Low-Budget Martial Arts Effort…
Raimund Huber’s Dragonwolf, is a regurgitation and blend of practically every other Martial Arts film ever made, but the quality of the fights and the hotness of Macha Polivka’s Mary made this derived, chop-socky-like flick more bearable. I’ll also say that the main cast were adequate performers given their inexperience, however the support cast and writing left a lot to be desired. I can imagine how the pitch went. “I have a great idea for a Martial Arts film. Two young boys growing up on the streets; one bad; one good, fight their way to the top, then fall out over a girl. I’ve also watched all of Tarantino’s movies and can borrow some of his stylish touches too. Well, whaddya think?” etc.
Even though we’ve seen it all before it did still entertain and I found myself laughing on quite a few occasions, although, I’m certain I wasn’t supposed to find any of it funny. Some of the lines were pretty bad and the delivery didn’t help either, with one scene that had me groaning loudly. It was when Mary was telling Mozart how she felt about him. “…a woman can feel when a man looks at her — to such a man I want to say that I admire him too.” Imagine that’s being said woodenly to better understand how bad it all sounded.
Apart from everyone having their names on their car plates, there was a scene when a car pulls up bearing the name “Trio” on the license plate. It of course contained three thugs (ingenious bit of writing) wanting to beat up innocent Mozart (Kazu Patrick Tang). The fighting in Dragonwolf was very good but not all were actual fighters, as became clear when thug number three turned out to be a bright yellow adorned black gentleman who was a tad effeminate, which I know sounds like homophobic stereotyping but I call it simply being observant.
I had him pegged as a dancer before he even fought, and as soon as he tried to impersonate a gangsta (which was undoubtedly at the instruction of Huber. “Act black!” or words to that effect, must have passed the directors lips) and I honestly howled with laughter at the sheer absurdity of what I was watching. “Am gonna bust that muthafool’s ass!” was about his best line. He also did the ‘grab balls; broken ankle; limp arm-strut’ that Huggy Bear was better known for. It was a sight to behold. The junkies also had overly done blackened eyes to make them appear more “junkie” but only looked more like idiots wearing too much makeup.
I’m not going to waste more words on the things I found funny, but suffice to say there were more than a few. If you aren’t fussy about an action flicks writing and acting, and enjoy great fight scenes, then you will enjoy this movie. Where I thought this movie shone was in the fact it was made or $3.4 million and the main cast had very little experience. A haircut for Mozart and Julien wouldn’t have gone amiss either. Did I mention how hot Macha Polivka was?
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer
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