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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.47%
Worth A Look30.88%
Average: 19.12%
Pretty Bad: 11.76%
Total Crap: 11.76%

3 reviews, 50 user ratings

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Kiss of the Dragon
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by EricDSnider

"Artless fighting just for the hell of it."
3 stars

The first image in "Kiss of the Dragon" is of a bunny rabbit licking its paws while crouched next to a dead, bloody rabbit. That shot has absolutely nothing to do with the movie, even on a metaphoric level, but do not be surprised. The movie leaves plenty of other things unexplained, too.

Directed by Chris Nahon and written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen (who collaborated on Besson's "The Fifth Element"), "Kiss of the Dragon" is eager to avoid tedium by jumping right into things. It mistakenly assumes, however, that it's OK to omit the exposition audiences deserve in exchange for giving them the action they want.

French police detective Richard (Tcheky Karyo) kills a Chinese suspect and frames Chinese government agent Liu Jian (Jet Li) for the murder. Why does he do this? Because he's "evil," apparently, and for no other reason. The movie doesn't indicate he gained anything from killing the suspect, much less for attempting to ruin Liu's career.

So we don't know why Richard wants Liu Jian dead, but boy, does he ever want him dead. His thugs pursue him relentlessly through Paris, but Liu knows martial arts and some powerful version of acupuncture. (No word is given on that, either. We're left to assume it's not at all uncommon for Chinese operatives to carry around a handful of needles and use them to paralyze people. Having little experience in fighting Chinese operatives, I cannot speak to the authenticity of this notion.)

While running from the law, Liu meets Jessica (Bridget Fonda), the world's queasiest hooker (she gets nauseated at the sight of sex), who sort of witnessed the murder. Turns out she's working for a pimp who's working for Richard, all because Richard has her daughter. Jessica is from America, but no explanation is given as to what she's doing in France or why she can't seem to get her daughter out of the orphanage without Richard's help.

There's also a train-station locker that Liu is led to, which turns out to contain guns. I don't know who led him to the locker, nor why there are guns in it. Again, that information was omitted from the film in order to make more room for Richard to say things like, "Bring him to me alive! I'll kill him myself," which he does say.

The martial-arts scenes are thrilling, certainly. Jet Li is a refreshing sort of action star, more brooding and less silly than Jackie Chan, and in that way more likable. Bridget Fonda doesn't add much to the proceedings, but there she is anyway.

This is a no-frills, almost humorless action film. There is a scene where a noble fugitive promises a dying French prostitute that he'll take care of her daughter, but no one realizes how similar that is to "Les Miserables." That's a shame, because this movie needed something to give it a fresh spin.

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originally posted: 07/16/01 09:18:43
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User Comments

3/03/19 Anne so phony - boring 1 stars
8/28/11 s. russo Li, Fonda & Karyo backed by great camera & editing makes this a very watchable actioner. 4 stars
12/23/09 kulotz great movie. jet li's d the best!!!! 4 stars
10/03/08 Frank R. THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING 5 stars
5/12/08 dipankar i like jetli good performents fighting and powerfull kikk . 5 stars
4/02/06 Peter De La Rosa Great moviegoing expirence. 5 stars
10/30/05 chris the frenchman rocks!! 5 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands Bloody as HELL. 4 stars
9/11/05 Rever_Bear-Trap K.O.D. is O.K.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/29/04 magaafi suck this lush!!! 5 stars
3/26/04 Mars 2071 Great movie! 5 stars
3/20/04 Jack-pyschO-Lantern Not bad... Jet Li could be the next, Bruce Lee. 5 stars
7/03/03 Lush One of the worst films ever made. Even Luc Besson's Joan Of Arc was better than this shit. 1 stars
4/22/03 spacecowboy-00x KILL KILL KILL! 4 stars
2/26/03 Flounder This is one awesome movie 5 stars
1/21/03 Andy Bronson fight scenes are shit and jet couldn't do a side kick properly to save his life 1 stars
11/14/02 bill very entertaining, love the slags 5 stars
11/05/02 YES Probably my favorite Jet Li film, yes, even better than Fist of Legend. 4 stars
10/23/02 palaboy101 Another Jet Li movie, go watch it! 4 stars
7/23/02 plop excellent 5 stars
1/28/02 Spyguy2 This flick ROCKED! Killer fight scenes choreographed like a wild video game! 4 stars
1/06/02 Matt Utt This movie rocked the house especially the end sequence against the 2 aussies!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
10/19/01 Shams Huque Cool action, and Bridget Fonda's a really appealing babe. What more do you need? 4 stars
10/17/01 Jim Renwick Love the Kung Fu flicks. Fight scenes great 4 stars
10/04/01 Bruce The yers best action movie, Jet Li is the man, his fight scenes are amazing 5 stars
9/13/01 jetli fan I like Jet Li but this movie wasn't that good. Watch Fist of Legend,Twin Warriors,Meltdown 3 stars
9/03/01 martin jet li freakin sucks, jackie chan could easily kick his ass 1 stars
8/13/01 Denz it's shit 1 stars
8/11/01 Roy Smith A movie more empty headed than Tori Spelling - with a bad ending 3 stars
7/26/01 ThatGuy Great action, bad plot, worse acting. Doesn't anyone know how to shave in France? 3 stars
7/19/01 Bohb JET LI! JET LI! JET LI! JET LI! You're not Bruce Lee. 1 stars
7/19/01 Tired Boundless stupidity. It made my nose hurt. 1 stars
7/18/01 Fenris Very entertaining action movie. 5 stars
7/17/01 Zahrim Some laughs, some action, overall pretty brainless. 2 stars
7/12/01 sadegh good 5 stars
7/12/01 mr. char The action was great, the plot was ok, but not too bad 4 stars
7/12/01 rogue the action scenes were nothing i had seen before. Jet Li kicks ass;no gun needed to do it! 5 stars
7/11/01 Melissa in NYC Why can't anyone make good movies anymore? 1 stars
7/11/01 brian Great action scenes; Jet Li really is in the same league as Bruce Lee, but buy a script 4 stars
7/11/01 wrewr qewqrqrewt 5 stars
7/10/01 Bruce Li's is getting better with each film, see this flick it has some awesome fights. 5 stars
7/10/01 malcolm one of best uses of a hong kong action star in a non-hong kong film 4 stars
7/10/01 wintermute Whoever compares the "moves" of Jet Li to Jackie Chan really has no fucknig clue. 4 stars
7/10/01 Darren Shea Bad direction and editing hurt the action sequences - performances uneven. 3 stars
7/09/01 Gabe_H Overall, it was an OK film. The action was good, but the story was weak. 3 stars
7/09/01 kishuta Jet Li is great, but all the fight scenes seem to be cut short. Seemed a lot like RMD. 3 stars
7/09/01 natasha needed more Jet Li, less Bridget Fonda 4 stars
7/08/01 John Lyons Okay, but the music sucked. 4 stars
7/07/01 MaG I think it could have been better 3 stars
7/07/01 frankko unfortunately, the action is ruined by the shoddy direction. 2 stars
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  06-Jul-2001 (R)



Directed by
  Chris Nahon

Written by
  Luc Besson
  Robert Mark Kamen

  Jet Li
  Bridget Fonda
  Tchéky Karyo
  Max Ryan

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