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Dragon Fight (1989)
"Long zai tian ya" (original title)

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Two martial artist friends from China are performing a show in the States. Trouble starts when one of them decides to defect and stay in America.


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Title: Dragon Fight (1989)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy Lee (as Jet Lee)
Dick Wei ...
Tiger Wong (as Dick Wyre)
Nina Li Chi ...
Andy Yau (as Sing-Chi Chow)
Mark Williams ...
Ray (as Marc Williams)
Tom Spinoza ...
Big Boss
Henry Fong ...
Ko Wang ...
Victor Chew ...
George Chung ...
Big Boss's Killer
Adam Ngan ...
Tiger's bodyguard
Wai Tong Wong ...
Tiger's bodyguard
Martin Robinson ...
Policeman in station
Bill Grossman ...
Policeman in station


Two martial artist friends from China are performing a show in the States. Trouble starts when one of them decides to defect and stay in America.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This Dragon won't give up without a fight!




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Release Date:

1 September 1989 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Defector  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jimmy Lee: [Andy is getting beat up by thugs] What's going on?
Andy Yau: Help me!
Jimmy Lee: What is it?
Andy Yau: They robbed me. Beat them up!
See more »


Featured in Le bleu des villes (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

Jet Li and Stephen Chow. Not nearly as good as it should be
19 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jet Li and Dick Wei are members of a travelling group of martial arts demonstrators who perform all over the world. They don't get paid anything, but they get food. Dick Wei wants out and while in America, he runs away. Jet follows him and ends up getting taken in by the police for killing a cop. But Dick Wei is the one who killed the cop. Now Jet goes to prison, but escapes on the way there. Dick Wei becomes a bigtime gangster and is doing fine in his new life. But Jet' becomes friends with Stephen Chow, and Chow is always up to trouble, and they end up getting in trouble with Dick Wei. After certain events happen which I don't want to spoil, Jet goes to fight Dick Wei at the end of the movie.

Stephen Chow does good in his role. Mostly comedy, but also some drama. This is one of the few movies where you will see any dramatic acting from Chow. Not even a year after Dragon Fight came out is when he began starring in the movies that made him famous. The Year this was made, 1989, Chow co-starred in 3 movies (no leading roles), and he starred in 11 movies in 1990 (being the lead actor in all 11).

Jet Li is very young here, and that is a BIG problem. This was only his 5th movie, and he just hadn't become an actor yet. That didn't happen until his next movie, Once Upon a Time In China. He just isn't able to diplay the anger he needs to show in the final fight. You know, the staredown that happens between 2 former friends who now have to fight to the death. Dick Wei has that classic gangster look, and he couldn't have given a more perfect facial expression in the staredown, but Jet doesn't give anything back. His acting the whole movie is not even close to being on par with his later movies.

This movie should be good, but the story is badly done, and that is the main reason why it is a bad movie. Another big problem is the choreography. While this movie is pretty terrible, it does get good at the end (well, at least the choreography finally gets good). Dick Wei and Jet Li have a great fight against each other, then they go off and have separate fights, and then after that, the dessert is Mark Williams vs Jet Li. Williams really gets to shine, but it's only for about a minute. The only other movies I have seen him in are The Master with Jet Li, and College Kickboxers, a fun little movie which can be found in a 10-pack called Bullet Wounds. I don't know why he wasn't in more movies. He kind of reminds me of Ron Van Clief with the way he acts and similar body build, but their on screen fighting skills look a lot different. Van Clief's moves are much cleaner and he looks a lot more skilled, but Mark Williams has got him beat in jumping kicks, which is why I don't get why he wasn't in more movies. When you see his jumping kicks trust me you will be in awe.

Now when you watch this, you will see what I'm talking when I say the fights get better at the very end. Jet was the choreographer, but by the end he was frustrated and Dick Wei took over (at least I think that's the story, I heard about it a long time ago). Dick Wei was not an action choreographer by any means, but luckily he took the job on, because without the final fights this movie probably would have gotten a 1 star rating.

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