Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Enter the Fat Dragon Review: Donnie Yen Packs On The Action For This Funny Fight Fest

Release date: February 14, 2020 (Blu Ray Release July 14, 2020)
Running time: 96 minutes
Starring: Donnie Yen, Niki Chow, Teresa Mo

Enter The Fat Dragon chronicles a transformed super-fit super-cop Fallon Zhu (Yen), who after a bad break up and issues on the job, is reassigned as a records clerk with a major snack cake habit.  After a desperate request from an old colleague, Zhu teams up with a wily, wok-wielding restaurateur to solve a mysterious murder—and take his one last shot at regaining both his job and his fiancĂ©e.    

I love martial arts movies and I love Donnie Yen, so I knew that this movie would appeal to me.  And Enter The Fat Dragon is every bit a Donnie Yen martial arts movie.  The action is fast paced and exciting, despite Yen's heavier appearance.  He still gets into lots of fights, still does some crazy moves, and still puts on a martial arts spectacle.  But this movie also has a lot of comedy aspects to it.  I was excited to see Yen in a more comedy-focused role and he didn't disappoint.  Enter the Fat Dragon has a lot of very funny scenes and slapstick style comedy.  It makes the entire adventure pretty lighthearted, despite some of the heavier scenes in it.  And aside from the action, the sound effects were very good.  Bone crunching hits, loud gunfire, and martial arts yells were all present and sounded fantastic on the Bluray release.  Enter the Fat Dragon is filmed in both Hong Kong and Tokyo and has some beautiful shots of both areas.  I was surprised at how visually appealing some of the scenes were as it highlighted some beautiful locales.  

However, although Enter the Fat Dragon is an entertaining movie, it is not without its flaws.  First off, I wanted there to be more humor around Yen's new weight.  I was expecting poles to bend, boards to break, etc.  But it seems like there were one or two jokes about that, but for the most part Yen still moved and fought like a skinnier fighter, just with a fat suit on.  He was every bit as fast and powerful as the skinnier version, and I was hoping that the filmmakers would have leaned more on the main theme of the movie.  Additionally, although the humor is funny at times, it is very slapstick and missed the beat occasionally.  It still has lots of funny scenes and I enjoyed the film, but some of the jokes missed their mark for me.  And although the camera and fight work are stellar, there are some hit or miss CG moments during the film.  They aren't enough to be overly distracting, but they are enough to tell that this was definitely using CG and it just doesn't look right.  And finally, much of this movie takes place in Tokyo and the film sometimes treats the Japanese people more negatively.  This is probably just a humorous take on Japan and maybe using some Chinese stereotypes of Japanese people, but it might be off putting for some.  But all that being said, this movie is still an enjoyable martial arts fest with some signature Donnie Yen action. 

Enter the Fat Dragon has some high flying martial arts action, some hilarious moments, and some beautiful locales in this humorous Donnie Yen martial arts detective story.  The movie is out on Blu-Ray now and you can check out our unboxing video here.

Rent it.
For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.
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