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Dragon Tiger Gate (2006)

Plot: Dragon Tiger Gate is a martial arts school founded by two kung fu masters; Wong Jianglong (Yuen Wah) and Wong Fuhu. They teached martial arts to the public to stop them from being bullied from triad gangs. Wong Fuhu (to whom you never see) has two sons, Dragon Wong & Tiger Wong, the eldest being Dragon. When they were young Dragon is taken away from ‘the Gate’ by his mother to lead a peaceful and respectful life.

Years later Tiger Wong (Nic Tse) and his mates find themselves in some trouble with one of Hong Kong’s leading triad King Pins Ma Kun (Chen Kuan-Tai). During a battle between Tiger and Ma Kun’s goone’s, one of Tigers mates steals the highly powerful ‘Lousha Plaque’. Ma Kun sends his leading bodyguard Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) to retrieve the plaque.

Dragon tracks down Tiger at a Japanese restaurant and he finds himself fighting along side Tiger when his own gang turn against him. The two fighters are then introduced to a silver haired nunchaku bad ‘ass called Turbo (Shawn Yue). This trio fends off the gang, Dragon leaves with the plaque and Tiger returns to The Gate with Turbo who seeks training from the mighty ‘Jianglong’.

Things get out of hand when the leader of the Lousha Gang comes seeking vengeance and it’s up to our three heroes to restore the justice.

Review: God when watching this movie I couldn’t decide whether I was enjoying it or not. There are many parts of the film I thought were great, the fights scenes are fast and vicious, much like Sha Po Lang, but being based on a comic book (by Wong Luk-Wong) they’ve stretched the bar by throwing in more wirework and CGI effects.

The storyline stands out the most in the movie, it’s very weak and not enough things are explained. Sub-Plots are forgotten examples include Yuen Wah teaching Shawn Yue the element of hard work, but we don’t get to see any of that. There was a potential romantic storyline between Tiger Wong and Xiaoling, but nothing came of it either. The scene where Xiaoling has to do to the pagoda seems pretty pointless, you would have missed anything amazing if you had nipped to the loo and back during that scene, sure some characters learn some moves, but they don’t help them out in the end, hopefully this doesn’t spoil anything.

Although Wilson Yip made a great decision by adding screen legend Yuen Wah into the movie. Wah’s character is great, he destroys Shawn Yue’s ego with a pair of slippers and he even gets to fight using a Guan Duo against the main baddy. If Wilson had used someone else for his role I’d think the movie would have suffered!

Guest appearances? Not much really, well not noticeable to me. Louis Koo does provide the voice over for the masked Lousha Gang leader. Ella Kwan and Isabella Leong have also been credited for voice overs too.

Final thoughts, good film, great cast, cool action & plenty of plot holes. Enjoy!

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