The Dragon, the Hero Review: The lead actors are fine fighters

John Liu, the legendary Northern Kick expert and master of the strike rock fist is sent to investigate an antiques smuggling gang working out of Canton. Meanwhile another descendant of the stike rock fist also seeks John to face him in a death duel.

A typically madcap Taiwanese martial arts film from director Godfrey Ho. THE DRAGON, THE HERO (Tap Gia Cao Thu) has to be seen to be believed. Kung fu fans will be in their element as the film features performances from a number of famous performers who acquit themselves well with the cheap, slapdash material. There’s also a plethora of fight scenes which is always a plus in a film such as this.

The martial art film (phim vo thuat xua) has two heroes played by John Liu and Tino Wong and a master villain played by film regular Phillip Ko as a delightfully evil character. The plot covers the usual ground and seems to throw a bit of everything into the mix in a bid to make something stick: there are training sequences, a drunken master, and even a wheelchair-bound mega villain to throw a spanner in the works.

The lead actors are fine fighters but it’s the supporting players who really shine. So things kick off with a great little fight scene involving the inimitable Bolo Yeung. Complete with chest hair and a Tarzan yell! Even better, Bolo has some kind of bestial style going on, which makes for hilarious viewing. Things slow down a notch from this point in. But there’s still plenty of fun to be had from the action scenes, not least the lengthy and energetic climax. Phillip Ko is particularly efficient as one tough cookie. Other plot ingredients to watch out for include a castration by dog, milk spitting. A cameo from Bruce Lee imitator Dragon Lee. And a random rendition of Lee Marvin’s “Wanderin’ Star”!

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