Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dance Of The Dragon - 龍之舞 - 龙之舞

Dance Of The Dragon (龍之舞 / 龙之舞) is a 2008 film out of Singapore starring Fann Wong, Jang Hyuk and Jason Scott Lee. This internationally casted film is mainly in English.

The movie starts in Korea where Tae is a boy and is exposed to ball room dancing. From that one experience, Tae dreams of becoming a dancer and taking the stage and spotlight. Fast forward to his senior year in high school. Tae gives up his dream of going to the university and takes a factory job. For 10 years, he works in the factory dreaming. A chance comes for Tae and he takes it. The chance is to join a school in Singapore. Tae goes against his father wishes. Landing in Singapore, Tae faces a new culture in both spirit and mind.

Emi is the head of the school and becomes Tae teacher. Emi was once a champion but hurt her ankle and now has a pin in it. Emi still dreams to compete, winning no longer the objective. Emi learns that Tae has learned all his dancing by himself through books. Intrigued by Tae, they strike up a affectionate relationship.

Cheng is Emi's boyfriend and a former martial arts champion. Cheng runs a martial arts school right across the street from Emi's studio. Cheng is not presented in a good light and comes across as a control freak. Both as an instructor and boyfriend. Cheng notices Tae getting close to Emi. Cheng tells Tae to get lost. Tae doesn't and Cheng challenges Tae to combat. Tae accepts but not a fight but to a choreographed southern shaolin "dance".

In the end, all three parties learn and find themselves. Including Tae's parents in Korea. Specifically, Tae's father.

I liked the movie a lot and thought it was very well produced. Glad to see Singapore doing international movies like this.

I do have a problem with the title of the film as "Dance of the Dragon" isn't really a major plot point. I don't even know why dragons are even mentioned. Nothing is gained by Tae's admission to being told stories of dragons by his father. Nor the dragon dance that was in the middle of the street when Tae lands in Singapore. Personally, I think it was a plotted point to sell the movie aboard. Having an Asian film with dragons and martial arts may be an easier sell to non-Asian countries.

For the past 10 years, I've seen Fann Wong in numerous films and dramas. Fann's heading into the twilight of her career, but it was refreshing to see her in a role like this.

I've been a Jason Scott Lee fan since his portrayal of Bruce Lee back in the day. It seems Jason is also heading into the twilight of his career. I've seen him as villains or super support roles more recently.

Surprising, Jang's character was very believable. Jang is usually in much more manly roles. This was a departure for Jang and I really bought into it.

Doesn't appear that this film will be released in the USA anytime soon. If you're looking to watch it, you'll have to get the import version.


Anonymous said...

the pictures look gorgeous! will watch sometime

Populasian said...

Before I saw the movie, I had seen a couple of reviews of it. Both of them did not review the movie the well. So, going in, I wasn't expecting a good movie. But it surprised me.