Saturday, January 26, 2013

DRAGON (aka WU XIA) (2011) movie review

Dragon (aka Wu Xia) (2011) (1st viewing) d. Chan, Peter (Hong Kong)

While I’m admittedly not versed enough in the world of martial arts films to make any such claim, it seems Donnie Yen is one of the few headlining Hong Kong stars who can impress both with his flying feet and fist as well as his potent acting chops. Having amassed an impressive resume of international hits like Iron Monkey, Hero and the Ip Man films (a third installment of which is supposedly in the works), one has to wonder when Hollywood is going to swoop in and steal him away. This latest effort is no exception, with Yen playing a simple village papermaker who “accidentally” kills two villains during a robbery – the ensuing investigation revealing a darker past that our “hero” has sought to keep secret. But the real delight is the return of 70s chopsocky star Jimmy Wang Yu, who blows everyone else off the screen as Yen’s long estranged father. Seriously, you can’t buy presence like this, and even if the rest of the picture weren’t worthwhile (which it definitely is), Yu’s sequences make this a must-see.

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