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老鼠龍之猛龍過港 (1997)
The Spirit of the Dragon

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 08/03/2006
Summary: Funny tribute to the Little Dragon

Bucktoothed country bumpkin Rat Face (Michael Chow) arrives in Hong Kong to take over the family restaurant business. The business is under threat from a gang of triads who want to take over, so Rat Face takes them all on. He loses, as sadly he can’t fight for toffee. Seeing down-and-out bag woman Yun Gee (Cheng Pei Pei) showing off some impressive moves, he vows to become her student. The mysterious woman is obsessed with Bruce Lee, and teaches Rat Face a thing or two about “the art of fighting without fighting”, and armed with his new skills he goes off in search of the triads and the girl he loves.

Parodying Bruce Lee is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but is usually entertaining nonetheless. Whether it’s in KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, ENTER THE FAT DRAGON or just about any Stephen Chow film you can think of, it seems everyone’s had a go. Actually, the fact that Stephen Chow parodies Lee so much is a fact not entirely lost on the filmmakers, who make a rather funny reference to him at one point.

There are plenty of chuckles along the way in this cheap and cheerful film, and some surprisingly good Lee-isms from the cast (more or less everybody gets in on the act at some point). Baat Leung-Gam makes a bizarre super-deformed Lee, and outdoes even the star for weirdness. Dating the film to the mid to late nineties are a pair of policemen, one of whom is Tamagochi obsessed!

A bit of explanation is perhaps needed for Michael Chow’s character. His name is “Lo Sue Lung”, meaning “Mouse Dragon”, and Bruce Lee’s Chinese name was “Lei Siu Lung” which sounds similar. It’s a bit of a pun, and this film seems full of them – most of which are lost on me to be honest, not being a native speaker. Mind you, the puns aren’t entirely Cantonese-bound. I never realised before that “Bruce Lee” sounds like “bruised knee”!

Cheng Pei Pei (from COME DRINK WITH ME, no less) has a minor but important role, and it’s always nice to see her in things even if it is to parody herself. Also, be on the lookout for Hong Kong film expert Paul Fonoroff, who has a (non-speaking) cameo in the Italian restaurant.

As mentioned before, it is a very cheap and cheerful production, and the plot is strictly by the numbers. The soundtrack is also disappointing, and sounds like it was commissioned in the mid eighties rather than 1997. However, for all its faults, it remains an entertaining entry in the Bruce Lee sub-genre and should be enjoyed as nothing more than a loving tribute to the Little Dragon’s work.

Reviewer Score: 7