Wu xia (Dragon)

2012

Wu xia (Dragon)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

85%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 27

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,692
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Movie Info

Liu Jin-xi (Yen) is a village craftsman whose quiet life is irrevocably shattered by the arrival of two notorious gangsters in the local general store. When Liu single-handedly saves the shopkeeper's life, he comes under investigation by detective Xu Bai-jiu (Kaneshiro). Convinced that Liu's martial arts mastery belies a hidden history of training by one of the region's vicious clans, Xu doggedly pursues the shy hero-and draws the attention of China's criminal underworld in the process (c) Weinstein Co.

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Cast

Donnie Yen
as Liu Jin-xi
Tang Wei
as Ah Yu
Kara Hui
as 13th Madam
Jiang Wu
as Investigator
Kang Yu
as Yan Dongsheng
Xiao Ran Li
as Bai-Jiu's Wife
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Critic Reviews for Wu xia (Dragon)

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (13)

  • There are good action sequences but it has been ham-fistedly cut for UK distribution.

    May 3, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Yen again proves one of the few martial artists equally adept with subtler emotional beats.

    May 2, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Mike McCahill

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • Dragon roars.

    May 2, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • "Dragon" has enough interesting left turns in style, mood and psychodrama to make it stand out.

    Nov 30, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie hurtles along at a pitch of sentiment and melodrama that would make MGM blush, and it's mostly very diverting.

    Nov 30, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 29, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/5

Audience Reviews for Wu xia (Dragon)

  • Jan 03, 2016
    Interesting mix of Kung-Fu and mystery genres keeps you guessing and explodes into a great finale.
    Anthony V Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2013
    Certainly a surprisingly good film right here. I think it breathes life into the martial arts genre by not actually making it, strictly, a martial arts film. The film actually has a story and a pretty damn good one at that. It's not something that you'll remember forever but it is good enough that it keeps intrigued throughout and you care for the characters. I like the fact that this detective, who refuses to let empathy get in the way of the law, opens this can of worms that may not have ever been opened if he had just closed his initial investigation as a case of self-defense. There's the whole speech that Liu gives about karma, about how events are linked together and I think, while the movie doesn't beat you over the head with it, it is an important theme of the film. And the story of this man, who really did do terrible things, trying to reform himself and move on from his past and then having to come face first with that past in the peaceful life he created for himself is, almost always, a strong story. On top of that you do get some excellent fight sequences. Since there aren't many, the ones that are there are really quite memorable. The highlight of these fight scenes is, by far, the final scene between Liu and his father with Liu having lost one arm, not gonna spoil how he lost this arm. I did think that there's some goofiness in the movie, like how Xu controls his empathy and some of the reasoning he has for why Liu isn't who he pretends to be. But overall, I really liked this movie. I like the story and the way the fight scenes were choreographed for maximum effectiveness. I also liked the acting and the film score. It's certainly not a perfect film, but it combines to very different genres into one very good package. Highly recommended.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2012
    I wasn't expecting to much going into this since the last Donnie Yen movie I saw, Flash Point, left allot to be desired. Wu Xia does provide good violence like Yen previous efforts, but a bigger focus on story allows Yen to showcase his dramatic side. Wu Xia follows Tang Long (Yen), a sinful martial arts expert who wants to start a new tranquil life, only to be hunted by a determined detective and his former master. The plot relies heavily on the detective to develops two characters. This makes Tang Long, who's our main character, not interesting to follow. We never really get to learn much from Tang Long himself, it's always someone else telling us something new about him. It does on other hand get everything else right. The detective character is interesting to follow since both him and the audiences are completely unsure about Yen character. It feature some great scenes and dialogue between Tang Long and the detective. Even though Tang Long wasn't as interesting to follow, he did have more as stake and seeing how he dealt with his demons is exciting to see unfold. It does go into dark territory which benefits in making the more important dramatic scenes more powerful. Despite a not so interesting leading character, it does get other elements down correctly to make a brilliant drama. Donnie Yen has never impressed with his acting, but that changed after seeing this and I do think even without violence he's great to watch. Though the script isn't the only thing that worked against him. While he did do a good job showcasing his dramatic side, he's very limited to the range of emotions he can give making it bland at times. Although there's little action here, the few set action pieces are done really well. Takeshi Kaneshiro was perfect and very believable as the detective. It's truly a mystery why he wasn't the star. Tang Wei who played Yen wife was good and even she outdid Yen in the acting department. Though the second best actor has to be Yu Wang, despite not having much screen he's very effective. It makes me wonder why the filmmakers didn't switch Yen and Wang roles. Wu Xia is a powerful drama that overcome its uninteresting leading character and actor to deliver both a gritty and intelligent drama. Fans of Yen might be disappointed by the lack of action, but that shouldn't take anything away from this great movie.
    Caesar M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2011
    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...
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer

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