After the success of SPL, Donnie Yen and Wilson Yip decided to team up once more. Action fans were disappointed by the long wait in SPL, and Dragon Tiger Gate promised more action from the start. The story was based off of a comic book, allowing for deeper characters and more complex stories. The cast also includes Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue, and Yuen Wah. Would a more action-oriented story lead to a better overall film?
I should go ahead and state that I’ve never seen any of the source material. The story is nothing mindbending or deep, but it’s enough to justify the fights that take place. I wished that there was more to go off of, but I understand there is just too much to cover in the span of one film. That being said, there are some sequences that feel very “comic booky.”
The characters, for the most part, are pretty shallow. You’ll get a fleeting bit of background info, but it’s hard to really connect to any of the characters. Some characters get more attention than others, but there are just too many stories to keep track of. However, the main story between Donnie and Nicholas is pretty decent and is handled in a good manner.
As you’d expect, everybody delivers on the action. What I truly enjoyed is the fact that each character has a distinct fighting style. This means that even during the same fight, everything was fresh with each character. There are also a lot of great angles and sequences to some of the fights. My only complaint would be the “finishing move” for the last fight, as it really was a letdown for me.
Own it, Watch it, or Skip it?
Dragon Tiger Gate is a solid action film with a decent plot. While it may or may not be faithful to the source material, it provides a lot of good action that everyone can enjoy. If you felt like SPL didn’t have enough action, you won’t be disappointed (though the story isn’t as deep.) People who want a good action film that doesn’t require a lot of thought will be able to sit back and enjoy Dragon Tiger Gate.
It appears that the HK versions are no longer available on YesAsia, but they can also be found on Amazon.