Year of the Dragon - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Year of the Dragon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
July 12, 2016
Michael Cimino's explosive, ultra-violent epic crime drama which would prove to be his last great film. About a jaded, single-minded, racist police captain named Stanley White, who is a real fearless bad ass, and a Vietnam war Marine veteran, brilliantly played by Mickey Rourke in a mesmerizing, powerhouse performance. He is on a crusade to bring down corruption, extortion and murder in New York City's Chinatown by the Chinese youth gangs which run by a savvy, reptilian Triad crime lord, Joey Tai, played magnificently by the gifted Asian actor John Lone. White must balance his intense desire to capture Tai, with his intense feelings for a beautiful Asian television news reporter, TracyTzu, well-played by Ariane, who is helping him with his crusade against this powerful suave crime lord, despite the protests of his brought-off supervisors who all hate him because he constantly points out their hypocrisies. The adrenaline-charged violence is amazing, including a show-stopping gunmen attack on a posh Chinatown restaurant, and a frenzied white-knuckled climax which is a bravura piece of film-making. Skillful direction by the late Cimino, with a compelling screenplay by Oliver Stone. But the centerpiece of this film is Rourke who will totally blow you away by the realism and intensity of his acting. Fantastic supporting performances from Caroline Kava, Raymond J. Barry, Victor Wong, and Dennis Dun. Extraordinary cinematography by the late great Alex Thomson, and a superb score by David Mansfield. A unique, forgotten cinematic gem from the 80's. Highly Recommended
½ July 9, 2016
Year of the Dragon (1985) C-134m. ?? 1/2 D: Michael Cimino. Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane, Raymond J. Barry, Caroline Kava. Extremely intense action film about separated policeman determined to find source of crime in Chinatown. Intelligent, graceful, powerful, and full of punch, but also quite bloody, excessive, and self-important. Worth seeing however, for fine photography, strong performances, and some of the most realistic, unsettling gunfights ever staged. Written by Cimino and Oliver Stone from the novel by Robert Daley.
Super Reviewer
June 25, 2016
Good direction can't save a cliched script. Captain White is a cop who doesn't play by the rules, but yet is the most decorated cop in NY? How does that work? Rourke and Lone keep it from totally going under. Ariane has a performance all across the board, but might have done better if she had been given a character to work with. Dennis Dun shines in a bit part. The action scenes are appropriately violent and well filmed. All in all a mixed bag of tricks. A better ending would have helped.
½ December 13, 2015
Tarantino loves this movie. Underrated and unappreciated and another tour de force performance from Rourke.
October 4, 2015
I quite liked this one, it's an epic cop story of an officer trying to take on the Triads organized crime in New York's Chinatown. Toronto is also mentioned several times as the competitor's territory. Michael Cimino directs this on a grand scale, the cinematography is outstanding, and the performances of Rourke and Lone are excellent. It also helps that Oliver Stone wrote the script. This is an 80's hidden gem, check it out!
September 5, 2015
Violence erupts in Chinatown when ethnic mafia feuds boil over. Captain White is assigned to the area and immediately has a better pulse on the situation than his superior or previous cops there who dismisses it as youth gangs acting out. Reasons to second guess marriage delivered by Rourke's wife in every scene she appears before being killed.
August 13, 2015
Heaven has a road, but no one travels it; Hell has no gate but men will dig to get there. - Chinese Proverb
July 29, 2015
Looks good, on paper. Directed by Michael Cimino, who directed on of the greatest movies of all time in The Deer Hunter. Written by Cimino and Oliver Stone. Stars Mickey Rourke in one of his earlier roles.

Yet, it all seems so ordinary. Not entirely boring, yet just a conventional cop drama. The only newish idea is setting it in the Chinese-American community. Ultimately, the plot lets this down.

Cimino's direction is good, though he does rely on a lot of tricks he used in The Deer Hunter. The poignent acoustic guitar soundtrack was very reminiscent of The Deer Hunter's "Cavatina".

Mickey Rourke is not ideal for the role. He comes across as too unorthodox and irrational to be a senior police officer. His delivery is rather cliched, too, reminding one of every vigilante cop ever portrayed.

Disappointing, especially considering the big names involved.
July 10, 2015
Wanna see Mickey Rourke kick some Traid butt pre screwed up plastic surgery!!! Then this is the movie for you tonight...Year of the Dragon is a balls out all war on the Chinese Mafia by the man himself...To me this movie shows why Rourke is such a rebel with a cause....People say Rourke could have been another great tough guy hero of the 80's...I say bullshit, he was....And when you watch this, you see why...There is plenty of fortune cookie mafia bastards going down in this movie...Bloody, action, guns, headless dudes and a great looking woman round this movie out..
½ June 13, 2015
Certainly did not deserve its five Razzie nominations, this is a good movie. Rourke & Lone are strong adversaries but easy to see why Ariane's career never went anywhere. Terrific direction, as usual, from Michael Cimino.
March 19, 2015
Well I hate the movie
January 22, 2015
A crime thriller through and through with a lot of action and arrogance. Fast paced with a lots happening. Well directed and acted .
½ August 31, 2014
Convoluted , full of meaningless scenes and odd, schmaltzy music. Dialogue was choppy, poorly delivered. Just didn't make a lot of sense, and not in an artsy way. Just weird.
July 31, 2014
Mickey Rourke gives a passable performance, but the movie is just too long and too slow to fully invest any sort of emotion towards it. There are much better movies to spend your time on than this one.
July 16, 2014
Amazing cop movie/crime saga that deserves much more respect, featuring one of Mickey Rourkes best roles, plus gory violence, great action and rich with atmosphere and style, it's really fucking great stuff.
½ July 9, 2014
Absolute garbage. waste of 2+hrs. racist, chauvinistic, slutty, insulting, stereotypical, poorly filmed with plot jumps that force you to assume quite a bit to get them to make sense and completely random moments that should have been left out. Essentially some cop decides he's going to clean up Chinatown while neglecting and cheating on his wife with a local reporter (while still claiming to love her and with the audacity to be jealous about who else the reporter might be dating) and against all directives from the rest of his precinct but goes about it so rambunctious that he gets his wife, a fellow cop he blatantly used as bait, and damn near his partner not to mention his reporter side piece killed trying to do it but we should all feel sorry for him for being a disrespectful, philandering a**hole because he served in Vietnam. Who the hell funded this film??? As an 80's baby I am glad to say I was too young to waste my money trying to see this horrid film in theaters when it was first released. the only thing worse than this film is Rourke's hair-do.
July 6, 2014
Very racist film from the 80's. Talk about stereotypes. Geez.
½ June 18, 2014
Don't really remember watching it. Guess I'll watch again sometime and get back to you. :-)
April 15, 2014
My Favorite Action Film Is 1988's Die Hard.
April 15, 2014
An underrated action movie that is very exciting!
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