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東方巨龍 (1988)
Dragons of the Orient


Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 10/28/2005
Summary: Decent, but inferior to similar productions

Although billed as a documentary, Dragons of the Orient plays more like an infomercial. It starts with Wong Kwan practicing wushu and accidentally bumping into Yeung Jing Jing, who plays a reporter doing a story on the diverse styles of martial arts found in China. Wong is constantly touting his skills, experience and contacts within the martial arts sphere, so Yeung asks him to take her around China as her guide. They visit important sites in China, such as Shaolin Temple, the Great Wall of China and the Wudan mountains. Each of these visits is an opportunity for practitioners of the area to showcase their particular style. Although a majority of the film is shot in the late 70s and early 80s, strangely, during the middle of the movie, the video switches footage shot in the 90s, with Terry Fan and some wushu champions displaying their forms. Inexplicably, after 15 minutes or so we are back on the journey with Wong and Yeung. The movie ends with a very odd, suggestive romantic shot involving the two travelers, leading to the "fake documentary" feel of the film. Included in the movie is repeated footage of a young Jet Li and his training techniques, already seen in the previously produced This Is Kung Fu. In addition, the scene with Dick Wei and Jet Li in a demonstration weapons sparring session is lifted from Li's film "Dragon Fight."

Although an interesting view of famous sites in China and various martial arts forms, the aforementioned This Is Kung Fu is a much more in depth and superiorly presented feature.

7/10

Reviewer Score: 7