4.3/10
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13 user 4 critic

Latin Dragon (2004)

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In the grand tradition of the lone hero who mysteriously appears in a town desperate for help (think "Shane, "Billy Jack", "James Bond" and "Chinese Connection"), having survived a war and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Daniel Silva
...
Thorn
...
Frank
...
Paco
...
Claudia Sanchez
...
Officer Rafael Silva
...
Hector Sanchez
...
Mr. Rhee
Carlos Nicasio ...
Homeboy Gangbanger #1
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Homeboy Gangbanger #2
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Father Hernandez
Davenia McFadden ...
Officer Washington
Deron McBee ...
Mad Dog
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
City Council Speaker
...
Driver
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Storyline

In the grand tradition of the lone hero who mysteriously appears in a town desperate for help (think "Shane, "Billy Jack", "James Bond" and "Chinese Connection"), having survived a war and now serving the government as an undercover agent, Danny Silva takes on his biggest foe yet: the street gangs that have taken over his neighborhood. Unwilling to play by the rules set down by the criminals, Silva forgoes the use of guns and decides to battle the thugs with the strength of his fists, spirit and willpower, turning himself into a real-life, modern-day superhero. Packed with pulse pounding, adrenaline-filled action; "Latin Dragon" gives us our first mainstream Latino martial arts action hero. Written by Universal

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's HIGH NOON in East L.A. See more »

Genres:

Action | Adventure

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language, sexuality and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

7 September 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La justicia del dragon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Original concept of "Latin Dragon" created by Fabian Carrillo See more »

Connections

Referenced in Final Move (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
It's OK for what it is, as far as late-night martial arts movie fanfare goes...
25 April 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

There's a certain kind of movie that should always appeal to anyone who truly appreciates movies, and that's of the late-night variety. No, I'm not talking about late-night soft-core porn shows/movies, but it's really more of the late-night, "B"-movie action fanfare.

2004's "Latin Dragon" is one of those movies.

The film was directed by Scott Brown and co-written by Fabian Carrillo (who according to the blurbs on this movie's cover art), is the world's first Latin martial arts hero/sensation. Now I'm not sure about the exact validity of such a claim, but I guess I'll have to take it as the literal truth since as a fan of martial arts and martial arts movies, I cannot come up with a single martial arts actor who is said to be of Hispanic heritage.

According to his biography here on IMDb, Carrillo was born in South America (his specific country of birth is not listed), but was raised in The Bronx, New York; having been raised here in the United States, it certainly explains his surprisingly firm grasp of the English language, despite the occasional odd word or two of Spanish-language dialogue in the movie. He is also a three-time national Karate champion and holds five black belts in three fighting disciplines. So he certainly has the goods as a fighter, but can he act?

For my late-night viewing pleasure, watching a Latin martial artist on TV was a welcome change. Carrillo is a dynamic presence on the screen and he definitely has a future in American martial arts movies, if he ever gets that big - he appears to be a likable all-around good guy, and all he really needs to do is develop the necessary acting skills to better carry a film production. Hence, that's what I got out of watching "Latin Dragon": he is certainly one to look out for, though I am kind of surprised that this movie came out in 2004 and he has not been picked up yet for at least an appearance as a villain in a mainstream American studio production (you hearing me calling you, right, Mr. Robert Rodriguez, Mr. Quentin Tarantino?).

"Latin Dragon" has a by-the-numbers plot that is also an iconic riff on western movies: Carrillo plays the typical lone hero Danny Silva, a world-weary expert in Karate and former government assassin, who returns to his old neighborhood in East Los Angeles riding high a ruby-red Kawasaki motorcycle. He discovers that the neighborhood is being terrorized by violent Latino gang members under the leadership of Paco (Robert LaSardo), who also happens to be in league with Bishop Thorn (all-purpose bad guy Gary Busey, hamming it up as a stereotypical villain in the film's most enthusiastic performance), a greedy land developer who wants the poor working-class Hispanics and Asians to move out so he can build a major city. Danny goes to work beating up the legions of bad guys sent in his general direction, while also reuniting with his cop-brother Rafael (Luis Ramos) and childhood sweetheart Claudia (Joyce Giraud), while also trying to save his community that he loves so much.

As I stated earlier, the movie is pretty typical martial arts/action movie fanfare. I wouldn't expect much considering it's a low-budget production, but it's an interesting one with promise for its chief protagonist. It certainly kept my attention, since Carrillo proves to be a dynamic fighting presence on the screen, even if he isn't really the best actor in the world.

One thing that may annoy some people are the "Matrix"-like CGI special effects that pop up during some of the film's action sequences. But I guess that since it was made in 2004 - one year after the dual threats of "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003) and "The Matrix Revolutions" (2003) and every other clone in the wake of "The Matrix" (1999) and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (2000) - every action movie big & small had to have slow-motion "Matrix"-inspired action sequences. And Carrillo's most impressive fight scene has him battling Thorn's right-hand man Frank (Lorenzo Lamas).

It'll be interesting to see what the future holds in store for Fabian Carrillo.

5/10


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