Action Movie Fanatix Review: Dragon Heat

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Starring: Sammo Hung, Michael Biehn, Maggie Q, Shawn Yue, Simon Yam, Vanness Wu, Xia Yu, Eva Huang, Lawrence Chou, Isabella Leong, Andy On, Bingbing Li, Huh Joon Ho

Director: Daniel Lee

2005  |  110 Minutes  |  Not Rated

“A defeated soldier knows only one way out.” – Colonel Ko

I basically bought Dragon Heat (aka Dragon Squad) based on the cover.  The fact that it had Sammo Hung, Simon Yam and Michael Biehn was enough for me.

A group of the top special ops police officers and Interpol agents are assigned to track down a notorious Triad crime lord after he went missing just before going to trial.  The problem is, the group that sprung the crime lord from custody is every bit the elite force that they are.

Dragon Heat is kinda like a less muscle bound, less action packed version of The A-Team except the good guys are doppelgangered by the bad guys and neither team is even as interesting as Rampage Jackson’s B.A. Baracus.  I don’t know the majority of the actors in this other than the three I previously mentioned and none of them are actually on the main good guy team.

Michael Biehn’s acting is extremely flat.  Every line he reads is completely emotionless and his character is pretty boring because of it.

Simon Yam’s character is some sort of police chief so he doesn’t really get down and dirty here.  It’s nice to see him all the same.

Sammo Hung’s character is a sort of mentor to the Dragon Squad.  Sammo’s character had an incident three years ago where police officers were killed because of a mistake he made.  This results in him turning his back on the group saying he doesn’t want to help any more of his friends die.  This, of course, gives him the opportunity to come roaring back right when they need him most.  Sammo Hung gets a really nice fist/knife fight early on and a fantastic fight toward the end.  I know this was filmed a few years ago but the guy has still got it.  Absolutely amazing.

The action is pretty good when it is on the screen but the story really drags when it isn’t.  There is a little too much shaky cam and quick cuts for my tastes too but not so bad that I couldn’t enjoy it.  There are some big time gun fights but I couldn’t help thinking that trained snipers should be better shots.

Aside from Sammo Hung’s two fight scenes my favorite moment of the film was this nice little scene at the beginning where the group realizes how great of a team they really are.  They each take turns shooting ducks in a carnival game to win prizes for some kids who just can’t seem to get it done.  In a silly little way it points out each of their strengths before they go to battle.  It ends up being the last light hearted scene of the movie.

Steven Seagal is an executive producer.  That is all.  I feel like that says something about this movie but I don’t really know what.

Dragon Heat is a fun but quickly forgotten action movie.  There is very little story to get engaged in and only a couple moderately memorable scenes.  If nothing else, it is worth watching for Sammo Hung’s two fights.  As usual they are the highlights of this movie.

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