HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Last Warrior, The
Artemis 81
Rampage
Quiet Place, A
Braven
Changeover, The
Isle of Dogs
Funny Cow
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Mad to Be Normal
Beast of Burden
Dead Men Walk
Game Night
Under the Tree
L'Amant Double
Gonin
Coco
Producers, The
Molly's Game
Forest of the Lost Souls, The
Hatchet III
Birdman of Alcatraz
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Wonderstruck
If It Ain't Stiff, It Ain't Worth a Fuck
Nun, The
Red Sparrow
My Friend Dahmer
Journeyman
Heat, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Players of Games: Willy Wonka, Tron and Ready Player One
What Am I Doing Hangin' 'Round? The Ends of The Monkees
Flings and Arrows: Conquest vs Flesh + Blood
Orson Around: F for Fake and The Late Great Planet Earth
ITC What You Did There: Retro-Action on Blu-ray
And It Was the Dirtiest Harry We Have Seen in a Very Long Time: The Dirty Harry Series
Manor On Movies: The Astounding She Monster
Manor On Movies: Don't be a dolt. That's not a cult (movie)
Wes Anderson's Big Daddies: Steve Zissou and Others
Bad Taste from Outer Space: Galaxy of Terror and Xtro
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
   
 
  Heart of the Dragon Buy this film here.
Year: 1985
Director: Sammo Hung, Fruit Chan
Stars: Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, Emily Chu, Hoi Mang, Kar Lok Chin, Yuen Wah, Lung Chan, James Tien, Fat Chung, Dick Wei
Genre: Drama, Action, Martial Arts
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: Some fans may be taken in by the film’s soppy theatrical trailer, implying that this is going to be a real tearjerker. Others may see the film’s cover, its title and lead actors Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung and believe they are about to see an all-out, adrenaline-fuelled action movie. A pessimist would say this is neither, but in reality it’s a bit of both, and chances are none of these fans would be disappointed by Sammo Hung’s Heart Of The Dragon

Tat (Chan) is a policeman who must take care of his mentally deficient younger brother Danny (Hung). Danny, with his pudding-bowl haircut and blue dungarees spends most of his time eating ice-cream and playing with his friends, children twenty years younger than him, to whom he is known as “Dodo”. Obviously, he can’t keep out of trouble, and Tat constantly has to look out for him, which is ruining his dreams of marriage and his salty ambition to be a sailor. One day, Danny fucks-up good and proper during a game of cops ‘n robbers, his impersonation of a policeman being good enough to cause a jewel thief to discard his loot and eventually turn informer. The gangsters aren’t chuffed and kidnap Danny. Tat, together with his buddies from the SWAT unit must go in and rescue him.

It has been suggested that Chan-fans both old and new may be disappointed with Heart Of The Dragon, Jackie’s excellent performance as the wannabe mariner already carrying his albatross leaving him relatively little opportunity for bone-crushing stunts and super-fast kung-fu mayhem. But even adrenaline junkies too hyped-up to appreciate Chan’s fantastic thespianism need not worry – around the halfway mark the action kicks in hard with a breathtaking car chase and a magnificent full-on battle in an abandoned warehouse. Some may also complain about the stark contrast between the movie’s two halves; after all, why not make the mix more smooth, pop a little more intensity into the first part? Well, to do that, would ruin the film altogether, completely destroying Heart Of The Dragon’s sincerity.

Hung too is fantastic as Tat’s dimwit brother (well-hung, you might say), managing to evoke sympathy from a role that would provoke laughs for a lesser actor. Potentially funny moments, like Danny becoming locked in a restaurant’s freezer, instead seem tragic, a credit to Hung both as an actor and director. A scene where Tat is afraid that passers-by will think he’s gay when he holds his brother’s hand is the stuff that cut-price comedy was once made of, but here would make any viewer feel a pang of guilt whilst suppressing a chortle. The most painful moment comes with Danny becoming the subject of a sleazy café-owner’s sadistic ridicule – it almost makes you ashamed to be human. It’s rare to see such an intelligent, heartfelt portrayal of mental-illness without the patronising hypocrisy of Hallmark made-for-TV tearjerkers, and certainly nothing like Guy N Smith’s pud-pulling retard Benjy in his market-stall best-seller Crab’s Moon.

Highly emotive, yet in no way boring, Heart Of The Dragon is a cracking film that sadly appears to have taken, over the years, a back seat in the careers of both Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan. Folk are well-advised to check-out this movie – it deserves a viewing if only to prevent it from becoming another “forgotten classic”.

Aka: Long De Xin, The First Mission, Heart Of Dragon
Reviewer: Wayne Southworth

 

This review has been viewed 9923 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Sammo Hung  (1952 - )

Hong Kong born actor, producer and director and one of the best known figures in Hong Kong cinema. Hung's large frame belies a formidable martial arts ability, and he's best known for his collaborations with Jackie Chan during the 1980s and more recently for his US TV show Martial Law.

Hung's acting career began at the age of 12 but it was Enter the Dragon that gave him his first high profile role. He starred in a continuous stream of kung fu movies throughout the seventies, and made his directing debut in 1977 with Iron-Fisted Monk. A series of now-classic martial arts comedies followed, all directed by and starring Sammo - Warriors Two, Encounters of the Spooky Kind, Prodigal Son, My Lucky Stars, Pedicab Driver. But his best loved pictures are those in which he appeared alongside Jackie Chan, including Project A, Wheels on Meals, Dragons Forever and My Lucky Stars.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Robert Segedy
Darren Jones
  Asma Amal
  Chris Lawrence
Enoch Sneed
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: