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Kiss of the Dragon (2001)

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A betrayed intelligence officer enlists the aid of a prostitute to prove his innocence from a deadly conspiracy while returning a favor to her.

Director:

Chris Nahon

Writers:

Jet Li (story), Luc Besson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jet Li ... Liu Jian
Bridget Fonda ... Jessica Kamen
Tchéky Karyo ... Insp. Richard
Max Ryan ... Lupo
Ric Young ... Mister Big
Burt Kwouk ... Uncle Tai
Laurence Ashley ... Aja
Cyril Raffaelli ... Twin
Didier Azoulay Didier Azoulay ... Twin
John Forgeham ... Max
Paul Barrett ... Pilot
Kentaro Kentaro ... Chen
Colin Prince Colin Prince ... Lupo's Assistant
Vincent Glo Vincent Glo ... Pluto
Vincent Wong Vincent Wong ... Minister Tang
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Hito no koroshikata shika wakaranakatta [Japan] See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English | French | Mandarin

Release Date:

6 July 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

KOD: Kiss of the Dragon See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,304,027, 8 July 2001, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$36,845,124

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,592,723
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene were Jet Li attacks Max Ryan "Lupo", they were supposed to film the dialog scene separately from the fight that follows. However, after the dialog, the director didn't say "cut", and so Jet attacked Max. The take is in the final film - along with Max Ryan's very realistic frightened expression. See more »

Goofs

The apple on the laptop is upside down because that's how they were designed at the time; the apple would then be right side up when the computer is closed. If you look at the computer you see that it is in fact open and the latch is at the top where it should be. See more »

Quotes

Fat Hooker: [coming out from an apartment building with a customer; shoves Jessica on the ground] Bitch! I've gone for five minutes, and you think you can park your skinny ass in my spot? Fuck off! You want some more?
[Jessica, completely stoned, head-butts the hooker; breaks the hooker's nose]
Fat Hooker: Aah! She... She broke my nose!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Philippine theatrical version removes the following:
  • When Inspector Richard is beating two men on separate occasions, the sights of their severely bloodied faces are deleted.
  • The scene when the hooker stabs Mister Big in the chest and back with a needle edits out the close-up shots of the actual stabbing.
  • During the grenade explosion that rips through the laundry chute, the shot of a man's lower half dropping to the floor is edited.
  • When Max forcibly delivers a heroin injection into Jessica upon orders from Richard, the actual insertion into her arm is removed.
  • The graphic shots of when Liu Jian impales Max's neck with a pair of chopsticks are removed.
  • The sequence showing the results of the "Kiss of the Dragon" on Richard's face is trimmed (we don't see the slow motion shot and the close-up on his face after he falls to the floor).
See more »


Soundtracks

Adore You
(Lisa Barbuscia (as L. Barbuscia) / I. Faith)
Performed by Lisa Barbuscia
Published by Copyright Control (PRS) / Farren Music (BMI)
Produced by ELICIT (Rob Hoffman & Heather Holley) & Ian Faith
Courtesy of Blossom Recordings
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Average plot, a bit talky but the action is great and it is one of Li's best films outside of Hong Kong thus far
26 September 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

As part of an international case, Chinese police officer Liu Jian comes to France to assist his opposite number in a sting operation. However, Richard turns out to be on the wrong side of the law and frames Liu for the murder of several key people in the case. Liu goes on the run with evidence that he didn't commit the crimes, with only the word of an innocent prostitute to back him up. With even the Chinese embassy unable to bring Liu in, he is forced to try and expose the corruption and take the fight to them.

With so many of Jet Li's American movies being pretty messy disappointments, it was no surprise that I just gave this a miss when it came out at the cinema and never got round to seeing it on video. However on television the only thing I am wasting is my own time (not money) so I gave it a try and was pleasantly surprised to find that, though not comparable to his best films, Kiss of the Dragon is easily one of the best films that he has made outside of Hong Kong. The plot may have been made up by Li and turned to a script by Luc Besson but it does come off as a bit obvious and overblown. At times the dialogue is a bit heavy and there are a few moments where the film is a bit talky for a bit long without any of it coming to a great deal but mostly it is pretty enjoyable. It is not a great story but there is enough to engage even if it is pretty poor in some ways – the whole coincidence around Liu meeting Jessica again was a bit shoddily done but the detail is not that important in this sort of film.

No, what is important is the quality of the action and here it is a lot better than his recent films such as Romeo or Cradle. The action scenes are scattered a bit thin around the film at times but generally they are enjoyable sequences which are pretty exciting and fluid. The film is refreshingly free of flying and wiring work, lending the fight scenes a more realistic (!?) and brutal air. Not only are the fight scenes good but the mix of the usual action movie 'guns n' running' stuff is also well handled with some pretty fast scenes.

The cast are pretty good even if the international mix of actors all in Paris is a bit strange. Li is natural and pretty good – I have always maintained he is a good actor (or at least a charismatic leading man) but most American movies have forced him to be silent and posturing to match the gangbanging story. Here he plays a good character as well as being given plenty of good fights to show how technically able he is. Fonda is OK even if she is a strange casting decision for this character; she does well enough but at times I could have accepted less of her as she is the reason for a lot of the talky stuff that could have been scaled back. Karyo just simply hams it up so much that it would have been possible to actually glaze him at some points near the end. He is effectively bad and it works but he is on auto-pilot for a lot of this. The support cast are all OK, although some of Li's sparring partners are obviously not that good at acting (the white twins are good examples) but fans of Harry Hill or the Pink Panther will find much amusement from the minor role given to Burt Kwouk!

Overall this is a good film in its own right but, compared to Li's other American films so far, this is by far the best. The plot is pretty run of the mill but still engages but some parts of the film are a bit too talky for no real reason. The fight scenes are pretty brutal and are better for not overdosing on wire-fu stuff and my only complaint about them was that there could have been a few more. Of course, this doesn't really compare to the best of Li's Hong Kong material but it is still much better than the rest of his American stuff and is worth a look for fans of martial arts action.


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