Dances with Dragon (1991)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2010-06-13
A billionaire falls off a boat and is washed up on shore with a band of criminals who have been fleeing the police. He is without money or identification papers and, since he knows nothing of how the mass of people in Hong Kong live (the fare on the MTR for example) the police think he is a Mainlander trying to enter the SAR illegally. He is allowed to hide from the police by the scheming proprietor of a restaurant/store, a woman who plans to have him work for next to nothing since he is wanted by the police. The store owner and her beautiful daughter live in a few rooms behind and over the store and our hero beds down outside.

We have discovered from previous scenes that Lung Ka-Chun is wealthy, powerful but unhappy with his life since his mother is constantly pushing him to marry someone she has found for him, his assistant manages to be both incompetent and dishonest and an older "uncle" in the same business keeps outsmarting him in acquiring prime properties for development. Now stripped of the emblems of fortune Lung Ka-Chun decides to become an ordinary illegal Hong Kong resident living in a few square feet of space with a crummy job and an employer who exploits him. He does, however, have his lifeline, a phone that connects him to his fixer, a shady seeming character who make things happen.

This scenario would be comedy gold for Preston Sturges, Frank Capra, Ernst Lubitsch or Gregory La Cava: mistaken identity, class conflict and potential sexual shenanigans at every turn. In the hands of Wong Jing "Dances with Dragon" is just another example of lazy filmmaking, missed opportunities and wasted talent. There are attractive people being attractive: Andy Lau, Sharla Cheung, May Lo, Yvonne Yung Hung; funny people trying to be funny: Ng Man Tat, Alfred Cheung, Deannie Yip, Wu Ma. Constant references to recent movies that Andy Lau starred in, especially Lee Rock, pass for humor.

This isn't a terrible movie--it isn't much of anything.
Reviewer Score: 3