Unlike Flash Point but highly enjoyable
, 13 Oct 2013
I highly enjoyed this martial arts drama film. I have to call it that because in essence the film is exactly that. Peter Chan delivers the film well, and the films production isn't marred by the stereotypical Mainland China modes of cinema- for example there's no blatant comedy stoked against the action. There was a nice blend of drama against the martial arts scenes, to be fair******this may be a spoiler by the way******** there's only really three fights in the entire film. The first of these spans over the first thirty minutes or so- it isn't a prolonged fight scene, instead the battle occurs as a normal confrontation between Donnie Yen's character and two bandits, later Takeshi Kaneshiro, the investigator, disseminates and breaks down the entire battle, realising as he does that Donnie Yen's character is in fact a deadly, proficient martial arts master. What drives the film then is Kaneshiro's investigation into why Yen would hide his skills and appear as a normal citizen- unless he had a terrible past to hide. What follows is an interesting cat and mouse play between Kaneshiro and Yen, leading to Yen's past catching up with him. What I found surprising as well was a cameo from Jimmy Wang Yu, the famed 'One-armed Swordsman', amongst other roles from Hong Kong Cinema. HIs performance, as the unstoppable, evil and malevolent father to Yen's character, carried the film to greater heights in the closing scenes. To be honest his character, as I said only appearing really until the end of the film, had a lot of depth to his character. I found this film enjoyable, as I always do for Donnie Yen's films. If you've seen SPL (aka Kill Zone) or Flash Point, and you're expecting Dragon (aka Wu Xia) to be the same, you're going to be disappointed.
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