By Mike Cutmore
from Essex, UK.
, 06 Jun 2006
This is an action packed almost Bruce lee style thriller, with a centre on corruption at government level. Powerful barons, pimps and drugs set in the seedy underworld of Paris (which makes a change from the backdrop of America), make up a surprisingly complicated but realistic theme, even despite the showcase agent fighting sequences!
It sure is a hard and evil world portrayed here by the brutal ruling stronghold of police chief mafia's and the ring cocktail of narcotics, prostitution, vice and sheer dog eat dog murder!
Forget all that though. Sit back and enjoy the sheer feel of vengeance as our hero (Liu Jian, who plays a Criminal intelligence officer- a martial arts and acupuncture expert) slowly goes to work on a deadly conspiracy and no win scenario. This is a well cast and appropriately riveting and bloody piece of work that has a real sting in its tail.
It's thoroughly enjoyable and without doubt, as good as (but very different to) a Bond movie. The lack of a sense of humour is the only thing you could possibly fault this film on.
It's lightning-paced too. The exhilarating fight sequences feature Li using props a la Jackie Chan style. But to compensate for this pace an interesting relationship forms when Bridget Fonda enters the picture. The chemistry that clicks between her and Li is strong, and even sometimes sweet and touching.
The action scenes are supremely exciting and very impressive. First of all, there seems to be no wirework, or at least none that I noticed, so theres a feeling of authenticity in all the fight scenes.
The action is very bloody and graphically violent. Some may see this as a flaw in the film by some of its settings. Those who think present-day Paris is nothing but a beautiful and romantic City obviously haven't seen it's underworld, and the grungy and seedy side of society in the city, (looks like the Rue St. Denis to me).
Fonda is good, and so is Li, who acts well. The quiet intensity he displays possibly says more than any dialogue that might spew out from say, Steven Seagal or Jean-Claude Van Damme, perhaps, but I would have liked a bit of philosophical content too. Tcheky Karyo is disgustingly vile in his role, (just as any villain always is, of course).
The actual Kiss of the Dragon the movie's title refers to be a form of Chinese acupuncture, a method that Li uses in the film that can put people to sleep or give a very bloody death. This films all about action and I'm certainly not complaining when it comes to that. A must see!
- Was this review helpful to you?
(0) Yes |