Chasing the Dragon


Action / Biography / Crime / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 2327


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Downloaded 133,724 times
March 25, 2018 at 11:43 PM



Donnie Yen as Crippled Ho
Andy Lau as Lui Lok
Sahajak Boonthanakit as General Piyamas
Bryan Larkin as Ernest Hunt
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.08 GB
24 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 11 / 67
2.07 GB
24 fps
2hr 8 min
P/S 5 / 64

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wdftop 2 / 10

Had to give more than 1 Star or someone will think I'm brigading

Very disappointing movie considering the big name cast.

Everything from the props (weapons, slum set, cars, etc.) to Donnie Yen's wig is a massive distraction. They must have used the cheapest grade props known to the industry (you'll notice this in multiple scenes where's there's bottling/glass).

The dialogues are predictable and cliche. All their portrayal of triads is something I'd expect from a Young and Dangerous film back in the 90s (much better films than this actually).

The Western actors were also given horrible scripts. Some of their scenes made me question, did the film crew even watch their work after the takes?

I normally don't get frustrated with these films because at least I get good action, but this very much a crime-drama with small parts of action (with almost no martial arts, so casting Donnie seemed like a waste).

It seems the producer of this film is banking on stirring anti-colonialism to keep the audience entertained and had no intention on making an actual worth-while film.

Reviewed by moviexclusive 8 / 10

Featuring Donnie Yen in his most significant acting breakthrough since 'Ip Man', this compelling gangster drama is his and Wong Jing's best in a long while

Just when you've come to hate him more than love him for truly frustrating duds such as 'From Vegas to Macau 3' and 'Mission Milano', Hong Kong's most prolific filmmaker Wong Jing compels you to take him seriously once again with the best gangster drama we've seen in a long while.

Written, produced and co-directed by Wong Jing, his latest period epic charts the rise and fall of two of Hong Kong's most infamous real- life characters from the 60s and 70s – the one-time most powerful drug lord in Hong Kong Ng Sik-ho (or better known as 'Crippled Ho') and the notoriously corrupt detective Lui Lok (or otherwise known as 'Lee Rock').

Perhaps because he had already previously told Lee Rock's story, Wong Jing anchors this movie around Sik-ho (Donnie Yen), who first steps foot in Hong Kong in 1960 as an illegal immigrant from Chaozhou with his three buddies (Philip Keung, Wilfred Lau and Kang Yu) and younger brother Peter (Jonathan Lee). Although engaged in odd jobs, the quartet find more lucrative means of employment by being paid to make up the numbers in street fights. One such fight is that purportedly between rivalling triad heads Comic (Jason Wong) and Grizzly Bear (Ricky Yi). Unfortunately, the fight turns ugly with the arrival of the riot police led by the British Superintendent Hunter (Bryan Larkin), and before the night is over, Sik-ho ends up in a run-in with the arrogant and supercilious 'gwei-lo'.

All that is witnessed by Lee Rock (Andy Lau) and his right-hand man Piggy (Kent Cheng), who spies Sik-ho's superior fighting skills and decides to recruit him and his buddies while they are in lock-up. As circumstances would have it, in order to save one of his buddies caught stealing from mafia boss Bro Chubby (Ben Ng), Sik-ho will end up working too for the former, running his drug business within the legendary Kowloon Walled City.

It is within this hotbed of lawlessness that Lee will venture into one day. Things go south obviously, and the subsequent turn of events binds Sik-ho and Lee in a complex brotherhood embrace – Sik-ho springs to Lee's rescue but ends up caught in the crosshairs of another parallel ambush sprung by Sir Ngan in collusion with Chubby. In the ensuing scuffle, Chubby breaks Sik-ho's right leg as punishment, thus birthing a hardened and even more driven 'Crippled Ho' upon his discharge from hospital.

Sik-ho's transformation comes at the midway point, and it is in the second hour that he truly comes into his own. Not only does he resist Lee's manoeuvres to alter the state of play, Sik-ho takes matters into his own hands against Lee's better advice in order to exact his own vendetta against Superintendent Hunter. There is a lot of plot crammed into a slightly-past-two-hour runtime, but its machinations consistently revolve around the dynamic between Sik-ho and Lee; an especially poignant scene near the end has a visibly embittered Sik- ho pointing out squarely to Lee the personal costs and consequences of the latter's actions over the decade plus on the both of them, and the duo coming to recognise how little of life, death, or anything in between they can truly control.

Oh yes, the movie is equal parts plot and character-driven, and Wong Jing's (rare) achievement is how he balances both perfectly to deliver a sprawling but constantly spellbinding account of the fates and fortunes of his two key male protagonists. Due credit also goes to his co-director cum director-of-photography Jason Kwan, who not only brings a vivid cinematic feel to the visuals but also imposes rigour in crafting and building up several pivotal sequences, both of which are too often lost on a frequently sloppy Wong Jing.

More prominently, 'Chasing the Dragon' has been sold as a showcase of Donnie Yen's acting chops, and sure enough, Yen doesn't disappoint; in fact, as Sik-ho, Yen probably makes the most significant breakthrough of his career since 'Ip Man'. His portrayal of Sik-ho is understated, nuanced and impressively authentic, especially in depicting his character's transformation from underdog to kingpin. Yen and Lau don't share as many scenes together as we'd have liked, but the duo have great chemistry when they do, embodying the genuine camaraderie between their characters as well as the seeds of distrust, suspicion and resentment sowed by their own respective ambitions, egos and greed.

It should also be said that this gangster tale is always careful not to glorify its socially deviant protagonists – principally for fear of running afoul of Chinese censors – and is therefore less unhinged than the early 90s flicks of Sik-ho and/or Lee. In fact, Yen and Lau aren't playing so much criminals as they are anti-heroes, so not only are there redeeming qualities about their characters in this movie, both will come in an epilogue set thirty years later to realise and regret the folly of their ways. Yet these politically (and commercially) savvy considerations aside, Wong Jing's latest is still a solid and solidly entertaining example of the genre that is bloody, violent and thrilling.

Indeed, there is much to enjoy in this period gangster epic, from the storytelling to the characters to the actors and as well to the richly detailed sets of Tsim Sha Tsui, Wan Chai and Kowloon Walled City. This dragon is one you won't mind chasing from start to finish, and we guarantee you it will leave you on a visceral high.

Reviewed by Cameron Lau (Skaigear) 5 / 10

While not a terrible movie, the only good reason to watch it is two words: Donnie Yen

Chasing the Dragon is a Chinese crime drama film directed by Wong Jing and stars Donnie Yen and Andy Lau. When I first heard about the movie in production last year, a biopic based off the true story of infamous crippled Hong Kong gangster Ng Sek Ho, I thought it was a strange choice to have a world-renowned action star like Donnie Yen play him. Not that he is a bad actor or anything, but Yen is more famous for his karate chops than his acting chops. So who in their right minds would cast him as a handicapped character, essentially immobilizing and disallowing him to what he does best? Equally peculiar of a choice is Wong Jing as the director of the film. I felt his slapstick humor and sloppy storytelling would conflict with the overall serious tone intended for the movie. Coming out of the theater, I felt Donnie Yen is once again the best thing about a movie featuring him, but unfortunately Wong Jing's amateurish direction ruins everything just about everything else.

Donnie Yen plays Ho, an illegal mainland Chinese immigrant in Hong Kong. His character is very sympathetic, as he is family man looking after his people, earning 10 Hong Kong dollars a night as a street fighter. Here he gives the best performance I have ever seen and I really enjoyed his character, I felt he was able to channel between different emotions and display empathy, sympathy, loyalty and relentlessness. While he is probably not going to win an Oscar in February, he did go above and beyond his usual spectrum. The Chaozhou accent and language he used was very good and along with the excellent costumes and set design of 1960's Hong Kong, giving the film an overall authentic feel.

Where Chasing the Dragon really failed however was the storytelling, particularly as it relates to the editing and pacing. The movie starts out very simple and easy to follow, but soon expands unnecessarily to convoluting proportions with subplots of different crime bosses and corrupt officials I did not really care about. One of the worst piece of editing I have ever seen was a tragic sequence that bookends the first act. The scene was supposed to make you feel emotional and wrecked, but it just made me roll my eyes the entire time. I felt really annoyed because story-wise, the tragedy made very little sense for us to feel sad since we do not even know who the character is, but the technical execution of the scene was even worse. The film then transitions months ahead into the story and at that point, it had no idea what it wanted to focus on. Was it his love for his brothers? His friendship with Andy Lau? His mourning of his family? His desire to rise to the top? No, the film touches upon everything only slightly, but never truly exploring any of it in great details. Any of important plot points were montaged through quickly, with the director expecting the audience to know the true backstory to fill in the gaps. Instead of seeing Ho earning his power, we just see things getting handed to him. What exactly has he done except being a good fighter and a loyal friend to deserve all the accolades? Another big issue I have is the final 20 minutes, which pertains a subplot that blows up and becomes the main plot and the whole movie then turns into a revenge fantasy for no reason at all, because the writers said so.

My initial trepidation of Donnie Yen playing a crippled character, hindering his ability to perform his trademark moves was right on point. Donnie's acting was good, but because for half the movie he can barely walk, he is utterly wasted nonetheless. Simply put Chasing the Dragon is not an action movie, so if you go in expecting Ip Man quality fight scenes, you will be sorely disappointed. There are few hand to hand action scenes in the first half, but even those were poorly done by Donnie Yen standards. They were short, shaky and lack the oomph of a satisfying fight scene.

Overall, I feel the movie failed to tell a compelling story with its cast and production value. Wong Jing was definitely a very poor choice of director, and it shows throughout. His style simply does not mesh well for the story content. Who is the movie made for? Action fans? The action is not very good. Crime drama fans? The drama is muddled with technical problems. While not a terrible movie, the only good reason to watch it is two words: Donnie Yen.

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