Sunday, July 27, 2014

Donnie Yen's Dragon (Wu Xia) (武俠) (2011 ) (Full movie)

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Today is the 51st Birthday of Donnie Yen!

Posting a recent movie in his honor that was pretty solid.


Dragon (Wu Xia) (2011)
(Chinese: 武俠; Pinyin: Wǔ xiá)

The film is set in 1917 in early Republican China at Liu Village on the border of Yunnan. Liu Jin-xi (Yen) is a village craftsman whose quiet life is irrevocably shattered by the arrival of two notorious gangsters in the local general store. When Liu single-handedly saves the shopkeeper's life, he comes under investigation by detective Xu Bai-jiu (Kaneshiro). Convinced that Liu's martial arts mastery belies a hidden history of training by one of the region's vicious clans, Xu doggedly pursues the shy hero-and draws the attention of China's criminal underworld in the process.

  • Donnie Yen as Liu Jinxi, who is actually Tang Long, the son of the Master.
  • Takeshi Kaneshiro as Xu Baijiu, a detective versed in physiology and acupuncture. .
  • Tang Wei as Yu, Liu Jinxi's wife.
  • Jimmy Wang as the Master, the leader of the 72 Demons and Tang Long's father.
  • Kara Hui as 13th Madam, the Master's wife.

My review:

Donnie Yen was pretty good acting-wise in this movie. At the beginning, he was very restrained and seemed 'ordinary' until his secret is slowly uncovered. Some nice use of CGI when Kaneshiro was investigating the deaths. The CGI was not overused. I tend to not like a full-blown CGI effects movie which generally has the CGI overshadowing the plot and concentrating on what effects can 'wow!' the viewer. So glad, that was not the case in this movie and its use of CGI. I felt this movie was more Kaneshiro's movie and the CSI process (detective procedural) than it was an action movie. Given the plot, the action was subdued a bit and explodes at the end.

Cool to see Donnie using what appears to be Hung Ga in his fights. Great cameos by oldschool stars, Jimmy Wang Yu (One-Armed Swordsman) and Kara Hui (My Young Auntie, Mad Monkey Kung Fu, The Martial Club). There seems to be a desire by Donnie to showcase some parkour. In a chase scene, Kara Hui is after Donnie and he parkours on some rooftops. Great fight scenes.

Overall a solid movie, and Donnie got to showcase some of his acting chops following his great acting portrayal of Ip Man. Showed some other styles other than the standard kickboxing or Wing Chun Kuen. I recommend this movie.

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