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Heart of Dragon
|     review by Kozo    |     review by Magicvoice     |     notes     |     awards     |     availability     |

Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung in Heart of Dragon
AKA: First Mission  
Chinese: 龍的心  
Year: 1985  
Director: Sammo Hung Kam-Bo  
Producer: Wu Ma  
Action: Corey Yuen Kwai, Mang Hoi, Yuen Wah, Yuen Biao, Billy Chan Wui-Ngai
Cast: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo, Emily Chu Bo-Yee, Lam Ching-Ying, Dick Wei, Mang Hoi, Anthony Chan Yau, Chin Kar-Lok, Yuen Wah, James Tien Chun, Lam Kwok-Bun, Wu Ma, Blacky Ko Sau-Leung, Wu Feng, Chung Fat, Melvin Wong Kam-Sum, Philip Ko Fei, Tai Bo, Dennis Chan Kwok-San, Fung Hak-On
The Skinny: Even Jackie Chan's most loyal fans have been known to break out in hives at the mere mention of Heart of Dragon.
by Kozo:
It's the Hong Kong version of Dominick and Eugene! With action! Jackie Chan plays a cop saddled with retarded brother Sammo Hung and antsy girlfriend Emily Chu. Your standard issue Hong Kong hijinks happen as Jackie tries to pursue his dreams, but his responsibility to the Rainman-like Sammo gets in the way. Eventually the two come to terms in a teary scene that’s sure to make your skin crawl. Then the bad guys strike and action arrives to save the picture. Too late. If you haven't turned off the movie by now, you're probably asleep or hiding your eyes in fear. Cheesy montages and over-the-top emotions drive this flick, and not any form of consistent, cohesive narrative. Everyone loves Jackie Chan. Most everyone loves Sammo Hung. But how many people really like Heart of Dragon? (Kozo 1997)
Alternate Review

Heart of Dragon is a film that tries to be all things to all people. Whether you're into melodrama, comedy or action, this film has something for you. Or not. The story involves the mentally challenged Danny (sympathetically played by Sammo Hung) and his brother Tat (Jackie Chan). Tat is a cop who wants to join the merchant marines and sail into the sunset free of the burden of his brother. Tat's whole life has been about taking care of Danny and he resents him for it. Of course, deep down Tat's really a nice guy. Just when you think he's going to desert Danny, he comes to Danny's rescue in a show-stopping action sequence involving stolen diamonds. What the…?

Okay, so it's not the best work of Sammo Hung or Jackie Chan but it certainly is the most schizophrenic. It's overly melodramatic and weepy through the first half and non-stop action through the second. It's a strange mix that doesn't work well overall, but contains little successes throughout. The scenes of people humiliating and taking advantage of Danny manage to tug at the heartstrings, and Chan's complex portrayal of the selfish Tat is quite daring for an actor known for playing nice guys. The action is well done and the supporting cast of HK stars (including Dick Wei, Emily Chu and Wu Ma) lend credibility—until Lam Chin Ying shows up still sporting his Mr. Vampire eyebrows from another production. The film is clearly a blueprint for Rainman, which was made three years later minus the action. Heart of Dragon isn't as bad as it's reputation. It's simply over-ambitious and a bit confused about what exactly it should be. (Magicvoice 2002)

Notes: • The Fox DVD includes two fight scenes that were added to the Japanese print, which supposedly features a gag reel at the end of the picture. Sadly, the Fox DVD does not include any outtakes.
Awards: 5th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
Winner - Best Original Song ("Sui Hoh Seung Yi", performed by So Noi)
Nomination - Best Director (Sammo Hung Kam-Bo)
Nomination - Best Actor (Jackie Chan)
Nomination - Best Action Design (Jackie Chan's Stuntman Association)
Nomination - Best Original Film Score (Lam Man-Yi)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Joy Sales / Fortune Star
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0
Cantonese DTS 5.1
Mandarin Dolby Digital 2.0
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

image courtesy of Fox Home Entertainment Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen