Friday, October 31, 2008

Kiss of the Dragon

I rented this for three reasons:

1. Zak enjoys martial arts movies
2. Jet Li is a likeable actor
3. It was available in Blu-ray format

In common with many Asian martial arts film, the profanity/sex/drugs/gore quotient is as high as the censor will allow it to go. However, if you can get past this it is a very human, very humorous film.

It wasn't until half-way through it that I thought to myself 'This has to be a Luc Besson film'. And sure enough, when the titles rolled, there he was, heading up the screenplay.

Jet Li co-produces the film, stars in it, and created the original story. In his own words...

"I wasn't interested in making a movie about a big action hero who saves the day. My character, Liu Jiuan, is one of China's best agents, with tremendous abilities in martial arts and acupuncture. He's determined and driven. But he's not a superman; he's human. When his mission goes wrong, Liu initially doesn't know how to handle things."

If you're prepared to tolerate the weak plot, Besson-esque cartoon baddies and the sometimes excrutiating dubbing, you will realise that this is more than just a 'colour-by-numbers' martial arts film.

Bridget Fonda deserves special mention, investing her 'tart-with-a-heart' love-interest character with uncommon depth, humour and an earthy-sexiness.

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