Year of the Dragon


Year of the Dragon

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 18


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,461
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Year of the Dragon Photos

Movie Info

Best known for his 1978 film The Deer Hunter or perhaps the less-successful Heaven's Gate, director Michael Cimino turned to this fast-paced actioner set in an authentic (back lot) Chinatown. This thriller stars a rogue Polish-American cop (Mickey Rourke) out to not only keep Chinatown safe for the local consumers, but to dismantle its deep-rooted crime and drug cartels as well. No one backs the crusading cop in the latter objective, and as he faces a suave and wily crime boss (John Lone of The Last Emperor) and a libidinous newscaster (Ariane), he may be taking on more than he can handle. At least his wife thinks so, and the guys at City Hall think so -- but mayhem and murder will strew the streets with corpses before the smoke clears and the dust settles, and a vague, unresolved future sets in. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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Mickey Rourke
as Stanley White
John Lone
as Joey Tai
Ariane Koizumi
as Tracy Tzu
Leonard Termo
as Angelo Rizzo
Raymond J. Barry
as Louis Bukowski
Ray Barry
as Louis Bukowski
Caroline Kava
as Connie White
Eddie Jones
as William McKenna
Joey Chin
as Ronnie Chang
Victor Wong
as Harry Yung
K. Dock Yip
as Milton Bin
Pao Han Lin
as Fred Hung
Jimmy Sun
as Elder
Daniel Davin
as Francis Kearney
Mark Hammer
as Commissioner
Dennis Dun
as Herbert Kwong
Jack Kehler
as Alan Perez
Steven Chen
as Tony Ho
Paul Scaglione
as Teddy Tedesco
Tony Lip
as Lenny Carranza
Gerald Orange
as Bear Siku
Mui Sang Fan
as White Powder Ma
Doreen Chan
as Red Hair
Harry Yip
as Old General
Dermot McNamara
as Scappy Peck
Myra Chen
as Shanghai Palace Singer
Feng Chin
as Dragon King Boy
Yuk Fan Yiu
as Dragon King Boy
Richie Hsiu
as Dragon King Boy
Jack Lee
as Dragon King Boy
David Lee
as Dragon King Boy
Irene Jung
as Dragon King Girl
Josie Lee
as Dragon King Girl
Jiwon Chang
as Dragon King Girl
Kelly Wong
as Dragon King Girl
Chi Moy
as Dragon King Girl
Gardell Tung
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jeff Khowong
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jerry Chan
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jerry Chang
as Jade Cobra Boy
Aileen Ho
as Jade Cobra Girl
Lisa Lee
as Jade Cobra Girl
Sammy Lee
as Pei Brother
Keenan Leung
as Pei Brother
James Scales
as Connie's Assassin
Ming C. Lee
as Jackie Wong
Kader Ma
as Jackie Wong's Assassin
Manny Fung
as Jackie Wong's 2nd Son
Emily Woo
as Mrs. Wong
Roza Ng
as Laura Wong Tai
Paul L.Q. Lee
as Jackie Wong's Son
Gloria Au
as Joey Tai's Daughter
Jadin Wong
as Mrs. Harry Yung
Lin Ngan Ng
as Chinese Widow
Bruno Millotti
as Italian Waiter
Lucille D'Agnillo
as Mrs. Bukowski
Julian Szumilo
as Roman Catholic Priest
Cecelia Pei
as Harry Yung's Secretary
Quan Eng
as Mortician
George Kodish
as Police Sergeant
Bruce Kennedy
as Surveillance Technician
George Kodisch
as Police Sergeant
James Chin
as Southwind Waiter
Matthew Tung
as Southwind Waiter
Pat Fuji
as Shanghai Palace Hostess
Geoffrey Lee
as Shanghai Palace Hostess
Kuni Mikami
as Shanghai Palace Musician
Billy Asai
as Shanghai Palace Musician
Chi On Soo Hoo
as Shanghai Palace Musician
John Sparks
as Tracy's TV Cameraman
Carmine Venezia
as Funeral Musician
Anthony Parrillo
as Funeral Musician
Matthew Castiglione
as Funeral Musician
Steve Hanson
as Funeral Musician
Raymond Gardner
as Funeral Musician
Michael Acampora
as Funeral Musician
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Critic Reviews for Year of the Dragon

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (2)

Audience Reviews for Year of the Dragon

  • Jun 28, 2011
    I liked everything about Year Of The Dragon except Mickey Rourke.I think it could've been a better movie if someone else was cast in the role of Stanley White ( Bruce Willis?) I just didn't get into Rourke's character until after his wife got killed, Then his character started to get interesting.Before that his role felt dull & flat.Maybe it was him or maybe it was the movie.Other then that, It was a good flick.
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 30, 2010
    Many people claim that The Deer Hunter is Michael Cimino's only good movie. However, this is just as good if not better. Probably one of the greatest crime epics to ever be made, this really has it all. Mickey Rourke shows his muscle and stubbornness, his manliness is almost off the scale. It takes the concept of a one man war on crime and really puts it to a realistic test. You can't win anything without losing some too. The action in this movie is flawless, violent yet somehow incredibly tasteful. It's almost like a French Connection type of cop mentality thrown into Chinatown.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2010
    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
    Danny R Super Reviewer
  • Feb 15, 2010
    MICHAEL CIMINO has a distinctive way of making things look and sound, but he could never be accused of having a style. If style is a director's way of shaping and intensifying his audience's perceptions, then what Mr. Cimino has amounts to its very antithesis. In ''Year of the Dragon,'' a busy and elaborate film that manages to be inordinately messy, his tactics are a constant distraction, dissipating the viewer's interest at every turn. That, even more than excess, was the fundamental problem with ''Heaven's Gate,'' and it is still every bit as egregious. It is no pleasure to report that Mr. Cimino's reputation as the man who best exemplifies what can go wrong with big-ego, big-budget film making remains unchallenged. ''Year of the Dragon,'' based on a much more fast-paced and informative novel by Robert Daley, tells what happens when this captain is assigned to Chinatown and charged with controlling the violence of the youth gangs there. He finds that his adversary is a handsome young businessman (played by John Lone, who had the title role in ''Iceman'') who also doubles as an underworld kingpin. Though Mr. Cimino shepherds the whole movie toward a closing confrontation between these rivals, he typically deflates the ending by sapping the impact of their earlier encounters. They never seem to meet alone, since most of their talks take place in settings that are either overpopulated or full of attention-getting props. The conversations they do have are interrupted by constant and maladroit editing; indeed, the editing is so partial to uninteresting background detail and irrelevant reaction shots that it is the film's single worst feature. At times, Mr. Cimino further heightens his tendency to lose the actors in a larger tapestry by shooting them with a wide-angle lens. As for the larger tapestry here, Chinatown was built in North Carolina for the film, and it has been recreated down to the last noodle. Production notes explain that close attention was paid to such details as the grading of street surfaces and the installation of pipes to vent steam from the manhole covers. However, the effect is that of a colossal blur, since Mr. Cimino has so little facility for focusing the attention on anything in particular. Even worse, all this meticulousness becomes crushingly literal. Without any gift for simplicity or shorthand, the director must spell out absolutely everything. To show that someone is a general, he must - and does, in one particularly overscaled sequence here - surround him with an entire army. The actors fare particularly badly under such circumstances. Mr. Rourke, who almost always generates a relaxed, knowing magnetism, is entirely lost in the underwritten role of a middle-aged policeman. He must also grapple with the flat-footed, heavily scatological dialogue that seems just as out of place here as it did in ''Heaven's Gate.'' (The screenplay is by the director and Oliver Stone.) Mr. Rourke is never able to give much conviction to the lines that have him frequently comparing Chinatown's gangland troubles to the Vietnam War; this, like the motif of gang rape here and in ''Heaven's Gate,'' appears to have more to do with some larger vision of Mr. Cimino's than with the story at hand. Still, Mr. Rourke manages to be more ingratiating and interesting than Ariane, the model who plays an upscale young newscaster with whom he has an affair. She is so ineffectual a part of the film's framework that she is even upstaged, in a nude scene, by a glimpse of the Brooklyn Bridge.
    Martin D Super Reviewer

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