A young heroic cop in the jungle of Thailand attempts to rescue a beautiful girl from being sacrificed to the "Worm Tribe" she belongs to. As a result, the cop is damned with seven "Blood ... See full summary »
Ngai Choi Lam
In L.A.'s Chinatown, the crime cartel known as K.O. hatches a plot to bring down Ron Tayan and the 108 Dragons. Ron joins forces with the computer-savvy daughter of the local boss; she ... See full summary »
Dreamy young Yu-Shu who draws comics of imaginary martial arts heroes is put to a test when he rescues a young girl from a prostitution racket headed by a local police chief. With his ... See full summary »
A "James Bond" type burglar named King Kong (Sam Hui) tries to redeem himself and joins forces with Albert "Baldy" Au (Karl Maka), a bumbling police detective from the states, to try to ... See full summary »
With the blessing of the 108 Dragons, Yo and Emu marry and receive new names, Ron Tayan and Fu Ching Ran. The elders send them to Macau to find out who's behind a new attack. Fu is kidnaped... See full summary »
Ron Tayan now leads the 108 Dragons; Fu Ching Ran is his loyal wife. As their body tattoos show, he's the dragon, she's the tiger. The 108 Dragons are attacked by African Tusk, a syndicate ... See full summary »
Naitai, the evil head of the Great Bear God religion, hatches a plot to destroy the 108 Dragons. His henchman, Oshu Togoku, the world wrestling champion, squeezes Ron Tayan unconscious in a... See full summary »
First up I should say that I have never seen Christophe Gans' Crying Freeman, nor do I have any knowledge of the original manga so I can't say anything about whether this is a good adaptation. I have however seen plenty of martial arts and Asian action fare and as far as such films go, I'd say Dragon From Russia is pretty decent stuff. The complex (perhaps over complex) plot basically sees a talented young man recruited to become an assassin, who then does various jobs and and searches for his past. As the hero, Samuel Hui does OK. He has an engaging enough presence and handles himself reasonably well in the combat. The fighting uses lots of under cranking (speeding up) so does not give that much impression of the actual skill involved, but he is certainly good enough that the fighting does not use breakneck editing or confusing film-making to make him look better. The wire work and under cranking heavy choreography is by Yuen Tak I believe, and there are quite a few striking scenes. Though it isn't quite as elegant as the best work of someone like Ching Siu Tung, it nonetheless all looks pretty cool, and there's a pretty decent amount of it throughout. The villainry is led by the great Yuen Tak, who excels in multiple roles, and Yuen Wah also does good work in one fight scene. As far as the rest of the cast goes, Maggie Chung is relegated to a fairly uninteresting love interest role, while Nina Li Chi gets a good look in, and the rest of the cast are good on the whole. The film is mainly flawed by being a bit of a mish mash. Samuel Hui does not really convince as a hit-man, he just doesn't have the skills or gravitas for it. He is OK to watch but does not leave much of an impression. The baddies are quite good, but the plot is too jumbled to really give them much presence. I've seen this a couple of times now and the fact that you have to tussle with the plot throughout when it should be a lot simpler, or better acted so it becomes more gripping rather takes the edge off the experience. It also makes the ending less exciting than it should be. The final fight scene is alright, but not as good as earlier ones, which is a shame. Also, some of the humour in it is misjudged and silly and the more reflective, romantic moments are also a tad jarring. Altogether, this is good fun, and worth a look if you enjoy frenetic, sped up wire work action, especially if you can handle the issues that I have mentioned. It probably helps to have seen more of this era and style of Hong Kong action so you have some feel for it. Give it a try if this sort of thing appeals.
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