Dragon Eyes (2012)
Welcome to St. Jude, a town where rival gangs rule the streets, where the chief of police is a cold-blooded killer, and where citizens have learned to keep their heads down. Then comes out-of-towner Ryan Hong. His vintage car attracts attention. His unbelievable marital arts skills cause a sensation. Sensing a human weapon, the rival gangs bid for Hong's allegiance. But Hong is committed to honoring an old promise to a mentor he met in prison: that he will "do good" wherever possible. With a lethal combination of street smarts and martial arts, Hong vows to lift St. Jude's citizens out of fear... even if he must turn into a one-man army to do it. -- (C) After Dark … More
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Critic Reviews for Dragon Eyes
Maintaining an admirably straight face, this fist-flying flashback is good fun for fanboy types who take its myriad absurdities with the requisite grain of salt.
Audience Reviews for Dragon Eyes
An explosive action tour de force with bone-crunching and mind-blowing martial arts action sequences that you have to see to believe. A urban western style type of film in the tradition of A Fistful of dollars where our heroes are dark and our villains are even darker. A frequently entertaining and fun thrill-ride. Director, John Hyams crafts a slick, stylish and hard-boiled film. A knockout that hits hard and hits home. A thrilling, tremendously exciting and adrenaline-fueled action-packed crime-thriller. Cung Le is a blast to watch, his acting is exceptional and his movements are amazing. Jean-Claude Van Damme gives a strong, calm and utterly compelling performance. Van Damme and Le have great chemistry in this dark and character driven story. Peter Weller is electric, he`s a slick, smart and bad ass villain.More
So Mr JCVD is now taking roles as wise old mentors teaching the young stuff, reversed from back in the day when he was learning, that is pretty cool if you ask me, it just seems right like a perfectly fitting piece of jigsaw. Of course JCVD has still got all the silky moves but with age creeping up on him he is obviously not gonna be as believeable as in his hayday.
Cung Le takes on the role as main hero for this 'Yojimbo' remake (yep another one) a loner comes to a small town and uses the two local gangs against each other to get to the big man and bring peace. So completely and utterly unoriginal and to be frank its been done much much better ('Last Man Standing'), the warring street gang element doesn't really work for me here, it just seems like any other warring street gang flick where as 'Last Man Standing' worked really well due to the time period setting, it looked so darn cool.
The cast is a mix of your typical unknowns who all seem to be pretty proficient in martial arts to major player Peter Weller as 'Mr V' the main bad guy. Weller is clearly enjoying himself as he hams it up beautifully whilst for some reason he has been made to look like Frank Sinatra with his little hat haha Old blue eyes kicking ass.
As said JCVD takes more of a backseat role being the mentor in flashbacks and Le is the high flying number one. Personally I didn't take to Le as the main man, he looks solid enough yes but he just doesn't have that leading man quality to pull off being the hero, he's not exactly a great looking guy and I just didn't get the same adrenaline rush from seeing him fight. He can fight but its more of a scuffle plus his moves aren't as sharp or far reaching as others I've seen. Sure its more realistic but you kinda wanna see some fancy JCVD type air moves which make you go 'HELL YEAH!!', I wasn't really behind him feeling the rush. I love how everyone in these films is a martial arts expert hehe every bad guy and every random person called on to fight is a martial artist, I know it equals more kick ass but its kinda stupid isn't it.
A kind of videogame vibe to the style has been attempted in places eg. with the character intros which isn't really needed seeing as it isn't really kept up throughout but overall its a slick moody gangster action piece with a nice limited colour palette giving a touch of class.
A bit lacking for Mr Silver really, not quite up to his usual standards, a mixed bag of good and bad but more average really. Certainly more stylish than recent JCVD films but he isn't involved so much with this one sooooo...good film title, bares no real meaning to the film but its cool.
The last time I reviewed a movie before it got release to the public was The Girl from the Naked Eye and I pretty much ended up hating the movie. Now compare to this mess to The Girl from the Naked Eye and it makes it look like a masterpiece with the only thing this movie has going for it is Jean-Claude Van Damme appearance.
Dragon Eyes is about Ryan Hong who arrives in St. Jude Square, a neighborhood living in fear and despair, to battle against crime in the most boring way possible. This movie has it all from boring characters, boring story, boring violence, boring cinematography, boring actors (with the exception of Vam Damme, and anything else you could think off this movie gets wrong. Three words could best describe the whole experience, it's completely forgettable. The story never develops beyond it's basic premise, there's little to no meaningful character development, and finally offers nothing for the audience. Even if you want to see Vam Damme you'll only see him for like four minutes and his character was supposed to be important to the movie, but he's just tossed aside and wasted in this movie. The story offers nothing to the audience and it's easily forgettable with a ending so terrible that it completely wasted the audience time just by watching it.
I want to make one thing perfectly clear about the cast, the closest person you have to a good actor is Jean-Claude Vam Damme. You know you have actors so untalented that they make Jean-Claude Vam Damme look like an Academy Award winning actor. Also don't get suckered into this thinking Vam Damme will do anything cool, he gets one brief scene for himself in the whole movie and that's it. He's completely wasted in this movie, this wouldn't be a problem if the rest of the actors actually gave a Vam Damme (puns intended) about there Damme performances. Gosh were they terrible, they're so unmotivated and dull that I actually consider reading a dictionary while watching this movie. This is one of those rare movie that gets everything wrong with no redeeming value of any kind.
Dragon Eyes is a movie at best describe as a shameless scam to fans of Van Damme to buy the movie. It offers nothing to the audience, Vam Damme presence was wasted (that's rare in his case), and finally it's one of the worst Martial Art movie ever made. AVOID THIS AT ALL COST AND DO SOMETHING ELSE WORTH YOUR TIME THEN TO WATCH THIS MESS.
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