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Paper Dragons (1996)

R | | Drama
A small-time hood, left for dead after double-crossing drug dealers, is taken in by a monastery and taught the art of kung fu.



, (as Adlofo Swaya) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Master Chang
Master Tsai
Adolfo Swaya ...
Paul Marcos
Lee Hongpo
Frank Van Keeken ...
Benjamin Lum ...
Allen James ...
Arsenio 'Sonny' Trinidad ...
Gerald Jann ...


A small-time hood, left for dead after double-crossing drug dealers, is taken in by a monastery and taught the art of kung fu.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, drug content and some sexuality




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[first lines]
Jack: It'll work, man - we can do it.
Paul Marcos: We rip off gangster player we'll have half of China after us.
Jack: We'll be in and out of there before they even know what hit 'em. They won't know it's us. We can do it.
Paul Marcos: Too dangerous.
Jack: It's not too dangerous. I know exactly - I know when the drop takes place. We can do it. It's a piece of cake.
Kate: He's right - why should be buy it when we can just take it?
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User Reviews

low budget, high aspiration
20 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A Russian immigrant, Paul Marcos, becomes a drug dealer to survive. After a heist he joins goes bad, he recovers from his wounds at a Buddhist Temple. There he is taught Mantis style martial arts. But the abbots at the monastery have a hidden agenda, one which forces Marcos into confrontation with the mob that ruined the heist....

Here's the bad news - this is not an action movie.

It is a drama about one young man's spiritual journey through a world of corruption. Not a martial arts film but a film about martial arts, and how rigorous self-discipline and strict ethics comprise what kung fu is really all about.

Here's the good news - despite a crash budget, Adolfo Swaya turns in a remarkably good film. Strong script, surprisingly effective visuals, excellent editing, rock solid acting despite some stereotyping, good sound quality for a cheapie independent. And that's is what this is, really - an independent film (a personal film, very carefully crafted), not a 'kung fu' film. But I found it easy to watch and with a lesson to learn. Rewards the patient viewer who can release genre expectations and enjoy it for what it is

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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