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Heart Of The Dragon
cast: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Emily Chu

director: Sammo Hung

91 minutes (18) 2003
widescreen ratio 1.85:1
Hong Kong Legends DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by Debbie Moon
CID officer Tat (Jackie Chan) has always wanted to be a sailor, but is stuck at home caring for his learning-disabled brother Do-do (Sammo Hung). As the police closed in on a crime boss involved in a jewellery robbery, Do-do and his child friends accidentally end up with the loot. Realising that Do-do is Tat's brother, the boss sees a way to get to one of his gang who has turned state's evidence. If he's to save his brother, Tat will have to break all the rules...

Heart Of The Dragon is trying to be more intelligent and moving than your average Hong Kong police movie, and broadly, it succeeds. The two brothers' relationship is hardly all smiles, and we get a strong sense of how Tat's life has been all but ruined by the burden of his helpless brother. It also pulls no punches showing the way that strangers mock and exploit the innocent Do-do. Certainly it demands more acting from Jackie Chan than most of his early movies, and he rises to the occasion. But, of course, there's plenty of action fitted in before the bittersweet ending.

This film won't overly tax your brain, leaving you with plenty of time to ponder such vital questions as 'Exactly how many movies are there with 'Dragon' in the title?' And 'Are all Hong Kong cops really kung-fu masters?' However, if you're new to Hong Kong movies, or looking for something with some emotion as well as scenery-wrecking fights, this is a good place to start.

DVD extras include trailers, fairly routine interviews with the director and cinematographer, and deleted scenes, including a delightfully pointless fight with the medical staff at a methadone clinic.

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