Monday, November 2, 2009

Movie Review: Dragons Forever

And the rebooted Jackie Chan Film Festival kicks off - with a fairly lackluster effort.

This is another of the romantic-comedy-meets-action-film mashups that Chan did during this period, with more of an emphasis on the romantic comedy part. It's also another pairing with fellow "Three Dragons" Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (last seen together in Wheels On Meals). In this one, Chan plays a womanizing defense attorney (and, naturally, martial arts expert) defending a sleezy corporation (you know it's sleezy, because its chief is constantly smoking a cigar). The corporation is being sued by a woman being affected by pollution from one of the company's plants. His brilliant plan: he attempts to seduce one of the witnesses against the company, while he also enlists Sammo to seduce the plantiff, and he also enlists his psychotic friend Yuen to bug the woman (in order to find out what, exactly? That's never made clear). He doesn't tell any of them about the other plans, and so they end up stepping on each other toes (both figuratively and literally).

Since this is a typical romatic comedy, no points for guessing that both Jackie and Sammo end up falling for their respective targets, only to have things fall apart once their schemes are revealed. Eventually, however, Jackie learns that his client is in fact a narcotics manufacturer, and so the three team up to attack the refining plant. It's far too late to save this film, though, as we've slogged our way through eighty minutes of pain to reach this point, and the eventually action payoff, while impressive as long as it lasts, is far too short. Even a return appearance by Benny Urquidez (also seen back in Wheels On Meals) isn't enough to fully redeem this one.

You may want to give it a shot just for the ending sequence, but be prepared to give that fast-forward button a workout on your way there. Two stars. Next up: Jackie gives the gangster genre a try in Miracles.

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