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The Asian ApertureDragon Lord (1982)
POSTED BY JASON FETTERS, August 28, 2011    Share

Have you ever wanted to talk to that pretty girl across the street but lacked the right way to do it? If so then you can understand the basic premise in Jackie Chan's Dragon Lord. This Hong Kong kung fu comedy came out in 1982 and was directed by Jackie Chan. It was intended to be a sequel to the amazing The Young Master (1980.)

Dragon Lord is an early example of Jackie Chan experimenting with stunts. It is classic Chan in that it is a kung fu period movie. Chan often played a goofy slacker character who idles away his free time getting into trouble, hanging out with friends, and unsuccessfully wooing the ladies. In later years Chan would move on to the modern with movies such as Project A 1 & 2 and the Police Story series. Dragon Lord has plenty of humor and action to please classic and modern Jackie Chan fans.

In Dragon Lord, Jackie Chan, plays Dragon, a slacker who tries to trick his father into thinking that he spends part of his time practicing kung fu and the other studying classical Chinese poetry. In fact, when a teacher shows up at the house to instruct Dragon on poetry, Chan ditches him to go hang out with his buddies like Mars played by Cowboy Chin.

One of the funniest movies lines ever is when Dragon and Mars are walking along a stream. They pass beautiful girls playing in the water. Both stop at the bank and Dragon looks over at Mars and says,
“Time to drain the Dragon.”
I can't remember the last time I laughed this hard at dialogue. Next, Mars pulls his zipper down because he is wearing western style pants, while Dragon has to untie his belt and practicably pull down his pants. Then they both whip out their penises and have a peeing contest. Mars get distracted when a pretty girl walks by in the stream and discusses with Dragon who is going to get the chance to ask her out. During their conversation Mars ends up peeing all over Dragon's pants. After peeing, they flip a coin for it with Dragon losing. Throughout the entire movie Dragon and Mars try to hit on various girls with no success at all. A lot of Dragon Lord's humor is in those scenes.

Some of the best scenes show Dragon and comrades attempting to get behind the wall of a house that is inhabited by pretty women. They try all types of ways to win the hearts of the lovely ladies inside and are greeted with various fruits thrown over the wall at them. eggs cracked on top of their hands, and angry women with homemade weapons who threaten them. Tough to get a date in China at that time. The girls giggle to one another after they have successfully scared off the boys. Dragon really feels the need to hook, a la John Cusack in One Crazy Summer, so he writes a love letter attached to a kite and tries to fly the kite over the wall so it will fall near the house. The kite ends up flying to another house where bad things are going down.

While looking for his kite on the roof of a nearby house, Dragon discovers a house with workers inside who are taking Chinese treasures and wrapping them up in straw to smuggle out of China. This idea of smuggle ancient Chinese treasures would later resurface in Armour of God and Armour of God II: Operation Condor.

Throughout Dragon Lord whenever Dragon uses his mouth to get into fights, it is clear that he can't fight. This is another running joke. For all those times he has slacked off practice, it really shows when he mouths off and can't back it up. Only at the end of the movie does Dragon actually fight and this is because he has learned of the smuggling plot and believes that it is every Chinese citizen's duty to protect China. The end fight scene is amusing because Dragon loses for most of the fight, a la Stallone in the Rocky series. He gets beat down so bad you wonder if he will be able to continue. But through cunning and luck he manages to fight back as only Jackie Chan can.

Dragon Lord is a great example of classic Chan and should be viewed after watching The Young Master. Plus it contains the best peeing scene in a kung fu movie.

5 out of 5 stars.

"The Asian Aperture" is ©2011 by Jason Fetters. All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2011 by Nolan B. Canova.

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