Dragon Fight (1989)

Directed by
Interesting pairing of two future superstars
Reviewed by Simon on 2023-11-12

You might think a film starring Jet Li and Stephen Chiau (before either made it big), and set in my old hometown would have been a must-watch for me, but I heard it was not great and the version I had was kind of shitty so I never got around to watching it until now.

Actually, it's not too bad. The story takes a few questionable turns but is overall pretty solid, with a rather pessimistic view of life for Chinese immigrants. Jet Li is in peak condition and Dick Wei's fight choreography is good, so the fights are really pretty strong. Even the Americans don't embarrass themselves in them.

This was before Stephen Chiau's comic potential had been discovered, or at least before anyone was willing to risk putting it on a cinema screen, but his dramatic chops are nothing to sniff at either so he provides solid support, with flickers of his charm peeking through.

This is when, where and how Jet Li met the future Mrs. Li, Nina Li (which was already her name, conveniently). He was already married at the time so they allegedly agreed to wait 10 years and see if they still felt the same way before acting on their attraction.

The film is definitely better than THE MASTER anyway... though if anyone ever succeeds in making a film that's worse I hope I'm not around to see it.


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