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Wu xia
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Dragon (2011) More at IMDbPro »Wu xia (original title)

Photos (See all 13 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
Dragon -- A village craftsman who saves a shopkeeper from two notorious gangsters finds himself under investigation by a detective who becomes convinced that his subject's martial-arts mastery belies a hidden history of training by one of the region’s vicious clans.
Dragon -- Clip: Losing A Tooth
Dragon -- Trailer for Dragon

Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   8,771 votes »
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Director:
Contact:
View company contact information for Dragon on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
4 July 2011 (China) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A papermaker gets involved with a murder case concerning two criminals leading to a determined detective suspecting him and the former's vicious father searching for him. | Full synopsis »
Awards:
8 wins & 16 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Fusing strong character drama with thrilling action, 'Wu Xia' is a unique martial arts epic that boasts Donnie Yen's best performance since the 'Ip Man' movies See more (29 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Donnie Yen ... Liu Jin-Xi

Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Detective Xu Bai-Jiu

Wei Tang ... Ah Yu

Yu Wang ... The Master (as Jimmy Wang Yu)
Kara Hui ... The Master's wife (as Ying Hung Wai)
Wu Jiang ... Xu's investigator

Yu Kang ... Yan Dongsheng
Kenji Tanigaki ... Yan's associate
Li Jia-Min ... Liu Xiao-Tian
Zheng Wei ... Liu Fang-Zheng

Xiao Ran Li ... Bai-Jiu's wife
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wang Chun-Yuan ... Magistrate
Cun Dai-Ying ... Villager
Li De-Fen ... Villager
Duan De-Qiang ... Villager
Wang Fei ... Coroner
Xu Feng-Chun ... Butcher's wife
Pan Han-Ying ... Butcher's child
Yang Huan ... Soldier
Ma Jia-Heng ... Villager
Zhao Jia-Xian ... Villager
Jiamin Li ... Xiaotian
Yang Li-Hui ... Villager
Wang Lian-Sheng ... No. 2 village elder
Han Mu-Tun ... Officer
Du Ning ... Tavern waiter
Yan Qin ... Tavern owner
Cun Qing-Hua ... Young Thief's Father
Zhang Rong-Guang ... Village elder
Lin Ru-Bi ... Villager
Hu Shan-Shan ... Butcher's wife
Cun Shao-De ... Villager
He Shao-Wei ... Village elder
Cun Shi-Dong ... Villager
Li Shi-Shi ... Butcher's child
Zhou Shou ... Butcher
Cun Shou-Wei ... Villager
Cun Shou-Ze ... Villager
Yang Tian-Rong ... Village elder
Jinsong Wang ... Advisor
Wang Wei ... No. 1 village elder
Yin Xian-Guo ... General Store Keeper's Wife
Cun Xian-Hua ... Villager
Hua Yan ... The Master's Henchman
Zhang Yan-Qi ... Young thief
Yang Yan-Xian ... Villager
Lin Yi-Chong ... Villager
Deng You-Qing ... Villager
Liu Yu-Yu ... Villager
Zhou Yun-Xia ... Butcher's child
Ma Zhao-Gang ... Butcher
Liu Zheng-Lin ... Villager
Zhang Zheng-Yuan ... General store keeper
Bo Zhou ... Policeman
Yin Zhu-Sheng ... Xu Kun
Chen Zun-Kui ... Butcher's child

Directed by
Peter Chan 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Joyce Chan 
Oi Wah Lam 

Produced by
Sam Ban .... line producer
Peter Chan .... executive producer
Peter Chan .... producer
Lau Ho .... line producer
Zhang Hong-Yan .... associate producer
Jianxin Huang .... executive producer
Yuet-Jan Hui .... producer (as Jojo Yuet-Chun Hui)
Lee Jan-Sang .... line producer
Alan Zhang Lun .... executive producer
Chan Mui .... line producer
Hong Qin .... executive producer
Suen Wai .... line producer
Charlie Wong Kai-chung .... line producer
Lee Yau-Hei .... line producer
Ada Foo Yeuk-Jing .... associate producer
Jing Zhi-Gang .... associate producer
Yang Zhi-Guo .... executive producer
Li Zhou .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Kwong Wing Chan 
 
Cinematography by
Yiu-Fai Lai (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Derek Hui 
 
Production Design by
Li Sun 
 
Art Direction by
Chung Man Yee 
 
Costume Design by
Dora Ng 
 
Production Management
Ringo Chen .... assistant production manager
Mei Hong .... assistant production manager
Dong Ke-Yan .... assistant production manager
Jian-Hua Liu .... assistant production manager
Yao Lu .... assistant production manager
Shun Choi Ngai .... assistant production manager
Hong Tao .... assistant production manager
Jiang Wen-Bo .... assistant production manager
Liang Yong .... production manager
May Yu Yut .... assistant production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Yang Huan .... third assistant director
Yu Liu .... second assistant director
Felicia Tang .... first assistant director
 
Sound Department
Lu Ke .... sound recordist
Nopawat Likitwong .... sound designer
Nopawat Likitwong .... supervising sound editor
Kaikangwol Rungsakorn .... sound editor
Traithep Wongpaiboon .... sound designer
Traithep Wongpaiboon .... sound re-recording mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Theodore Godwin .... digital intermediate production coordinator
Jay Seung Jaegal .... visual effects supervisor
Daehwan Jang .... matchmove artist
Sang Hyun Jung .... digital compositor (2010)
Andy Kang .... visual effects
Jong Ik Kang .... visual effects supervisor
Siu Fu Ma .... compositor
Il Hwan Na .... digital matte painting
E.W.Y. Tang .... visual effects coordinator
Kwok-yin Yung .... visual effects
 
Stunts
Bing-Chuen Cheung .... action choreographer
Jan-To Tam .... action choreographer
Kenji Tanigaki .... action choreographer
Hua Yan .... action choreographer
Donnie Yen .... action director
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Zheng-Jia Guo .... gaffer
Yeung Jan-Yu .... grip
Jake Pollock .... camera operator
Matthew Wakai .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
 
Editorial Department
Mathieu Reid .... color timer
Ji Zhao .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Peter Kam .... composer: additional music
Chatchai Pongprapaphan .... composer: additional music
Traithep Wongpaiboon .... music score mixer
 
Other crew
Nora L. Ferris .... insurance broker
Chu Kai-Mung .... script supervisor
Luk Lu .... script supervisor
Chris Tsui .... assistant: Donnie Yen
Mariah Breitel Hembree .... post script services (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Harvey Weinstein .... thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Wu xia" - Hong Kong (original title)
"Swordsmen" - International (English title) (literal English title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for violence
Runtime:
115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Certification:
Australia:MA (2011) | Germany:16 | Japan:PG12 | Malaysia:18 (censored version) | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:NC-16 | South Korea:15 (edited for re-rating) | South Korea:18 (original rating) | UK:15 | USA:R

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References The One-Armed Swordsman (1967)See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the International Export Version and the Original Uncensored Version?
Why does the detective suspect Jin-Xi is a great martial artist?
See more »
23 out of 30 people found the following review useful.
Fusing strong character drama with thrilling action, 'Wu Xia' is a unique martial arts epic that boasts Donnie Yen's best performance since the 'Ip Man' movies, 17 July 2011
Author: moviexclusive from Singapore

Despite starring in seven movies over the last three years, Donnie Yen has had difficulty trying to top his iconic performance in the 'Ip Man' movies. But as the enigmatic paper-maker in a small idyllic town with the unassuming name Liu Jinxi, Donnie has finally delivered a performance which equals that of 'Ip Man', one that showcases his best as a dramatic actor and as a martial artist.

For this, Donnie has to thank director Peter Ho-sun Chan, who makes his return to the director's chair after a four year hiatus since 2007's 'The Warlords' for an intriguing and innovative spin on the period action epic genre. Indeed, while its title may suggest similarities to Ang Lee's 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon' or even Su Chao-pin's 'Reign of Assassins', Peter Chan's 'Wu Xia' is less akin to a typical 'wu xia' movie than to Tsui Hark's 'Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame'.

Like 'Detective Dee', this film unfolds like a procedural- the investigation here headed by one smart 'bespectacled' county detective Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), sent to the town where Liu has resided over the past ten years to investigate the death of two wanted criminals killed 'accidentally' in a brawl. Xu's methods are scientific, and his superior knowledge in forensic science leads him to suspect that Liu is more than who he says he is. After all, Xu surmises, how can the lowly and unassuming village person Liu defeat two highly skilled martial arts pugilists?

The first half of the movie is essentially a battle of wits between Liu and Xu, as the former attempts to conceal his true identity that the latter so doggedly pursues. But more than just a cat-and-mouse game, the script by Aubrey Lam (who also wrote 'The Warlords') exhibits surprising depth in setting up these two opposing characters- Liu is the man with a dangerous past who has eschewed his former life in favour of a simple and peaceful life; and Xu is the law enforcer whose own traumatic experience has led him to respect the law over humanity.

Aubrey's story raises a number of moral dilemmas, in particular whether a man can truly start anew without having to atone for his past sins, and whether there is a place for humanity in a world governed by laws and regulations. This is at the very heart of the complex intertwining relationship between Liu and Xu, and a fascinating one which Peter Chan explores with panache. There is no hero or villain between the two per se- rather, both are simply pushed up against each other by their past and the circumstance by which they had made their mutual acquaintance.

This attention to character and drama means that fans of Donnie looking for some action will have to be patient. Instead, Peter gives room for Donnie to flex his acting chops, and Donnie's method for understatement works perfectly for a subtle and nuanced performance of a man fighting to protect the life he has built and family he loves from his own destructive past.

Takeshi is a surprisingly good complement for Donnie, the former the source of the film's humour and wit with a droll Sichuan accent. The multilingual actor shares a nice rapport with Donnie, but he also shines when forced to confront his own moral assumptions about the wisdom of upholding the law without compromise. His character is not without his own demons, and Takeshi turns in a multifaceted performance that allows the audience to empathise with his predicament.

Nonetheless, Takeshi is mostly sidelined in the second half of the movie as Liu's past catches up with him. Action fans will be pleased with the introduction of gongfu legends Kara Hui and Jimmy Wang Yu, both of whom play characters closely- in fact intimately- related to Liu Jinxi's past life. By this time the action pretty much goes into overdrive, and Peter shrewdly leaves Donnie in charge. In turn, the latter, who also serves as action director, delivers some truly outstanding action choreography that is pretty much on par with the 'Ip Man' movies.

The highlight of this is no doubt Donnie's extended fight with Kara, which begins in the village's open square, progresses to a foot chase across the rooftops and culminates in a cattle pen where the confined space adds to the thrill of watching them go at each other with knives and later on pure fisticuffs. The climactic showdown here is between Donnie and Jimmy, and comes after a very late plot development which pays homage to Chang Cheh's classic One Armed Swordsman series (starring Jimmy). Paradoxically, while it certainly is thrilling to watch, Donnie's one-armed swordsplay somewhat pales a little compared to the sheer exhilaration of his two-armed fight with Kara.

Still, Donnie's work here as action star and choreographer is clearly at its peak, and the fight sequences here will probably go down as one of the best- if not eventually the best- that you'll find in a martial arts film this year. Peter Chan keeps the pace of the movie moving along with a thumping rhythm, so the film does not lose its momentum between these elaborate fight sequences- even though it does feel like two distinct halves.

Because of both cast and crew's excellent contributions, 'Wu Xia' is more than just another addition to the surfeit of period action epics that is bound to be a fixture in this Hong Kong- Mainland co-production climate. It isn't a 'wu xia' movie in the traditional sense of the genre, but the creative liberties that scripter Aubrey Lam and director Peter Chan have taken with the material are the very reasons why it stands high above its peers. That and of course the fact that us Donnie Yen fans here have been rewarded with his best performance since the 'Ip Man' movies.

Was the above review useful to you?
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