Dragons Forever

Dragons Forever

AKA: Cyclone Z


Director: Sammo Hung

Stars: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Yuen Wah, Dick Wei, Deannie Yip, Crystal Kwok, Pauline Yeung, Shing Fui-On, Roy Chiao, Billy Chow, Fung Shui-Fan, Benny Uriquedez

Johnny, a slightly shady womanizing lawyer (Chan), takes the case of a mobster (Yuen Wah) who wants to stop a fishery owner (Yip) from putting an injunction against his factory, which is, in fact, a front for making drugs. Johnny decides to get dirt on the owner by having his friend Luke (Hung) move in next to her, and his insane buddy Timothy (Yuen) bug her house. Trouble is neither Luke nor Timothy know about each other, so chaos ensues when they meet each other by accident. The three friends quibble with each other while trying to crack the case, and things get even more complicated when Luke falls in love with the fishery owner and Johnny falls for her cousin (Yeung). The three eventually kiss and make up (or rather kick and make up) and band together to stop the drug dealer.

Dragons Forever has been called Chan's best film. I wouldn't go that far -- personally I think Drunken Master II is the best -- but Dragons Forever is definitely one of Chan's best. It's also the best "three brothers" (films featuring Chan, Hung and Yuen Biao) movie. The film is great from beginning to end. While the story is conventional, it's still interesting because all three of the leads play against type; Chan throws away the usual "nice guy" routine, Hung is still the lovable loser but is a little less pathetic, and Yuen (regulated to smaller roles in other three brothers films) is really outstanding as the insane Timothy. If you haven't seen any of Yuen's work and aren't a fan, you will be after seeing this movie. The three also show a great deal of comedic talent. Unlike a lot of Chan movies (where the "comedy" comes mostly from the bad dubbing/subbing) there are sequences that are truly hilarious.

The fights in Dragons Forever are fantastic. All three of the "brothers" show off all the skills in their repertoire in dazzling fight sequences, including one where they fight each other. But nothing is quite as exceptional as the ending brawl, where the brothers team up to take on a factory full of thugs. The matchup between Chan and kickboxing champ Benny "The Jet" Uriquedez is mesmerizing and (like the movie) should not be missed by any martial arts fan.


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