Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Dragon Squad (2005)

Dragon Squad (a.k.a. Dragon Heat) is film that was released with lofty expectations in 2005 and failed to generate a lot of buzz.  I'm not sure why, as I think this even blend of martial arts mayhem and gunfire is a thrilling feature.  The pacing is a bit off-kilter, but the plot is pretty straightforward and the movie is easy to follow.  Sure, some of the stylish tricks Daniel Lee pulls out of his bag are duds, but I can't fault the guy for swinging for the fences, and in doing so he also produces some really cool moments and a hell of a lot of excitement.  Most of the hand-to-hand combat comes courtesy of Sammo Hung and Huh Joon Ho, who square off in a pair of excellent battles, the second of which is probably the highlight of Dragon Squad.  The gunfights are riveting, and there are car chases, foot chases, and even a sniper duel to keep things popping.  Michael Biehn is on hand to play the lead villain, and he's one cold but charismatic dude.  I thought he brought a lot to the picture and I genuinely enjoyed this action-packed movie that underperformed when it was originally released in Hong Kong.  Maybe many were hoping for standard kung fu fare or a straight up shoot 'em up, or perhaps the director's creativity and flair were a bit too much for most audiences.  I'm not sure, but I have no qualms about recommending Dragon Squad.

Final Grade: B
Stylish and energetic, Dragon Squad is a solid action film.

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