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Ninja in the Dragon's Den (1982)

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 05/25/2006
Summary: magic, porn and mirrors...

corey yuen's directorial debut and, although it's not the greatest film he's done, it's certainly a lot of fun and a pretty solid first bash. the storyline is pretty simple, the jokes are hit and miss, but the way that the film starts becoming a long string of fights, is definately a positive.

the action sequences are full of imagination and some pretty solid (physical) performances; most of all they are inventive and fun.

good stuff.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 08/09/2002
Summary: 20th Anniversary of Corey's Directorial Debut

"Ninja in the Dragon's Den" is the 1982 debut feature for Conan Lee, as the film's leading star, and Corey Yuen, as a director, in a Hong Kong martial arts film. The movie contains the broad Cantonese comedy of its day with some of the slickest choreographed action from Corey and Mang Hoi. Corey shows that his choreography works best when there is humor mixed in with the action. Sometimes there's a bit too much awkward comedy, but the film is very entertaining, nonetheless.

Like many martial arts films of the period, the plot meanders until the final half hour when the mayhem kicks in. Conan and Hiroyuki Sanada (set up of Chinese vs. Japanese martial arts) go at each other until Hwang Jang Lee comes into the picture. The super leg fighter takes on both Lee and Sanada.

"Ninja in the Dragon's Den" propelled Corey into a career of making Hong Kong films and his current association with Hollywood (choreographer for Jet Li's foray into Hollywood and "X-Men") while Conan hit a dead end. NITDD should have been the vehicle to send Conan into stardom. It contains some excellent set pieces and fight scenes to display Conan's abilities. Even though "Ninja in the Dragon's Den" is a demonstration of the amazing talent that was working during the golden age of HK martial arts films, it would be six more years before Conan would appear in another action-packed Hong Kong film, "Tiger On Beat."
Go figure. The public was and is as fickle as ever.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 05/11/2002
Summary: A lot of fun

This movie starts off really badly. The most criminally cheesy title song ever recorded starts off the horror, and then we get 25 minutes or so of Conan Lee and Tai Bo being "funny"... in that sense of the word that doesn't actually mean "funny".

Thankfully, once Yuen Kwai got that out of his system it's down to business, and most of the rest of the movie is just fight scenes. And they're good.

Yuen Kwai has long been considered one of Hong Kong's top action directors... despite his own admission that he doesn't know much kung fu. What he does have is buckets of imagination though, and there are some really inventively staged sequences here. From a fight on top of stilts, to a series of traps and tricks in an increasingly darkened room, just lots of ideas that are quite unique that keep the movie fresh and fun to watch.

It helps that Yuen Kwai had Mang Hoi there to help him with the action direction. With movies like ROYAL WARRIORS to his name, Mang Hoi has shown that he's one of the best details men in the choreography business - so his work nicely complements Yuen Kwai's by providing realistic intricate kung fu choreography.

The real star of the movie is Hiroyuki Sanada to my mind. He looks so young here, but incredibly agile and energetic. He clearly gives his all to his fight sequences, and his all is very impressive. Conan Lee is a bit bland and stiff next to him, but still shows some impressive skills. The old guys in the cast kick some ass too (not sure who is who).

Ninja in the Dragon's Den is not the finest movie ever made, nor does it feature the best fights. The fights did feature some new ideas that would come to prominence many years later in the wuxia boom, however... and the movie is at least fun to watch :)

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: sirrunrunshaw
Date: 05/11/2002
Summary: HKL Special edtion..great remastered job!!

This film has alot of action with ninja vs chinese kung fu. The dvd i have has english dubbed or Cantonese track with remastered subtitles. HKL has done it agian if u like this movie get the HKL release its a region2 PAL so be weary

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 06/08/2001
Summary: Pretty good

For a old movie, the action is still pretty good to watch!! The middle part where the ninja is 'trapped' is very exciting to watch!! Its almost all action with little plot but has some funny parts in it.

This movie is non stop entertainment,but the short comings (minimal plot,the charcters becoming friends a bit too eaisly) make this a good friend but not a great one

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: SBates
Date: 02/02/2001
Summary: See this in its English Dubbed Form!

The flimsiest of plots, even for a kung fu movie, is the excuse here for an assortment of some great acrobatic, aggressive fight scenes. The English dubbed version I saw had the added bonus of some really filthy language that the two heroes use to insult each other! Equally marvelous is the Soul-a-riffic opening theme song "Ninjas are ready to die..."
Truly "Psychotronic" , to steal a phrase from the Michael Weldon book.