Being a big fan of Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, I just knew I had to pick up and watch one of Well Go USA’s latest releases featuring the two of them in Chasing the Dragon. Loosely based off true events in 1960’s Hong Kong, this wild and crazy crime tale will have you chasing down these two and all of the action they bring to the table.
Based on the true story of drug lord Ng Sek-ho who ruled from the 70’s to well into the 90’s, Donnie Yen stars as a gangster named Crippled Ho who is based off Ng Sek-ho (complete with a bad wig and mustache that made me do a double take to confirm it was him) with Andy Lau reprising his famous Lee Rock role from the titular films he’s starred in previously. The story follows Ho illegally making his way from mainland China to Hong Kong in the early 1960’s and trying to make a new start for himself in the wrong kind of ways (sounds a lot like Scarface). After running into some trouble with British police officers who were controlling things back then, it isn’t long until Ho runs into the corrupt Detective Lee Rock who quickly takes a liking to Ho. Soon the two join forces and decide they’re going to run the Hong Kong underworld as they take over the other drug lords within the famed city of Kowloon. It doesn’t take long for them to rise to the top as they run drugs while the British police look the other way while getting paid off. But as any crime film fan knows, nothing like this last forever as Ho becomes more and more crazy with power which leads him to make mistakes that will cost lives and possibly the friendship he and Lee share.
I tried my best not to say too much as to say anymore would ruin the fun. If you enjoy crime thrillers such Scarface and some of the Chinese crime films out there, you’ll have a good time with this one. Despite Donnie Yen looking weird in the wig and mustache, he and Andy Lau nail their roles here and are always doing something that will keep you glued to the screen, from becoming closer friends to spicing things up with some gunfight/martial arts action. This is also a movie you’ll have to pay close attention to as things tends to move at a dizzying pace, but it also helps to keep things fresh as the film goes on. Everything looks and sounds good thanks to the Blu-ray release, as details and bullets come through perfectly through your home theater setup. Sadly there’s a lack of special features (it would’ve been fun to see how they applied the wig and facial hair on Yen), but the action you get from the movie is special enough in itself.
Chasing the Dragon is a fast-paced, zany crime thriller that only China could bring us, as they’ve perfected this genre for quite some time now. While it’s sometimes hard to take Yen seriously in his wig, it tends to pass as the body count and drug money rises to the top and then some, as well as Yen and Lau having good chemistry. So if this sounds like a good time to you, take some time to chase this dragon by the tail. Just be careful not to get burned doing so.