Wu xia (Dragon) (2012)
Wu xia (Dragon) (2012)
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Critic Reviews for Wu xia (Dragon)
"Dragon" has enough interesting left turns in style, mood and psychodrama to make it stand out.
The movie hurtles along at a pitch of sentiment and melodrama that would make MGM blush, and it's mostly very diverting.
As a whole, it does not quite work, especially at the end, when Mr. Chan tries for a Shakespearean climax of filial rebellion and paternal rage.
The widescreen cinematography and mountain rain-forest locations retain their interest, as does the deftly incongruous score, which ranges from samba to hard rock.
The large canvas and pseudo-superhero tactics work for a bit, but then the action gets sidetracked in place of myth-building.
Audience Reviews for Wu xia (Dragon)
This was a beautifully shot movie, with a refreshing plot and character development that showed why Donnie Yen is such a great actor. He is among one of the very few actors who first broke into their careers due to their martial arts, but had developed his acting skills along the way. Good movie. Great action. Really good (if not slightly cliché) storyline. I enjoyed this very much...
Not a bad action-drama with Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro as what I thought the Chinese epic film is a version of The History of Violence.
As the enigmatic paper-maker in a small idyllic town with the unassuming name Liu Jinxi, Yen has finally delivered a performance which equals that of Ip Man, one that showcases his best as a dramatic actor and as a martial artist.
Aubrey Lam's story raises a number of moral dilemmas, in particular whether a man can truly start anew without having to atone for his past sins, and whether there is a place for humanity in a world governed by laws and regulations. This is at the very heart of the complex intertwining relationship between Liu and Xu (played by Kaneshiro), and a fascinating one which director Peter Chan explores with panache. There is no hero or villain between the two rather, both are simply pushed up against each other by their past and the circumstance by which they had made their mutual acquaintance.
Wu Xia, from director Peter Chan, is part action and part mystery. Does it work well together? Indeed.Running roughly around 110 minutes, Wu Xia successfully puts much needed emphasis on story. The pacing isn't exactly snappy, and with little in the way of martial arts in the first 2/3rds of the film, Wu Xia flourishes on the mystery behind one of its title characters.The action, while limited in the early going and maybe even in the latter portions, contain excellent choreography thanks to the brilliant mind of Donnie Yen. The resulting martial arts fights are quickly paced and visually pleasing, leaving the want for more.Takeshi Kaneshiro takes charge when it comes to the acting, as he should when Donnie isn't displaying his martial arts skills. Wei Tang ends up as a lovely innocent house-wife, while Kara Hui is amusing with her double swords.Wu Xia does have the potential to be an all out martial arts action adventure, but instead elects to become a more well-rounded picture. In this instance it works out nicely.
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