ReviewWriter: Helena HonWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast:
NAWatch this if you liked:
If you're looking to have your brains blasted out in a noisy kung fu-shoot out flick with nothing much else happening in between, you've come to the right movie.
"Dragon Squad" is a shallow and implausible story about everybody's brother having a bone to pick with the other person's brother due to the first person's brother having killed or wronged the other person's brother. And when you have a whole bunch of brothers avenging each other like this - the story can get confusing, not to mention downright ludicrous. Doesn't 'revenge' always make a good subject matter and the perfect excuse for making a movie?
But while we are ruminating on that, down in the mean streets of Hong Kong, a team of stone-faced Interpol agents - who don't have much to say due to the economical lines in their script and not much to do except look good in their suits while toting hand guns and kung fu chopping everyone - is called in to get this notorious crime lord called 'Puma' Duen. They go to Sammo Hung who plays Kong Loong - a veteran cop who got demoted to driver status due to past transgressions in the force - to investigate Puma's brother, 'Tiger' Duen.
However, just as Puma is about to be hauled to court, he is 'captured' - in a melee of flying bullets and car crashes, the first of many in the movie - by the rival gang headed by Petros (Michael Biehn), Ko (Huh Joon-ho) and Viet (Maggie Q). Apparently, each has a score to settle with the Duen brothers, particularly Petros who seeks revenge for the murder of his brother. See? What did I tell you about brothers? I won't even mention the other thing that was going on between one of the elite squad and his brother.
Anyway, the result is a wanton display of fire power, flying kicks and a storyline riddled with a lot of holes. Amazingly, director Daniel Lee tries to infuse art into the fight scenes with elaborate choreography and many strategically placed slow mos and black-and-white flashbacks in grainy stills. Arty-farty sequences like these are tolerable in the first five minutes, but do it 20 times too many and you tend to get a tad tired. Still, Lee should be commended for thinking it up as this may be the only redeeming feature in the movie.
Even more amazing is the fact that Steven Seagal is the executive producer. Then again, maybe that's not amazing at all, considering the trail of duds he's done of late. Seagal doesn't appear in the movie, which is just as well or he would have been in the contention with Hung for the title of 'who is the fatter'. Hung would have won hands down of course. He's bloated up so much, his 'breasts' were flapping up and down in the running scenes. It's a good thing too he wasn't fighting much - in fact he doesn't lift a finger until the last part - because I actually got worried that he might get a seizure for moving all that fat around.
Cinema Online, 23 September 2008
"Dragon Squad's" international cast of Hong Kong's Sammo Hung, Simon Yam (who was mostly forgettable) and Shawn Yue, Hollywood's Michael Beihn, Korea's Huh Joon-ho, Vietnamese-American Maggie Q, and mainland China's Li Bing Bing, Eva Huang and Xia Yu - is a showcase for a sheer waste of acting talent. It's obvious they all came from the Steven Seagal school of acting, with Seagal being the father of machismo and the frozen look. (I know, I know. Sammo, Simon and Segal's fans are going to crucify me for this.)