Heart of the Dragon (1985)

Posted in Reviews by - January 03, 2015
Heart of the Dragon (1985)

Sammo Hung‘s first serious attempt at an against-type dramatic film may lack the subtlety of a Hollywood melodrama, but at least it remains true to its central, earnest promise, despite starring two giants of Hong Kong slapstick. There is plenty of emotion on display and, surprisingly, this brings out the best acting from Jackie Chan, who adds a loving humanity to his hard-edged cop persona. Sammo is also a revelation, playing a mentally ill 30-something with the mind of a child. He plays Jackie’s brother – both his crutch and motivation – who is kidnapped by jewel thieves as a means to add peril to the story. When the action really takes off towards the end, it is superbly executed and holds a greater resonance given the film’s central relationship. As always, Jackie Chan is at his best under Sammo’s direction and the fight scenes are superb, particularly in the deleted scenes, removed from the Chinese version to focus more on the story’s emotional resonance. Fans in the west, however, always compare this film to Rain Man, which was made three years later.

AKA:  First MissionHeart of Dragon.

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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