The film world is awash in martial arts flicks from ferociously prolific directors like Peter Chan. But, when a truly great film like “Dragon” comes along, it’s time to stop and take notice. This is a superior martial arts film with excellent cinematography and a story to match.
“Dragon” is set in a small Chinese town in 1917. Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) lives a quiet life with his wife and two sons. When two notorious robbers come to town, Liu Jinxi is forced to fight and kill them. An investigator (Takeshi Kaneshiro) expertly determines that Liu Jinxi is no ordinary tradesman. He possesses the ability to kill a man with a single blow. In fact, the detective presses his case that Liu Jinxi is the long-missing second-in-command of a legendary gang of outlaws, wanted for countless murders and a particularly gruesome slaughter of an entire family.
“Dragon” is a fiercely entertaining tale of redemption with two central characters that are pleasingly mastered by Yen and Kaneshiro. The fight scenes are expertly choreographed by Yen and the cinematography magnificently frames the action. Yes, Chan is known for working fast. But, he clearly demonstrates a master touch with “Dragon.” Grade: A
Street Date: April 16, 2013
Formats: Blu-ray and DVD
Runtime: 98 minutes
Rating: R for violence
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment and RADiUS-TWC