Jackie Chan is a police officer. His girlfriend wants him to commit, but he wants to becomea sailor. The real complication in his life is his brother, Sammo Hung, who, though almost 30,has the mind of a small child. Chan must put his dreams on hold in order to look after hisbrother, and his resentment grows. His loyalty is put to the test, however, when Hunginadvertently runs afoul of the both the mob and the police.
If you’re hoping for another Jackie Chan a…tion comedy, go elsewhere. There is essentiallyno fisticuffs until the last half-hour, at which point fight fans will certainly have their patiencerewarded, though the battle is unusually brutal for a Jackie Chan movie, with a lot more gunplaythan is usually the case. And if you’re a Sammo Hung fan, don’t expect him to cut loose at anypoint. Both actors do acquit themselves very well in these dramatic roles, with Chan abandoninghis usual happy-go-lucky persona in favour of an embittered, often sullen and selfish man, andHung being very convincingly child-like and put-upon. The result is something like an after-school special directed by John Woo. It won’t be to all tastes, but it does come by its emotionsquite honestly.
The 1985 soundtrack is given a nice 5.1 and DTS brushing up. The surround sound effects(rustling bushes, whizzing bullets, background city noise) are very effective, the left-rightseparation is good, and the (admittedly cheesy) synth score is given greater heft through ajudicious use of echoes. The Cantonese dialogue is sometimes very muzzy. This is not the casefor the English, track, but there we run into the usual grating artificiality of dubbing.
A solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The colours are generally quite vibrant,though the yellows and greens in the early goings are too bright. The contrasts are solid, andthere is no print damage. There is noticeably grain, however, and the picture isn’t perfectlysharp.
As with the other films in the Honk Kong Legends series, you have new and original trailersfor the feature, and trailers for the other films in the series. With Heart of Dragon, thereis also a rock-scored montage of two unused fight scenes, which I can’t help but wish had beenincluded in the film itself. The menu’s main page is animated and scored, while the secondarypages are scored.
Kudos to both actors (and director Sammo Hung) for not feeling trapped into producing thesame kind of movie over and over again. Though I wasn’t wild about this release, I think goingin with clear expectations might have helped.
Special Features List
- Unseen Fight Sequences
- Original and New Trailers
- Bonus Trailers