Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2008-04-11
Summary: Fanciful, but an exciting film...
Dragon Tiger Gate is director Wilson Yip's and Donnie Yen's collaboration based on the best selling "Oriental Heroes" serial comic from Hong Kong's newspapers. It tells the story of two brothers, Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) and Tiger Wong (Nichoas Tse), who have taken different paths after their martial arts training. Dragon works as an enforcer for Ma Kun (Chen Kuan Tai), a local gangster, while Tiger stays at the Dragon Tiger Gate martial arts school where he helps tutor young fighters. When a fight over an symbolic medallion leads to the destruction of the school and its master (Yuen Wah) nearly killed, the two brothers reunite and with the help of a nunchuck-wielding friend named Turbo (Shawn Yu), decide to go into the depths under the city to bring Shibumi, the cause of the trouble, to justice.

Being a based on a comic, the characters have super-enhanced martial arts fighting skills, almost kin to wuxia abilities, but grounded more in video games than novels. Most of the martial arts are wire-based, but I have to say that not normally a fan of that type, it was some of the most fluid wire-fu I've ever seen. The fights between Donnie Yen and various baddies are incredibly satisfying and well choreographed as Yen once again hits the mark with his action direction. The colors are also vibrant and interesting in the film, again sticking with the comic flavor. There are a couple of underdeveloped love story aspects of the plot between Dragon and his devious former lover (the gorgeous Li Xiao-Ran) and Tiger and a new found friend (Tung Jie), but they are merely distractions to the main draw for the film, the action, which is nearly non-stop. Overall, I enjoyed the film immensely and put tracking down the original comics on my list of things to do.

Reviewer Score: 8