The Fierce One (1974)
Reviewed by: Gaijin84 on 2012-10-01
Summary: Just when James Nam was out...
The Fierce One, also known by it’s US release name “Jaws of the Dragon,” is originally a South Korean basher starring James Nam as Junior, a gang hitman who ideally would like to quit the gang and live a peaceful life. The film starts with Junior brawling with some rude businessmen in a club before taking an attractive singer back home with him for a nightcap. Unfortunately, he is interrupted and asked to do a hit for his boss, Blackbeard. Blackbeard’s gang has lost a case of heroin, and it turns out to have been stolen by his rival, White Tiger. After a trade for the drugs is arranged, White Tiger’s men attack Blackbeard and his guards and try to steal the drugs back, but are thwarted by Junior and the others. A chance encounter with a childhood friend named Elaine has Junior thinking about leaving the thug life and making a more positive future. He takes her to a public dog fight (where she looks positively disgusted), a show in which high school girls do calisthenics and finally an afternoon at the beach. Junior then ambushes White Tiger and steals the case of money, only to be ambushed himself while recovering at the hospital. He’s able to escape after beating White Tiger’s people senseless in the back of an ambulance, but takes a lot of damage as a result. White recovering at a villa in the country, Elaine comes to visit and pleads with him to escape with her and disappear. Unfortunately they are discovered and attacked again by White Tiger’s men, including Elaine being raped while Junior is tied up and forced to watch. Somehow he is able to escape again, and vows revenge on White Tiger, who is planning on escaping with the money to Hong Kong. An all out brawl ensues with Junior attempting to kill everyone possible, regardless of the outcome.

The Fierce One isn’t a terrible film, it’s just almost impossible to keep track of what is going on. Who has the money? Who has the drugs? Who does that guy work for? I thought he was killed in the last scene? These are the kinds of questions you’ll be asking the whole time. The actors involved are all adequate screen kickers and fighters, and as expected a liberal use of Tae Kwon Do appears in every encounter. The plot is paper thin but the fights are entertaining. Throw in stereotypical boss characters, music stolen from Shaft, James Bond and Pink Floyd's Meddle (One of These Days), and exotic weapons (8 inch bow and arrow sets, garden trowels and modified tree branch nunchucks) and you have a somewhat enjoyable “so bad it’s good” movie. Don’t expect much more.
Reviewer Score: 5