot roughly 20 minutes of the full-length feature, director Robert Clouse vowed to complete the film using a Bruce Lee look-alike. Though the film was eventually released into theaters in 1978, fans continue to debate just how much involvement Lee had in the making of the film nearly three decades after the fact. Perhaps viewers will never know for certain just how much of Lee they are seeing in the final product, but in this knowing satire, director Lin offers a hilarious look at how things might have gone down while simultaneously skewering mainstream cinema for its stereotypical treatment of Asian-American actors. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Flixster Users

48% liked it

2,716 ratings


35% liked it

34 critics

Unrated, 1 hr. 28 min.

Directed by: Justin Lin

Release Date: January 21, 2007

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DVD Release Date: June 24, 2008

Stats: 293 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (293)

  • May 21, 2008
    At first glance the plot sounds interesting, but at the same time, may be a bit misleading. One may come to expect a serious documentary about replacing Bruce Lee for finishing the Game of Death. Instead the viewer is given a full on mockumentary.

    What is a mockumentar

    ... read morey? Basically, it is a comedic documentary and Justin Lin provides a fairly successful one with this film.

    The style of this film plays out like it is done from the 70's, which is when the original Game of Death is from. The sound effects, the settings, the camerawork, and the costumes all contribute to the 70's look and feel. This film is only 85 minutes long and the first 15 of it is basically character introductions. The rest of the film follows these characters throughout the entire audition process. Just think of the early episodes in a season of American Idol.

    The comedy is fairly consistent, although it does get a little tiresome in the latter parts of the film. The characters are hilarious and so are their lines of dialogue. The situations that the characters are put in set up humorous sequences, which a few of them also intertwine.

    The acting is pretty good. There are a surprisingly number of noticeable faces playing small roles, like M.C. Hammer, James Franco, and Ron Jeremy. Yet, somehow the style of the film makes everybody seem like non-famous celebrities. This is actually a good thing.

    This is not or nowhere near a Bruce Lee martial arts film, but fans of Bruce Lee films, or mockumentaries, may want to check this one out.

  • November 21, 2007
    A spastic satire, as producers struggle to replace Bruce Lee.
  • April 25, 2009
    OMG this movie is a trip! Love how it comically, but truthfully portrays the disappointment and racism actors of color face in Hollywood.

    Roger Fan was spot on as a pretentious, egotistical celebrity, Sung Kang played the innocent, wide-eyed actor from the South, and Brian Tee ... read morewas almost unrecognizable as an emotionally and physically damaged Vietnam war vet!
  • August 18, 2008
    I thought it was good a tad humourous pretty well executed and James Franco makes an appearance which was a fun surprise
  • August 7, 2008
    Pretty damn funny. I can't really put into words what I liked in particular.
    But the whole audition process was hilarious.
    The mockumentary genre is getting pretty full with also-rans, but this definitely is at the top of the heap.
  • April 29, 2008
    Finishing The Game plays out like a 70's documentary perfectly, depicting the search for Bruce Lee's posthumous replacement for Game of Death. Director Justin Lin's love for the genre is apparent in the attention to detail he has paid in capturing the feel of the ge... read moreneric Bruce Lee imitator flicks. The film is also infused with corny 70's humor and brings to light through comedy the offensive typecasting of Asians in Hollywood.

    Fans of Bruce Lee-- or Bruce Li, for that matter-- should definitely catch this flick.

Critic Reviews

Mark Rahner
November 16, 2007
Mark Rahner, Seattle Times

This tedious mockumentary isn't even as entertaining as one of Ed Wood's actual films, and once-promising director Justin Lin has some karma to square for fumbling such a sure thing. Full Review

October 26, 2007
Los Angeles Times

Intermittently funny at best, but mostly full of dead air. Full Review

Ernest Hardy
October 25, 2007
Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly

The breezy tone and obvious fun being had by the cast make Finishing the Game a slight, low-key cool cinematic essay on identity politics. Full Review

David Wiegand
October 19, 2007
David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

A very funny, equal-opportunity broadside that targets Asian stereotyping, and not just by non-Asians. Full Review

David Fear
October 6, 2007
David Fear, Time Out New York

What little potential there is ends up squandered within nanoseconds; as both a parody and a polemic, the film is finished before it's barely begun. Full Review

Noel Murray
October 5, 2007
Noel Murray, AV Club

Finishing The Game doesn't get anywhere that Hollywood Shuffle didn't go to first. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
October 5, 2007
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

A genially scattershot mockumentary. Full Review

Jeannette Catsoulis
October 5, 2007
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times

A faux documentary grounded in ethnicity and mired in absurdity, Finishing the Game is a terrific idea still waiting to be fashioned into a real movie. Full Review

Gene Seymour
October 4, 2007
Gene Seymour, Newsday

Ragged, spotty but shrewdly conceived. Full Review

Owen Gleiberman
October 3, 2007
Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

The film completely misses what should have been its real target -- the filming of Game of Death, a martial-arts campfest worthy of Edward D. Wood Jr. Full Review

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