Dragons Forever (1988)

Dragons Forever DVD cover

Dragons Forever DVD cover

Hailed as one of the greatest Hong Kong action movies not just of the eighties, but of all time. We observe the last time the terrific trio worked together on a major, highly successful movie project.

Cast

Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yuen Biao all star in this blockbuster movie. Special guest, legendary kick-boxing champion Benny “The Jet” Urquidez returns to go one-on-one with Jackie Chan, in a much anticipated rematch, unmissable!

Plot

The movie follows three different characters, who all join forces later on. Jackie Chan plays Lung, a hot-shot lawyer who is also something of a Romeo. Sammo Hung plays Wong, a friend of Lung’s. This guy is a former martial arts instructor, turned gun runner! An unusual career transition for sure…Yuen Biao is Tung, a weird and disturbed character. He has many questions and answers as to why his life hasn’t turned out so great, but all in all he’s a petty thief at the end of the day!

Lung (Jackie) is hired by businessman, Boss Hua to defend him, in a court case against a woman called Yip who owns a fish farm. It seems that Boss Hua is dumping some sort of toxic waste and polluting her fish farm, costing her money and killing all her livestock. Boss Hua is an aggressive, cold businessman, who only cares about his bottom line. Wong conveniently moves into an empty house next door to Yip, after being contacted by Lung. Here, he is trying to worm his way into her life, to aid his mission in wealth. This is where Tung comes in. He is a friend of Lung’s and is given a job to do by planting bugs in Yip’s house, to aid in Lung’s case. Wong actually starts to like Yip and gets his motives and feelings mixed up for her. Meanwhile Lung, has a similar problem. The oceanographer on the opposing side of the case (Wen) provides the allure! The problem moreover with that is, that she is Yip’s cousin! Tung tries to gain access to Yip’s house, but cannot do a simple job right. Wong, as a concerned neighbour, see’s him during the night and proceeds to follow him to Yip’s house. Here the two get involved in a comedic punch-up, before Yip smacks Tung with a vase…ouch! When it all goes wrong, Lung has to re-think his strategy…oh yes!

After bailing-out Tung from the police station, Lung is fortunate to run into Wen along with Yip at the station. Here he gets his lucky break with Wen after previously being rejected by her. All is not what it seems though. Lung starts to be over-eager, which results in humiliation for him -this will make you smile!

During dinner with Wen at Lung’s place, the two are continually disturbed by noises. It turns out that Tung firstly has turned up then Wong, who identifies Tung as the thief in Yip’s house. The two start fighting, slapping each other around with some quick action, lots of laughs and entertainment here! After a stop-start dinner with Wen, Lung is forced to throw her out (which proves to actually be pretty funny!). It’s time for Lung to break-up the fight and do some explaining!

Later on, the three are all at a bar, licking their wounds. Boss Hua turns up but attracts some unwanted trouble, to which the three get caught up in. Lung, being Boss Wah’s lawyer, is the instantly recognisable figure out of the three. This will have serious repercussions…!

Action

We start off the action in Dragons Forever with Lung meeting a lady, who is taking a client of his to court. Distressed at what is going on, he has no choice but to defend her. Jackie Chan shows unbelievable speed and agility, particulary when a thug kicks a chair at him!

Later on at an abandoned building, Wong gets into trouble when a gun deal goes wrong. Here Sammo Hung destroys the two men gunning for him and his goods. Doesn’t last long, but shows what Sammo is capable of!

When Wen is asked to leave Lung’s place, he gets involved in a brawl with Tung and Wong. These two have been fighting already and when Lung gets involved it escalates into a funny Three Stooges’ sequence.

At a bar, the three are involved in a fast fight. Sammo Hung is my favourite here with a stupendous back-breaking suplex on an opponent! Yuen Biao has some well placed kicks including a drop-kick to the knees on a sofa, wait till you see it! Jackie Chan is his usual fast and furious self, with a terrrific table breaker. Frenzied…love it!

Trying to make-up for a wasted dinner, Lung hires out a boat with service for himself and Wen. However the trouble from the bar has returned tenfold. This has got to be the most electric part of the movie…up to this point! Jackie jumps, leaps, grabs and smashes his way through everybody. In tight and confined spaces he acrobatically escapes his pursuers culminating in a vicious Enter The Dragon-style side-kick off the boat for one of the bad guys…pulse raising punishment!

The final scene is split into two parts. Firstly Wong goes to the factory in question to the court case. When he passes security only to be found out later he must fight for his life, facing incredible odds! Sammo Hung always amazes me whenever I see him perform. This guy has strength, speed, power and jaw-dropping technique as he takes out the trash! However the real badman of the movie finally arrives-Benny “The Jet” Urquidez! When Wong is surrounded he unleashes a powerful kick that incapacitates Wong immediately! This is only the beginning!

Lung and Tung now enter the frame. They start taking everyone out with Tung seemingly the better fighter. Yuen Biao’s agility once again is second to none! In an outrageous moment on a catwalk bridge he performs a sensational backflip with a grab to annihilate a thug! You’ll be amazed when you see this-no question! In another situation he does a running drop-kick through a GLASS window to take out a further two enemies! Finally his luck runs out when he comes across “The Jet” and takes an amazing flying spin-kick that looks like it could have decapitated him! Wonderful! I would have liked to see more of Yuen Biao in this movie. I feel he was really under-used.

Jackie Chan’s performance is the most brutal I have seen since Police Story 1! Kicking people through glass, throwing them through it and just throwing them everywhere including, a part where his opponent goes through the glass hits and breaks a steel steam-pipe, then hits the floor!

Lastly… Jackie Chan versus Benny “The Jet” Urquidez part 2! Many of you will have seen the first time these two fought in Wheels On Meals-which was considered a classic and one of the best on-screen fights of all time. This re-match is more hardcore than Wheels On Meals. Both the combatants take punishment with some parts of the duel being 50/50. Benny Urquidez is relentless-just like how he was in Wheels On Meals! Chan delivers some high-powered blows, ending with an electrifying finish-literally! Fantastic,great,spectacular I could go on and on…Definitely a keeper!

Summary

Dragons Forever is a great trip into the past, when the trio of the three brothers could do no wrong. Good storyline, great characters, (my favourite being Jackie Chan’s womanising lawyer) frantic, fast-paced, hardcore, brutal punishment/stunts, make this a must see movie! It really is that good!

Trivia

  • Part of the movie was filmed non-stop for four days in a row!
  • It was Benny “The Jet” Urquidez’s idea to make himself look evil.
  • Jackie Chan’s and Sammo Hung’s stunt teams did their best to out-do each other!

Film Rating: 8/10

 Image Gallery

Amardeep Sidhu is a (very!) long time martial arts movie fan. On watching "Enter The Dragon", at five years old, became fascinated with Bruce Lee and by eight was hooked on the main man (Jackie) CHAN's movies! He has studied Taekwondo as his primary base, as well as mixed shaolin kung-fu, southern praying mantis, wing chun and capoeira. He is a keen movie watcher with a serious appreciation for fight choreography!

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