Year of the Dragon (1985)


“Dollars are like small fish, difficult to catch, but not to be thrown back except as bait for something bigger.” – Joey Tai

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jul 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A police Captain is tasked with cleaning up the crime in Chinatown caused by the various Chinese mafia factions.

My Take on it – This film actually has an interesting premise it is presented in a way that doesn’t help it become effective enough.

The idea of a policeman in a new area trying to clean up the crime isn’t a new idea and they fail to make this one feel unique or fresh in any way.

The film is filled with extreme violence and that seems to be the signature impression that they want to leave, yet even that feel too generic.

The film caused a lot of problems when it came out and was declared racist, but I personally don’t see any difference here than in most films that need to try and find a ethnic group to be the bad guys.

I’m still baffled as to how Mickey Rourke was seen as a box office draw back when this film came out.

He under performs as the character here and feels a bit too superficial in all that does.

His character is shown to be much more complex than he really is when you look at al the information we are given.

This film has some great action scenes and they are the most memorable scenes of the film, but other than that, this film has so little to offer.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that doesn’t work because they fail to really bring anything unique to the story. The idea of a policeman on a crusade to rid the streets of crime is an old idea and one would expect that they would find a way to make this one stand out.  Still don’t understand the draw of Rourke in the box office during the 80’s and he doesn’t do a great job in this role either. His character feels a bit too superficial and they make him seem much more complex than he truly is. There are some nice action scenes here, but other than that, this film have very little to offer.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Michael Cimino was officially allowed final cut of the film, but was forced to make one change to the ending. “The only change they asked me to make, which to this day I still find inexplicable because I think it sums up the movie, was to the very last line. At the end of the movie, there’s another fight that breaks out on Mott Street, during a funeral parade. Mickey is in the middle of the mêlée, Tracy runs in and picks him up off the ground, they both look like survivors of a war. The camera closes in. If you look closely, you can see that they’re not saying the line that you’re hearing. The last line of the movie was, Stanley looks at her and says, ‘Well, I guess if you fight a war long enough, you end up marrying the enemy.’ Oliver Stone himself is married to a Vietnamese girl right now. I’m sure you’ll see American’s with Iraqi women at some point. For reasons that I can’t understand, that line was not acceptable, so I took a line from some other place in the movie and I slipped it in and it doesn’t make any sense at all. But that line, that sums up the whole movie.” (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Year of the Dragon (1985)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1985 | MovieRob

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