ENTER THE FAT DRAGON – A Review by John Strange
Love can lift us up and it can knock us down. When Hong Kong police officer Fallon Zhu (Donnie Yen) is simultaneously dumped by his fiancé AND demoted from investigations to the evidence room, he finds himself in the dungeon of the Police Station and in the dumps with his emotions over losing the love of his life.
Now, I have to tell you, when I saw Mr. Yen in the fat makeup, I was a tad worried. But I wasn’t showing faith in his ability to kick “backsides” with an amazing array of martial arts moves!
The story follows this Hong Kong police officer as his commander gives him a chance to partially redeem himself by escorting a prisoner to Japan. On the plane, Fallon Zhu is amazed to see his ex-fiancé and a bit broken-hearted. We also meet her current boss…
This film is typical of many martial arts movies starring Donnie Yen. That is no way demeans the quality of action or the humor that makes this movie such a fun way to spend an hour and a half! His fight scenes are always imaginative and frenetic. His opponents pull their weight in these matchups.
The humor was not overdone but used to add flavor to the recipe the screenwriter, Wong Jing, created for our visual repast. The love story in the background of the action slowly simmers before ripening into something worthy of a good film finale.
All-in-all we have venal superiors, Yakuza (her new boss!), forlorn love stories, excellent martial arts action, excellent sets including the Tokyo Tower (think Eiffel Tower) and a storyline that surprised me in its complexity. The only thing that didn’t really work for me was watching Donnie running with this “weight”. As a larger human, this stood out and proved to me that it was makeup and not true weight. But, it’s Donnie Yen and his charisma even swaddled under the layers “fat” makeup, made up for this small flaw.
In the end, I was happy I watched Enter the Fat Dragon. I give this action movie 4.5 Stars for action, comedy, and love!
Directed by: Kenji Tanigaki
Cast: Donnie Yen, Jessica Jann, Philip Ng, Jing Wong, Sandra Kwan Yue Ng, Naoto Takenaka, Hiro Hayama, Niki Chow, Kai-Chung Cheung
Language: Cantonese with English and Chinese subtitles
MPAA Rating: NR
Selig Rating: 4.5 Stars
Runtime: 97 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
4 Stars – Good movie
3 Stars – OK movie
2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.