The Man from Hong Kong (The Dragon Flies) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Man from Hong Kong (The Dragon Flies) Reviews

Page 1 of 2
July 26, 2015
This is a cheesy 70s action/martial arts picture, with a really cool setting - Australia! Jimmy Wang Yu is the hero, battling evil George "James Bond" Lazenby! I've seen better action scenes, but what makes this film so much fun is the goofy and likeable hero.
½ August 22, 2014
It's 1975. A time of funky pants. Muscle cars. Ridiculous sideburns. Sleazy moustaches. Bruce Lee still rules the world of action movies (despite being dead), and I haven't even been BORN yet.

Sydney. Jack Wilton (The Laze) is a bad-ass crime lord with a penchant for cravats, orange velvet sofas and all things Oriental. Under the cover of his legitimate import/export business, he runs an international drug-smuggling outfit with connections in Hong Kong. Two federal narcotics cops, Grosse (Hugh Keays-Byrne, from Stone and Mad Max) and Taylor (Roger Ward, from, um, Stone and, er, Mad Max) manage to catch Win Chan (Sammo Hung), a member of this Hong Kong connection, following a well-staged--yet amusingly pointless--fight sequence atop Uluru (sorry, Ayers Rock). Chan is to be extradited, as soon as he testifies against Wilton. But the Aussie cops hadn't counted on the extradition officer being a certain Inspector Fang Sing-Ling (Jimmy Wang Yu), of Hong Kong Special Branch ("What's so special about the Special Branch?" you ask? Watch the movie and find out!). Fang is a loose cannon, to say the least, and is intent on bringing down Wilton's entire operation himself, no matter how much of Sydney he has to destroy in the process.

This was the first (and as far as I'm aware, only) Australia/Hong Kong co-production, and it's an unusual (but highly entertaining) hybrid. It's full of excellent martial arts sequences (choreographed by Sammo) and amazing stunt work, thanks to chop-socky demigod Jimmy Wang Yu and Aussie stunt legend Grant Page. But Brian Trenchard-Smith (who went on to direct the classic BMX Bandits, featuring one of Australia's finest acting talents: David Argue!) has injected it with a heavy dose of laid-back, tongue-in-cheek Aussie style. It also has some touches reminiscent of Hollywood action movies, in particular the brilliant car chase, in the course of which we see a brand new Charger (That's a VALIANT Charger, not a DODGE Charger, for all you Yanks out there) gradually reduced to a smoking wreck. It must be seen to be believed.

Jimmy Wang Yu appears to be almost completely lacking in both charisma and a sense of humour, but this may have something to do with the language barrier. He doesn't seem confident speaking English much of the time. He does, however, play "p@#sed off" very well, and this gets him through. Besides, The Laze has more than enough charisma to go around, and there's plenty of humour provided by the cops (particularly Keays-Byrne, who's obviously enjoying himself). The film is also intentionally peppered with bits of political incorrectness, sending up the attitudes of the day ("Talk about the bloody yellow peril!" quips Grosse, surveying the aftermath of one of Fang's escapades).

But the fun doesn't stop there! No, siree! There's babes! There's hang-gliding! There's...babes hang-gliding! There's assassinations! There's a young, svelte Bill Hunter! There's fake blood! There's Grant Page SPLITTING HIS PANTS! There's nice scenery! And, of course, there's the obligatory pre-dawn kung fu practice on top of a hill overlooking a nice beach.

The only sore point, for mine, is the terrible "hit" theme song by Jigsaw. The rest of the music's great. Very period. Very funky. But that song... well... it just... sucks.

As a lover of cult cinema, a fan of kung fu movies, someone who's proud of Aussie filmmakers (when they get it right), and someone who just loves to be entertained for an hour or two without having to do very much, this movie is almost impossible to fault. If you're a wowser who believes in political correctness at any cost, or someone who faints at the sight of orange paint (when substituted for blood), steer well clear. But I happen to enjoy this sort of thing. So DON'T GIVE ME ANY S@#T!
½ October 3, 2013
A very entertaining martial arts movie about a police man from Hong Kong heading to Sydney to take down a drug lord in Sydney played by George Lazenby.

This is so cheesy but so much fun to watch, ridiculous sound effects & some incredible bad dialogue.

It's interesting seeing the back drop of Sydney in the mid 70's & it has some great fights in it with some excellent martial arts display.
November 25, 2012
The first Australian-Hong Kong co-production is clearly a product of its time almost from the word go: a promiscuous reporter hang glides into Wong Chuk Hong over the opening credits to Jigsaw's "Sky High" where she runs into a sarcastic inspector (controversial gung fu star Jimmy Wang Yu) who immediately detains her -- literally -- before heading to Australia to pick-up a Chinese criminal only to run afoul of a Sydney crime boss (unappreciated 007 and real-life Bruce Lee pupil George Lazenby).

"The Man from Hong Kong" suffers from an identity crisis: director Brian Tenchard-Smith's feature film dà (C)but is no more Australian than it is Chinese which may help explain why it works -- in this case -- on a superficial level mixing equal parts of Grant Page's thirst for octane with Sammo Hung's occasionally satirical; occasionally visceral martial arts choreography.

Where past hybrids tended to frustratingly vacillate "The Man from Hong Kong" is the best, in choreography terms, of both capricious low budget guerilla film industries strikingly captured by Russell Boyd's lens though on a whole it's about as sound as Roy Chow's English dub of Wang Yu's dialogue.

According to the 2008 documentary "Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation" nearly everyone involved on the Australian side of "The Man from Hong Kong" found star and unaccredited co-director Jimmy Wang Yu abrasive, controlling, openly racist to his white female co-stars, and all-around unbearable to work with.
½ June 17, 2012
A classic from the Ozploitation bandwagon
April 4, 2012
This was one of those movies that I have heard lots about over the past few years, then even saw featured in the Not Quite Hollywood documentary, so I'm happy to finally cross it off my list of things to see.

Featuring some truly over the top action and stunts, this is well worth the time you might spend tracking it down.

Recommended.
December 9, 2011
Wall to wall cliches. An Australian/Hong Kong production with a former James Bond as a villain, martial arts choreographed by Hung Kam Po (Sammo Hung), and vehicular mayhem by Grant Page (who did the same for Mad Max a few years later). This almost plays like a parody of a 70s action drama. A very silly movie.
½ April 1, 2011
Gloriously silly and definitely a product of its time this is an outrageous parody of the Bond movies. Yu Wang is the title character who gets sent to Australia to solve crime. George Lazenby also stars as the drug overlord who is a master of Kung Fu but use 'the art for evil purposes'. Great, inventive action scenes and you can tell Brian trenchard-Smith is more comfortable with these scences than with the more intimite scenes. There were lots of laugh out loud moments however I'm sure not all of them were intentional. This is an interesting peek at on of Tarantino's influences.
½ March 19, 2011
This film i just found utterlly likable in everyway, despite its flaws. Some great action sequences, stop starty martial arts, car chases, cheesy as fuck romantic montage, and dodgy scripting hit the spot. Highly recommend as long as you can get over yourself for its grindhouse aesthetic and 70s production context. Definatly deserves a rewatch in the near future. Silly - but all the better for it.
March 5, 2011
Ozploitation (or Australian New Wave, if you like). Kung fu. Jimmy Wang Yu. mustachioed George Lazenby. Sammo Hung. Explosions. Hang gliding. Fun.
September 28, 2010
Wall to wall cliches. An Australian/Hong Kong production with a former James Bond as a villain, martial arts choreographed by Hung Kam Po (Sammo Hung), and vehicular mayhem by Grant Page (who did the same for Mad Max a few years later). This almost plays like a parody of a 70s action drama. A very silly movie.
½ July 29, 2010
I got to see a secret big screen one off run of this. A big wheel in the international film scene was visiting my area and asked to see it. I happened to be lurking around. Awesome car chase scenes and the hang gliding was sweet!
½ July 12, 2010
Depuis que j'ai découvert ce film dans l'excellent documentaire "Not Quite Hollywood" je crevais d'envie de le voir, les quelques extraits avaient l'air dingue avec ces cascades en voiture et le combat entre Wang Yu et George Lazenby m'avaient conquis. Bien sûr, le documentaire faisait aussi la lumière sur le comportement exécrable de Wang Yu lors du tournage (il se prenait pour le réalisateur et LA star tout court, il était ouvertement dégouté par ses partenaires blanches lors des scènes d'amour) au point de s'être mis tout le monde à dos, mais ça n'a pas emppêché malgré au film de se faire et d'être un sacré morceau de cinema de genre !
Wang Yu (sûrement l'un des acteurs ayant le plus souffert du succès de Bruce Lee à l'époque) incarne un flic hong kongais qui doit se rendre en Australie pour interroger et ramener un compatriote suspect dans une affaire de drogue, il est un flic déterminé, sûr de lui et s'amuse comme un p'tit fou genre là où il passe l'herbe ne repousse pas. Lazenby, incarne le grand chef derrière toute l'opération, philanthrope et prof de karaté. Ce film c'est 1h43 ininterrompue de scènes d'anthologie, superbement filmé et très ancré dans son époque sans faire trop ringard, les décors naturels australien sont magnifiés dans des scènes de poursuites en voiture, de baston et de règlement de compte, pareil pour les scènes en milieu rural où Yu court, grimpe, saute et vole en deltaplane.
J'ai même trouvé Lazenby plutôt convainquant dans les scènes de bastons, après tout, il n'est pas moins expérimenté que Yu puisque ce dernier n'était pas un pratiquant d'art martiaux (même s'il était effectivement un athlète), et il cabotine à merveille. La scène où il a du mal à enlever sa veste en flamme est flippante quand on sait qu'il ne faisait pas semblant et qu'il prenait réellement feu, mais c'est à l'image de ce film qui se permet toutes les folies et les risques comme si l'équipe du film s'attendait à mourir le lendemain (la portière qui vole lors de l'explosion a failli découpé le réalisateur), c'est tout ça qu'on voit dans ce film cruellement méconnu et qui mériterait d'être vu par le plus grand nombre, n'importe quel fan de cinema d'action devrait le voir et aussi découvrir d'autres chefs d'oeuvre d'un pays qui n'a pas fait que Mad Max et Crocodile Dundee !!!!!
April 21, 2010
it's so bad its good
½ February 3, 2010
enjoyable 70s OZ flick with a heavy dose of horrible martial arts scenes
½ November 26, 2009
Ozploitation meets kung-fu. Good action and equal to many of the Hong Kong kung-fu films of the era. One thing it has up on the HK films of the 70s was that it had a decent budget and and features George Lazenby on fire.
September 26, 2009
Like Quentin Tarantino said, This movie fucking kicks ass and also has an amazingly cool soundtrack. Strongly recommended to everyone.
Page 1 of 2