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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20.69%
Worth A Look51.72%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 20.69%
Total Crap: 6.9%

3 reviews, 11 user ratings

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Year of the Dragon
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by Slyder

"Wasted potential"
2 stars

That title pretty much sums up this flick. It had so much potential; hell, it couldíve been throwback to the gangster genre. It had all the right elements and couldíve worked so many ways but they fucked it up, and man, what a fuck up this film was.

Stanley White (Mickey Rourke) has been named captain in the NYPD division in Chinatown. Joey Tai (John Lone) has thrusted himself through the ranks thanks to violence as the new mob boss in Chinatown. White hates Asians with passion since Vietnam and is determined to bring Tai and his people down, while Tai tries to plant his foot down in order to expand his dominance over Chinatown. Oh, and a reporter Tracy Tzu (Ariane) weaves her way through.

With people like Rourke and Lone and featuring Dino De Laurentis money, Michael Ciminoís direction and a screenplay co written by Cimino and Oliver Stone based on a novel by Robert Daley, it all seemed from the outside that it had the makings of a great film since there is plenty of material in this film that point towards greatness, and a very interesting story that is dying to get out. Alas, it was simple not meant to be Instead, what you get is a half-baked movie full of retarded and totally unlikable characters, ridiculous subplots and ponderous direction. Not even a very elegant score by David Mansfield, some gritty photography as well as several well-staged action scenes can save this turd. And thanks to these shortcomings, the film comes out as overindulgent and pretentious.

Rourke gives quite an intense performance but on the whole he's totally miscast and looks absolutely ridiculous with that Sam Spade-type hat and bleached gray hair. Since he portrays a racist, his character is just too shitty to be likeable, and maybe thatís the point, but the guy is just a retard and does all kinds of things that border on the stupid. Lone also gives a notable performance but once again, he is also miscast and looks too childish and too clean to be the fearless mob boss that the film tries to portray him, and the guy is a retard too because, if he managed to kill his uncle whom was the mob boss before, why the fuck doesnít he kill the other geezers that are constantly criticizing his work? White and Tai show their utter retarded-ness in what has to be one of the most predictable and most preposterous climaxes ever. With Tai free to run away and vanish into the night, he just turns back and answers the challenge call from White as both men start running and shooting towards each other. Good fucking lord what the hell were the writers thinking? But thatís just nothing compared to the utter stink thatís Ariane as a nosy reporter. This character either really needed some rewriting or just cut her out from the movie since it has no place in the movie other than be annoying and retarded. Just watch the empty romance between her and White, especially the look she gives out when White mourns and kisses his estranged wife now dead, and youíll be cringing for quite a while.

Hell, the whole film is just retarded and devoid of any focus, no wonder Cimino fell off the chart so badly with his previous crap Heavenís Gate, I guess he never got over his cinematic overindulgences. And I also can't believe that a talented writer like Oliver Stone would manage to produce such a hatched script. A complete waste of potential resources here.

In the end, this film has guilty pleasure oozing all over it for some, and utter trash for others. The film had great promises and a story dying to get out, but it never does and gets lost in the depths of cinematic mediocrity laying around here; truly one of the biggest misfires of the year if not the decade. 2-5

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originally posted: 07/31/04 06:10:00
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User Comments

6/11/08 Jass Hands down, one of the most underrated of the 80s noir 4 stars
2/12/08 jet rourke likealways is underapreciated 4 stars
8/18/07 DARREN LORENTE It is a great action movie, very well executed with good performances 5 stars
10/29/06 spasmodic Total crap: Jerky script, imbecilic characters, poor screenplay and lacklustre acting. 1 stars
5/30/06 Mikey Ramone Lone is smooth, Rourke believable & charismatic. 5 stars
12/01/05 ShadowFace5 A bit slow but well "worth a look" 4 stars
11/01/05 tatum Cimino and Stone take a decent novel and ruin it 1 stars
11/23/04 Sugarfoot Slyder once again proves why he's the worst critic here. 5 stars
8/17/04 Herolder Very tense, with a great Mickey Rourke 5 stars
7/31/04 Jack Sommersby Rickety script elevated by bravura direction. Alive, colorful & mammothly entertaining. 5 stars
12/08/03 john a powefull crime story - exiting and well made 5 stars
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  16-Aug-1985 (R)
  DVD: 31-May-2005



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