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 »
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 »
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 »
Wirework-heavy version of the Crying Freeman story
Mark Dacascos was the actor who played the role of the masked assassin who sheds tears each time he kills a victim in the American version of this story, entitled CRYING FREEMAN and released in 1995. I mildly liked that film when I saw it; sure, it was no classic, it was a little cheesy, but it passed the time in a fairly entertaining fashion. Sad, then, that this earlier, Hong Kong-made outing, based on the same manga, turns out to be a bit of a dud and a lot worse than the Hollywood attempt.
The main problem I have with this movie is that which blights much of the Hong Kong action industry during the 1990s: the overuse of wirework. Why have two characters battling mano-a-mano when you can have them flying and flipping through the air and performing all manner of physically impossible stunts? Er, well realism is a good reason actually, but realism goes out of the window in DRAGON FROM Russia.
For an action-packed movie like this, it's a real shame that most of the fights are so over the top as to be laughable. Don't get me wrong, there are some occasionally solid moments, usually when things calm down a bit or are based on a smaller scale, like a kinetic bout at a train station that progresses into a moving train. In addition, the storyline is extremely muddled, taking about half the running time before things really get moving. These factors combine to make this a difficult watch.
Along the way, there's a lot of laboured comedy relief which sits at odds with the supposedly emotive central plot, a strange, rubber-faced bad guy (played by Yuen Tak, one of the seven Yuens along with Jackie, Yuen Biao, Sammo and Yuen Wah, who also has a non-masked supporting role), an extremely slow spot during the middle section where absolutely nothing happens, some lame romance, an entirely extraneous Maggie Cheung (as per usual) and a few nicely-staged assassinations. Sadly, the ending fizzles rather than goes out with a bang, and the whole thing is so convoluted that it's impossible to take seriously. In this instance, I'll take the American version over the Chinese, I think
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