- Actors: Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, Tchéky Karyo, Max Ryan, Ric Young
- Directors: Chris Nahon
- Writers: Jet Li, Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
- Producers: Jet Li, Bernard Grenet, Happy Walters, Luc Besson
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Fox Video (Canada) Limited
- Release Date: Jan. 22 2002
- Run Time: 98 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 108 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00003CY5A
Kiss of the Dragon (Widescreen) [Import]
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Martial arts genius Jet Li explodes onto the screen with an intensity not seen since Bruce Lee. "Kiss of the Dragon" is not merely a thriller but a shocker. (San Francisco Chronicle) China's top secret agent visits Paris on a pleasure trip only to encounter government espionage at the highest level. "Li's action sequences are like an oil fire, spilling from one room into the next and lighing up in the interiors with heat and wreakage"! (The New York Times)
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Basically, Jet Li plays a Chinese cop Lui Jian who travels to Paris to help the police bring a crime boss to justice. But the French police just happen to be heavily, heavily corrupt and kill Mr. Big, framing Lui Jian in the process.
Keen to stay alive, Lui Jian flees the scene, but not before screaming, mad and completely hatstand police inspector Richard (Tcheky Caryo in his typically delirious role) sends just about every hardened police psycho after him. Outrageously outnumbered, Lui Jian prevails and fights his way through swarms and swarms of thugs out for his blood. Using only his hands and feet (and any useful nearby tool) he manages to wipe them all out.
Far-fetched it may be, but action choreographer Cory Yuen shoots it all in the most realistic and stylish way. You really will believe Lui Jian is capable of such an impossible feat, that's how realistic the action is. And all without glamorising guns.
KOTD uses the rule of increasingly mad set-pieces. The first desperate escape through the corridors and passageways of the hotel, the death-defying escape from the Seine Barge and through the tunnels and sewers, the orphanage confrontation and (especially) the final scene in the police station where Lui Jian takes on a dojo full of martial artist police officers, evil twins and finally Inspector Richard. It's all breathtaking stuff and very, very violent. With far too many sanitised PG-13 minded 'action' movies abundant these days KOTD is a breath of hardcore fresh air.
If you like this then I suggest checking out The Transporter. It may be slightly tamer but it's made by the same people (producer Luc Besson, Writer Robert Mark Kamen and Cory Yuen) and is also set in France, only with a warmer, more exotic look.
The DVD is in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen with a great Dolby 5.1 soundtrack. There are some extras and a commentary if you're into that sort of thing.
Li plays Liu Jian, a policeman from the People's Republic of China, sent to Paris, to participate in the arrest of a Chinese drug dealer, by the French police. Inspector Richard (Tcheky Karyo), the French cop in charge of the investigation, kills the dealer with Jian's gun, intending to frame him for the murder. Of course for this silly plan to work, Jian must die. Unfortunately for Richard, he just won't cooperate. Mixed into this basic conflict, is a prostitute, played by Bridget Fonda, who could also possibly help clear Liu Jian.
The commentary track consists of separate comments by Jet Li, Bridget Fonda and director Chris Nahon, edited to together. It is somewhat informative technically, but Fonda's comments, reflecting mostly her personal thoughts, dominate. Her character doesn't have a lot of depth, but judging by her comments, Fonda seems satisfied with her role. The other bonus features are rather typical fare. The DVD itself is made to look like a red, number 3 billiard ball. Such a ball is featured in one of the movie's CG stunts.
Hong Kong veteran Cory Yuen choreographed the exciting fight scenes, and Luc Besson did KOD's screenplay. Tcheky Karyo, does a pretty good job as an arrogant, and corrupt cop. His ultimate reward, is to experience the "kiss of the dragon". Burt Kwouk, also makes an appearance as a shopkeeper. Jet Li's fighting skills are obvious, and his acting skills are improving too. This film is not a breakthrough vehicle to a mass western audience, but it is a decent action flick worth seeing.
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