Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)
Reviewed by: evirei on 2006-11-26
Summary: Watchable... Entertaining but lack of charisma
Yet another movie adapted from a comic book. This time around is a movie adapted from a famous comic, Dragon Tiger Gate. Yeap, it’s a famous comic that is selling for 35 years.

Everyone who loves to watch the comic is dying hard to see it. Those who never even pay attention or heard of the movie is also going crazy over the movie. Their trailer manage to catch people’s attention and the “I WANT TO SEE” soon become the most frequent word I hear each time I mention the title.

With the 3 good looking Hong Kong actors, it’s like a super duper plus points. It’s been some time since we last saw Nicholas Tse. Yes, as far as my memory goes, the last time I saw him was in The Promise. Donnie Yuen in SPL and Shawn Yue in Infernal Affairs.

Dragon Tiger Gate have a similar to Marvel style opening. With flicks and pages from the comic, the texture and drawing and all… yeah, it just reminds me of Marvel movies opening. Yeah… it’s an obvious opening that lets everyone know it was an adaptation from the famous comic itself. I think the opening was okay except the fact of the font just doesn’t match the opening. But well, that was soon forgiven when the movie starts.

The CG department mixed and match some Hong Kong skyscrapers with digital buildings. Well, I would say it is quite a rare scene in the Hong Kong movie industry. The movie first introduce what and how Dragon Tiger Gate came about. Dragon Tiger Gate is some sort of martial art school where people learn and practice martial arts to protect their loved ones and prevent themselves from being bullied. The founder of Dragon Tiger Gate finally passed away and was left with his two son, elder son Wong Siu Long aka Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) and youngest son, Wong Siu Fu aka. Tiger Wong (Nicholas Tse). Everything begins when Dragon Wong left Dragon Tiger Gate.

In some misunderstanding circumstances, Tiger Wong got to know Ma Siu Ling (Dong Jie). Ma Siu Ling thought Tiger Wong was her ex-classmate and vice versa. After a long chat, they both notice they got the wrong person. Coincidently, Dragon Wong work for Ma Siu Ling’s dad, Ma Kun (Kuan Tai Chen) who apperently is a mobster.

Right after that Tiger Wong walks in to a restaurant to join his friends, only to notice there is some fight between the two mobster (Ma Kun is one of them). Apperently, a Japanese secret society headed by a formidable villain called Shibumi is the leader of the underground world. Each year, only the mobster that receives a plate from Shibumi will take control of the and do business. Thus, the plate was entrusted to Ma Kun. Ma Kun’s followers were fighting with Tiger Wong downstairs and cause a havoc. The plate was then picked up by Tiger’s friend.

The fighting scene soon start when Tiger Wong fights a group of Ma Kun’s follower. The peak came when he faced his brother Dragon Wong (Tiger Wong didn’t know he was his brother). Obviously Tiger Wong lost but is set free. Dragon Wong then promises Ma Kun that he will get the plate back.

There is where the best fights in the movie come about. The fight in the Japanese restaurant is cool. Dragon Wong got the plate back from Tiger Wong. However one of Ma Kun’s top follower bring a big group of people and try to kill Tiger Wong. Being very angry, Dragon Wong fights with them. Dragon Wong’s 18 Palm was simply amazing. There, Tiger Wong gets to know a new friend Turbo Shek (Shawn Yue). He also gets to know that Dragon Wong is eventually his elder brother.

Turbo Shek then follows Tiger Wong back to Dragon Tiger Gate, hoping that Wong Jing Lung (Yuen Wah) would accept him and allow him to stay in Dragon Tiger Gate. Everything was going just fine until Dragon Wong persuade Ma Kun stop being a mobster.

Shibumi was very angry when Ma Kun decides to return the plate to him and he commanded people to kill Dragon Wong and Ma Kun. Rosa (Xiao Ran Li) was sent to kill Dragon Wong. However she couldn’t do it as she is deeply in love with Dragon Wong. This scene was a little spoiler as the first sentence that came our from Rosa in that scene was “Have you ever do it (sex) in the water?” Argh… what sort of script is this? Since she couldn’t set herself to kill him, she asked him to make a tattoo on her body to dely his time so that he could not save Ma Kun. Being upset and sngry he “palmed” Rosa.

By the time Dragon Wong reaches the baseball court, Ma Kun is dead. Ma Siu Ling was crying badly. There was this big fight again when Dragon Wong decides to kill everyone that came for Ma Kun. He was badly hurt. But amazingly he still manage to carry Ma Siu Ling. I never understand. Ma Siu Ling wasn’t hurt, so why exectly do Dragon Wong needs to carry her? Doesn’t Ma Siu Ling deserve to help carry Dragon Wong instead?

He then carry Ma Siu Ling back to Dragon Tiger Gate. Dragon Wong then disappear and fall in to a big bush. There he have lots of flash back. When he decided to go back, Dragon Tiger Gate was in a big mess. Shibumi just came and tries to challange them. Nicholas Tse has a broken leg and was hurt, Turbo Shek fainted somewhere while Wong Jing Lung died terribly. He was squashed till death by the Dragon Tiger Gate’s signboard.

Wong Jing Lung once told Ma Siu Ling that if anything happens, she will have to carry whoever that is injured and goes to a hill to find a monk to help save them. She did and she manages to save Tiger Wong and Turbo Shek. Meanwhile, Rosa was given a choice to either save herself or Dragon Wong with a medicine from Shibumi. She choose to save Dragon Wong.

The exciting part came when Turbo Shek and Tiger Wong who learnt their special skills in the hill decided to look for Shibumi and seek for revenge. Obviously the fight scenes were cool. However the both of them isn’t Shibumi’s competitor. It’s when not long after that Dragon Wong came in to the scene and saves the day.

The ending of the movie was so predictable and I think a little boring. They could have been done in a better way. Overall, I think the fight scenes were quite good especially Donnie Yen’s stunts. Yeah, I surely have no doubt about it as he is a martial art actor. Some of Nicholas scene were rather fake and slow. Not to even mention it seems as if the villian is waiting for him to finish kicking the others. I mean back in reality, he would have been killed. Villians don’t wait. The storyline was rather weak as there were so many questions about the plot. But the saddest part of all, the director fails to link the emotional section and the action section together properly. Giving this movie lots of loopholes.

One thing for sure, they zoom in too many times to the phones of the users. Yes, it’s as if it’s a nokia ad! Right, maybe they sponsor the movie a bit.. doubt that.. with the amount of zoom in’s i think they sponsor quite a huge amount. It somehow spoils the movie. Everyone in the cinema was laughing each time they zoom in to the phones.

Yeah.. the best part is, I still don’t understand how come Shibumi have so little followers. Most of them were being killed in the baseball court. Rosa died… and no one left. It makes Tiger Wong and Turbo Shek goes ramping in to Shibumi’s place so easily. What kind of villian doesn’t have lots of followers? Argh… it still gets on my nerves!
Reviewer Score: 7