What happens when you take a hackneyed, b-grade comic book plot, and cross it with wooden acting and slow, boring fights?
You get The Dragon and the Hawk.
I've been a fan of kung fu flicks for years, and this one ranks just under Fists of Legend 2 for the worst kung fu movie I've ever seen. The actors visibly wait for their turn to start speaking, then they spend so much time trying to remember their lines that they manage to suck out any possible emotion. To compound matters, the dialogue is trite and blatantly banal whenever possible, so the only emotion you can experience is irritation any time someone opens their mouth. Even the supposedly humorous parts are killed by the Frankenstein quality acting exhibited by all involved in the production.
But then who cares about the writing in a kung fu movie? It's the action you're there to see right? This movie fails to deliver in this category as well. Fights are slow, poorly choreographed, and the last few sequences take place in locations that are so dark it's hard to see what's going on. Case in point, one sequence involves Dragon running up to a wall, jumping up to push off the wall, then Dragon pushes off the wall and does absolutely nothing. He just lands in front of the guy who was chasing him. What would've made more sense would be for Dragon to push off the wall and kick his pursuer. After a testy exchange with the assistant producer, (she threatened to have this review removed at one point, also accused me of being part of the apparently disgruntled production crew) I was told that they wanted Dragon to actually do the kick, but none of those shots came out right, so they just threw in a mistaken take instead. The music blows as well.
I can't see any reason to claim this movie's good. It has no redeeming qualities at all. When there's stuff like Jackie Chan, and Jet Li out there, or even David Carradine's Warrior and the Sorceress, there's absolutely no reason to bother with this one unless you just need something to make fun of Mystery Science Fiction Theater style. (Which is actually impossible since a movie with intentional camp and no earnestness doesn't have that ironically funny bent at all...)