Legend of the Red Dragon (1994)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Legend of the Red Dragon Videos
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as Hung Hei-Kwun
as Ma Ling-Yee
as Chan Kan-Nam
as Hong's Son
as Hung Man Ting
as Red Bean
as Red Bean's Mother
as Man in Crown
Critic Reviews for Legend of the Red Dragon
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Audience Reviews for Legend of the Red Dragon
Legend Of The Red Dragon is a hammy and utterly ludicrous martial arts film...but it sure is an entertaining B-movie. Sure, it's not nearly up to snuff compared to some other films in Jet Li's filmography like, say, Hero, but it's still a really good time for anyone who loves an over the top action film. The plot is fairly simple: A man and his son are out for revenge against the government officials who killed his wife and fellow villagers. Now the duo travels the country until they are hired as bodyguards for a man who is about to get married to a con woman. There's also an aspect of the plot involving Shaolin students who have treasure maps tattooed to their backs and now the government is after them as well. So, the film becomes a whirlwind of revenge, romance, friendship, and lots of ass whooping. The film cannot in any way be taken seriously, even during moments that are supposed to be dramatic. However, the film is very energetic and lively, and is surprisingly bolstered in entertainment value because of the hilariously awful English dubbing. It's pure camp value from start to finish, both intentionally and unintentionally. If you're a person who enjoys a fun, cheesy action film, this one will meet your needs and is hardly ever boring.
Great, fun martial arts flick. Very tongue-in-cheek and light-hearted. Excellent chemistry and performances from all the main Hong Kong actors. Jet Li plays a martial art master skilled in the magic spear and in this movie you get to see his skill with spears and the amazing things he can do with it from the opening action scene. His son is simply amazing and funny as a very disciplined young martial artist. On their journey they come across a couple of con-artists (mother and daughter) with the most hilarious results. A hero's quest with a range of other fantastic characters thrown in make for a great comic, action-adventure story. Also great for all the family. It explores themes of loyalty and traditional Chinese father-son, mother-daughter, peer, and romantic relationships in a silly but highly enjoyable manner. Highly recommended!
Instead of an overly serious martial arts movie, Legend of the Red Dragon doesn't take itself at all seriously and this is its greatest strength. Despite the recent success of Crouchig Tiger, Hidden Dragon, it was not impressed by this movie. It featured too many way over the top stunts and the plot was amazingly serious and artistic. But here, because the plot and writing are so silly and it's all done tongue in cheek, you can more easily accept the ridiculous but spectacular stunts. While not quite as silly as Stephen Chow's Kung Fu Hustle, it was close and surpassed it in plot, excitement and grandeur. In addition, the idea of pairing Jet Li with an amazing child kung fu master was pretty funny because the child's talents were so ridiculously amazing and impossible. Additionally, while Jet Li played his part very straight, so many of the supporting characters were again pretty cartoon-like. The movie is a wonderful combination of great technique, expert filming and silliness that will thrill lovers of kung fu movies. Unlike Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee's movie, this movie involves far less punching and kicking, relying instead on the amazing use of weaponry and silly physics. By the way, the film is rated R, but I think it could easily been rated PG-13 as the violence wasn't that extreme and there was no nudity or excessive foul language.
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