Dragon Lord is not one of Jackie Chan’s best movies. But it’s a quite entertaining flick, and highly interesting because it marks the end of one era and the beginning of another for this great artist. It was Jackie’s last genuine kung fu movie before he went on to modern action films, and he wouldn’t return to this genre for another 12 years.
Originally intended as a sequel to The Young Master (although there have been some speculating it may have been meant as a prequel to Drunken Master) it eventually ended up a standalone movie; it’s sort of a preety confused (and sometimes a bit confusing) mixture of the traditional kung fu films and the spectacular neck-breaking stunts that Jackie would soon be world famous for.
The storyline circles around Dragon Ho (Jackie in his familiar role as the carefree rascal) and his best friend, Cowboy, who find themselves stumbling on a conspiracy to smuggle ancient treasures out of China.
It’s all pretty cliché but in the end it still works. Why? Well, Jackie Chan’s irresistible charm has a lot to do with that. It’s also got a great deal of great slapstick comedy. But the bone crunching finale is perhaps the main reason why this film, despite its flaws, is quite unforgettable. Dragon Lord may not not Jackie’s best film – but the end fight is definitely one of his best fights! It’s brutal, intense and – almost – deadly for ur hero who has to take on an opponent who is much stronger than himself. Jackie is in for some serioues beating, and in the end it’s just pure will that keeps him hanging in there. For a moment or two you actually start thinking this is too much even for this guy. But not to worry; in the end our beloved rascal defeats his opponent – just as we knew he would!