Revenge of the Green Dragons is suffering from the Rotten Tomatoes disease, or so it may seem. Destroyed by a number of negative reviews, it currently sits with a score of 9% – surely this can’t be accurate? Being a fan of Scorsese (Exec Producer) and Wai-Keung Lau (Director), both with respectable catalogues of successful films, I wished that this wasn’t accurate. While it may not be completely on point, the scoring does get one thing right, and that is the simple fact that this is not a good film.
Disbelief washes over me when watching this film. Even the trailer seemed appealing; I was completely sold on it – the notion of Chinese immigrants being involved in gangs, drawing on true story influences by the men who created Infernal Affairs and The Departed. Yet, not a single thread of similarity was found in this film. It is not because my expectations were wildly off, because I set about watching this film to hopefully disprove the low scoring on RT, but it just lacks in areas where it should thrive.
An intriguing story becomes plagued with clichés, the Triad’s methodical violence is replaced with unnecessarily graphic scenes, and the characters lack depth while being shoehorned into terrible plot decisions reciting tacky dialogue. Rife with unpredictable and unbelievable twists, it seems almost comedic at times coupled with the 1980’s soundtrack and over the top dramatics. Fundamentally, what starts out as a promising premise, results in a generic gangster movie that wants to be so much more, and it probably should have been.
I could go on but it seems unfair. Seek out better films from both of their filmographies and treasure the 90 minutes of your life that I lost.