Thursday, June 18, 2009

Revenge of the Dragon

70's martial arts movies are the 'Fried Egg Chili Chutney' sandwich of cinema, everything about them is so, so wrong but at the right time there is nothing more satisfying. So with this in mind i settled down with an enormous bag of pretzels and a few beers ready to enjoy the disconnection of words and mouth that bad dubbing revels in.

Simple and functional is the order of the day as far as plot goes. The Police attempt to infiltrate a criminal smuggling operation by sending our mustachioed hero in undercover. The powerful combination of quality facial hair and his pearly grin soon have the ladies swooning and the criminals begging for him to join their gang (well the crims may have been more impressed by the fact he can crush a guys skull with one hand but I'm sure the 'tach played a part).

Soon our hero is introduced to the criminal kingpin who, in his dressing gown smoking with a cigarette holder, is no doubt the criminal classes Noel Coward. His resemblance to British playwrights aside he is still one fruity muddy funster. I'm sure being the head of a criminal organisation brings with it certain freedoms that are not normally available to your average criminal but getting two prostitutes to tickle you and massage your arse is still questionable behaviour.

Now in the middle of the film something happens in between fights that exposes our hero as an undercover cop and naturally this makes his criminal pals a little cross. I'd love to tell you what this was but i have to confess that i lost interest around this time and started drawing on my foot.

By the time I'd regained some interest moustache man was fighting anyone and everyone, crushing skulls with the greatest of ease. As you can imagine he gives everyone a good kicking and stops the bad guys, hurrah!!! The fight scenes are most defiantly the films strong point, while not overly showy they are very fast and well choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping of 'Crouching Tiger...' and 'Matrix' fame. According to the IMDB the film was cut in the UK to remove some scenes containing weapons and some pretty brutal whipping scenes. Not sure if i had the cut version or not but it had the almost obligatory nunchuck fight and the last half hour was pretty brutal.

The only bit that had me really puzzled was possibly the strangest editing decision I've ever witnessed. The screen wipe is a technique seemingly only favoured by George Lucas and people editing the video of the early nineties holiday where Dad had a video camera stuck to his face for 2 weeks solid. Yet despite this one crops up in the middle of this film, why just the one? But if that's the only thing that bothered me in its 90 minute run time then 'Revenge of the Dragon' did something right.

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