This is something tough to achieve, even in the martial arts department, however the movie reviewed here managed to complete all of the above 100%. A rare gem indeed.
The title could be misleading tough - just look at it: Fist of Dragon, two words which can raise any fan's interest (and mine too), as on trailer level it looked decent, I thought to find it and give it a chance. The chance was given alright, but after the 90 minutes of pain I simply wanted to take my brain out and put it to rest. And also my eyes... Shall I describe the plot...well I'll try to make it, but I do not know where to begin.
Ok, at first I witness a scene almost taken from the beginning of "City of Violence" - some bad guys are chasing down a couple through dirty, dark streets and it ends up in beating the male subject to death in front of one of the main characters in the movies - an old and odd looking person, who seemed to have been taken out of some Saturday morning cartoon. In a bad sence. Then we get to know our good guy - a young fellow who is in a fight with another one, where I was supposed to be amazed by the incredible choregraphy, but it was a bit scattered for my personal taste. The firts impression is good to be nice, however here I was left being uncertain what should come next. It took me less than 10 minutes to understand what has came next - another retarded movie upon which I can write my negative review.
|Even Michael Chuah is confused...|
But first things first - as it happens, our good guy Jie (Michael Chuah) is set to help his uncle in his quarrels with local gangsters (teen gangsters to be precise), and so we have our main plot foundation. Upon arrival the hero gets a opportunity to handle one extremely stupid "leader" and his mates in usual duel of fists and kicks, thus getting the teens angry and I could predict that they'll be back for more in greater numbers. I guessed it right - then follows an alley fight, where our hero served the bad guys a meal of bare knuckles and frsh kicks, with a slight pinch of undercranking and bad editing. Mmmmm tasty isn't it...
|A glimpse of the alley fight - nice buttocks Michael.|
The whole scene was constructed as a crowd sitting in front of doctor's office - one by one the people were attacking and all that the hero could add is just yelling: Next! after he is done with the previous patient. It was laughable and poorly executed - 20 guys surrounded Jie, swinging metal pipes and bamboo staffs around, but not attacking until he knocks out one of them on the gorund and then another is on the line to be kicked. Probably it is some warrior's code, where you are not allowed to handicap a fight and have to patiently wait your turn. Interesting, but totally inapropriate if you want to add a bit of realism into the movie (any movie that is).
|The Three idiots and their leader.|
Soon after tedious fighting I was introduced by the main bad guy, which was clearly showing his skills in "Jacket on/jacket off", and believe it or not he beats up Jie and by some wicked grins showing he is mentally disabled, the show is over. After this scene I was expecting that Jie will find a secret technique or style to counter attack, but he just went of somewhere as MIA or as Tony Jaa disappearing from the set of Ong Bak 2 and headed to the jungle for meditation. Well until the return of our hero I witness a conspiracy being unveiled as the bad guys were conducting some kind of experiments with human beings turning them into a zombie looking species - I really lost it completely at that point.
|The only sweet thing here - the rest is salty and sour...|
The conspiracy was discovered by the daughter of Uncle Chen and the love interest of Jie - nice looking girl named Xiao Qing (the only good thing about this movie infact) and as you can guess these girls are in grave danger (actually it was barrel danger) and had to be saved by our returning hero Jie, who was wandering aimlessly until the final fight with the retard. The final fight is introducing the same bad editing, undercranking, boring moves, crappy close ups and new flavour - adding a wires, which didn't helped at all, it just makes thing even worse, especially for the finshing move of Jie when he sent the bad guy sky high by simply punching him in the ribs. What an intense fighting, what a brilliant performance...not.
|The finishing move - it looks worse on screen...|
At the end all is good, everybody is happy and the film goes straight to the garbage bin by my standards. Ok you want to create a B-movie, do it properly - the whole set was having a television play flavour, all the action and acting was performed on one street probably with a different props, most of the light was from a street lamps, pathetic dialogue, over-the-top mimics and grins, yells, strike-a-pose gestures, as I was in some preparations for the new Lady Gaga video. The production is obviously cheap - I do not know if Singapore/Malaysia companies should give money to do such idiotic piece of turd, but it's their money and it was money spent unwisely in my opinion. The movie is straightforward
plot is stupid, choreography sucks big time (I thought to give it a chance after the first fight), characters are so unrealistic and unconvincing that it was painful to watch them pull some sort of emotion.
|When you see it... I already did...|
Michael Chuah is trying to be a fighter, but it take a lot of charisma and skills to get ot the top as a newcomer, but with his face looked like someone slapped him with a shovel, he is not even remotely presentable. He is using same moves over and over again, punch and kicks were having no impact on target, nothing as powerful or impressive, on one ocassion I just saw how he hold the punch and just lightly touched the chin of the opponent. Simply disturbing. The Fist & Dragon were not getting along good this time. Instead they have to hide and not show up until the Chinese New Year. And Michael Chuah should go and work over his martial arts skills, as he has done plenty of damage to the genre and now it is time to rest and watch how this thing is executed by Iko Uwais, Wu Jing, Tony Jaa & Jeeja Yannin as newcomers. You just hit the wrong door mate.
|The bad guy in his Jacket On mode.|
I'm surprised that this movie is worse than Choy Li Fut/The Sorcerer and White Snake combined and this is something. As you can expect my final judgement is negative and it is no more than:
Simply stay away from this movie, unless you want to have brain damage and thoughts of blinding yourself - it is THAT bad...
The Grim Reaper