They Call Me Bruce is currently available on Hulu for free. There are two different cuts of the film, one that has a PG rating, and one that has two additional, brief nude scenes. Both cuts, though rated PG by the MPAA features scenes involving drugs, strong language and sexual themes, hence the strong "Adult" rating here. The Hulu print is of the full movie.
This movie is a sleeper comedy hit. Though I can't agree with the MPAA's PG rating for the film, this movie is from a lost era in goofy adult comedies, and is a perfect "lazy weekend" film.
They Call Me Bruce stars Korean comedian Johnny Yune in a double role as a grandfather with terrible advice, and as a bumbling idiot in search of a new life, and rips apart just about every single Asian stereotype of the Hong Kong action film boom of the 1970's.
The movie opens up with a shot of a little boy, racing home to his dying grandfather, as racially driven song called "Oriental Boy" plays. The boy tells his grandfather he couldn't find the medicine he needs to survive. As the grandfather dies, he gives him a vague description of a woman he remembered dating in America. He insists that if the boy can find her, she will raise him. With that and no better clues, he dies.
The movie then fast-forwards to when the boy is an adult. He is working as a personal chef to a gangster in California, and he is still trying to find the mystery woman his grandfather was talking about, in hopes that though he is an adult, she will raise him. Everyone calls the man "Bruce" because of his slight resemblance to his hero, Bruce Lee. Nobody takes Bruce seriously, but he is praised for his ability to entertain and make spaghetti.
While walking home, he fakes out a mugger into leaving him alone, after convincing him that since he is Asian, he knows "crazy kung fu" skills. After a bad delivery at a bar leaves Bruce escaping through a women's bathroom, he takes a martial arts class, in hopes of living up to his namesake. But through a series of bad incidents, he ends up getting kicked out, but not before obtaining a nunchaku set. With the nunchuks, he is able to (by mistake) thwart a deadly robbery at a local convenience store, which earns him local notoriety as a hero.
Catching wind of Bruce's success, his gangster boss sets him up with a partner, on a mission to sell bags of cocaine (Bruce thinks it's pasta flour) on a near door-to-door campaign from California to New York. Just before going on this mission, Bruce earns himself a "girlfriend" in the form of Karmen (played by late Supermodel Margaux Hemingway) who initially appears to be a part of the gang, but is in reality a government agent, looking to shut the drug operation down.
The film is full of campy, off the wall humor. Writer Tim Clawson (who later helped produce Scream 4 and Inglorious Bastards) and actor Johnny Yune made a great team when it came to flipping old fashioned, racist jokes against Asians right on their ear, and director Elliot Hong perfectly timed each action and joke segment. The 1982 film is a relic of a bygone era in goofy comedy films like Airplane and The Naked Gun, and the humor fits perfectly in with the aforementioned movies.
They Call Me Bruce will have you laughing from start to credit roll, and actually surprises with a sweet and poetic ending for Bruce. The 25th anniversary DVD from 2009 features the whole film, while the 2003 DVD has a more TV-friendly PG cut. It's highly recommended that you watch the full cut, so you don't miss a moment of the laughs.