Set in late 19th century Canton this martial arts film depicts the stance taken by the legendary martial arts hero Wong Fei-Hung (1847-1924) against foreign forces' (English, French and ... See full summary »
This Hong Kong martial-arts extravaganza tells of evil emperors and true love. The secret Red Lotus Flower Society is committed to the overthrow of the evil Manchu Emperor and his minions. ... See full summary »
Liu Jian, a police officer from China, comes to Paris to help the vice squad apprehend a Chinese drug lord and his unknown French connection. The French connection is Richard, the head of the vice squad, who intends to kill the drug lord then frame Jian. Jian ducks a bullet and escapes with a tape of what really happened. By chance, Jian turns to Jessica - a US farm girl who is one of Richard's hookers - for help. She has her own problems, including the fact that Richard has her daughter locked in an orphanage to keep Jessica on the streets and silent about his activities. Can Jian protect Jessica, rescue her daughter, and give Richard the kiss of the dragon? Written by
This is a great action movie that will take you to the point' of no return.
Kiss of the Dragon' might be just another action/martial arts' movie that is sitting on the shelf of your local video store. However once you start to watch it, you will realise that like some of its characters, it is a movie that is very deceptive and will leave you breathless. With the screenplay based on the story written by star Jet Li himself, this film has moments that no-one could ever comprehend seeing. While Li might be criticised for being one dimensional' in his movie roles, it has to be said that he is one of the best martial arts actors going around at the present time.
Liu, a Chinese intelligence officer, goes to Paris on assignment and becomes embroiled in a deadly conspiracy. When the man he has come to help betrays him, he is forced on the run, accused of a murder he didn't commit. He teams up with Jessica, an American woman forced into prostitution against her will, who wants to escape and seek justice. As Jessica and Liu go up against cunning and ruthless adversaries, Liu makes a promise to Jessica that could compromise his career, even his life.
The star of this film is Liu (Jet Li), who is an expert Chinese cop sent to stop an international drug conspiracy. He is traveling to the city of Paris for the first time, making it totally alien to him. Liu carries only a gun and needles which are rapt around his wrist. These are acupuncture needles, which he has the skill to use, to help heal his friends or kill his enemies. The finale action sequence has Liu refer to the title of the film, whereby the use of a needle technique called Kiss of the Dragon', which is highly illegal, as it must be, which can disrupt the body's blood flow, making all the blood travel to the head and then killing the person as it tries to escape from whatever cavity it can. This scene was astonishing to see being played out.
The supporting cast in Kiss of the dragon' consists of Jessica (beauty Bridget Fonda), a girl who is forced to take drugs and be a prostitute by French Police inspector Richard (Tcheky Karyo). You do not refuse Richard, as the consequences could be fatal. He has many henchmen that are on the lookout for John' (Liu), as he has the evidence that could destroy Richard. Along the way Jessica meets up with Liu and they help each other out of sticky situations that have arisen. I enjoy the role taken on by Fonda a lot, as her character gives the story its emotion and balance whereby she helps Liu get around Paris.
I like how and where this movie was presented. The director shows off Paris in many ways, such as landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, which is cleverly incorporated through a fighting sequence. The director Chris Nahon was able to do this, via producer and screenwriter Luc Besson's help in getting leading cinematographer Thierry Arbogast, who did some great work. While the story might be simple on the surface, who can complain when there is such great action scenes to compensate.
This then leads me into Kiss of the dragon's' action and stunts which are exhilarating. Li's character has many fighting sequences that you would believe he has no hope of winning. The start of the film makes uncertain of what is going to happen, then in the blink of an eye you are presented with action and stunts that will leave you speechless. The one scene at the start which shows Liu slamming a billiard ball to kill a villain was unbelievable. Then the fighting scenes at the shop, boat, office building and orphanage are full-on, making them intoxicating to the viewers. However one of the final fighting scenes with Liu taking on a whole class of Black belts is hilarious, as you know he is going to win.
Kiss of the Dragon' works, because where the story is lacking, the action and fighting scenes take up the slack. Jet Li has done some good movies, such as `Lethal Weapon 4' and Romeo Must Die' where he shows off all his martial art skills. If you have not seen him in either of those films, then watch them by all means. Finally, I want to mention that I have had many treatments of acupuncture in 2002 which have helped me immensely. However, when I have my next treatment of those little needles' I might squirm a bit, being quick to remember what Liu could do with an acupuncture needle.
CMRS gives Kiss of the Dragon': 4 (Very Good Film)
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