Finishing the Game 

Directed by Justin Lin

When Bruce Lee died in 1973, he left behind 30 minutes of footage for an upcoming movie. That film, Game of Death, is legendary for (among other things) being completed despite Lee’s absence, with other actors filling in for him by wearing masks and other disguises. Finishing the Game, the latest offering from director Justin Lin (Better Luck Tomorrow and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift), is a mockumentary that re-imagines the casting process for Lee’s double as an absurd, grotesque exercise in Asian-American stereotypes and prejudices. Lin uses this particular casting call as a larger allegory for re-evaluating the typecasting of Asian actors. But racial politics seem to have got the better of Lin in Finishing the Game, as he spends so much time mocking cultural stereotypes that his characters rarely get the chance to move beyond them into any nuanced performances. Though reminiscent of Christopher Guest’s films (and the fake Dirk Diggler documentary featured in Boogie Nights), Finishing the Game lacks Guest’s subtle eccentricity, as well as his ability to render idiosyncratic characters with simultaneous strangeness and familiarity.

Opens October 5 at IFC Center


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