Metascore
62

Generally favorable reviews - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Nov 30, 2012
    70
    Dragon has enough interesting left turns in style, mood and psychodrama to make it stand out.
  2. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Nov 29, 2012
    75
    It's never dull though, and the familiar characters and stock motivations are convincingly put across. And there's always Xu, who's turned to acupuncture to suppress his empathy, as you wait for the inevitable moment when suppressing it won't be enough.
  3. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 29, 2012
    50
    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. But at its less grandiose moments, the combination of expressive acting and kinetic action pays off in ways that are likely to satisfy both novices and adepts in martial-arts fandom.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Nov 29, 2012
    70
    Dragon is partly an homage to "One Armed Swordsman," a 1967 kung fu classic whose star, Jimmy Wang Yu, plays the new movie's arch-villain. But there's much Western influence: Jinxi's plight recalls David Cronenberg's "A History of Violence," and Baijiu's cerebral and flashy style of detection - complete with animated glimpses of victims' innards - suggests Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series. Dragon is also one of several recent Chinese crime movies that borrow from CSI-style TV dramas.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Nov 29, 2012
    40
    Yen, who also choreographed the fights, is a natural hero, and the large canvas and pseudo-superhero tactics work for a bit, but then the action gets sidetracked in place of myth-building.
  6. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Nov 29, 2012
    80
    When a mild-mannered peasant unsheathes the powers he has long kept hidden, the results can be spectacular. The same can be said for Peter Chan Ho-sun's Dragon, a martial-arts morality play as lithe as it is forceful.
  7. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Nov 28, 2012
    67
    Yen's strengths have never been in his expressiveness, and Dragon plods when it centers on dramatic struggles, then leaps exhilaratingly to life whenever the fighting begins.
  8. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    Nov 27, 2012
    80
    The roaring popular success of Peter Chan's Wu xia in China - renamed Dragon for export - is no mystery: It's an adept genre exercise with rare primal depths.
  9. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Nov 27, 2012
    60
    Fortunately, there are a good number of Yen-choreographed action scenes to break up the monotony.
  10. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Nov 21, 2012
    63
    Peter Ho-Sun Chan and Deonnie Yen Chan are too resourceful to let things remain dull for long.
User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 18, 2013
    8
    Peter Ho-Sun Chan directs the intriguing, entertaining martial arts film "Dragon," by utilizing his art house sensibilities. With a narrative as intense as the set pieces, it is an intriguing thriller about two men seeking redemption from their past. Partnered with the narrative are strong performances, intense action sequences, and beautiful cinematography.

    The story takes place in China in the year of 1917. A man named Liu Jinxi (Yen) resides in Liu Village with his wife Yu (Tang Wei) and their two sons. One day, two men try to rob the local store, which Liu just happens to be present. The two criminals end up dead, and Liu is the only one that walks away. The unusual event catches the eye of Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro), a detective who is convinced Liu isn't the man he says he is. Once Xu has confirmed there is more to Liu than meets the eye, the psychological conflict between the two men begins. Both actors, Yen and Kaneshiro are fantastic in their roles, with fine
    character development enhancing their stellar performances.

    Liu is a complex character, determined to live an ordinary life, but evidently hiding something terrible. The opening scene depicts him dining with his family in a tranquil home, and it is so genuine a moment that his sincere desire for reform cannot initially be doubted. However, as word of his whereabouts spreads, Liu's resolve is sternly tested, and he is forced to directly confront the demons of his past.

    The first fight scene is entertaining in itself, then magnified when attack is meticulously reconstructed in Detective Baijiu's mind. The action is replayed, with an added focus on the crucial moments. The method of physiology in which Detective Baijiu analyzes the crime scene and attack is unique and captivating. Director Chan uses a range of visual effects, particularly to add precise detail to the development of internal wounds, a technique that remains effective throughout the film.

    The last 20 minutes of "Dragon" take you completely by surprise. The conclusion of the last fight will make or break your opinion of the film. Nevertheless, "Dragon" delivers swift kicks and a barrage of bone crunching punches to the standard expectations of a remake. "Dragon" is a stunning display of martial arts action, mesmerizing detective work, and engaging performances.
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