Watch Dragon

"Blood Always Leaves a Trail."
  • R
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 7.0  (15,737)
  • 62

Dragon, also known as Wu Xia, is a martial arts film released in 2011, directed by Peter Chan and starring Donnie Yen, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Tang Wei. Set in China during the early 1900s, the story follows a seemingly humble papermaker named Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen) who saves his small village from a dangerous burglar. However, this heroic act brings him to the attention of a detective named Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) who suspects that there is another reason for Liu's exceptional martial arts skills.

The first half of the movie unfolds as a straightforward crime thriller. Liu Jinxi is a retiring family man with a meek demeanor who seems content with his simple life. However, one day a pair of robbers enter Liu's store, and he springs into action, dispatching the two men with remarkable speed and agility. Initially, the village celebrates his bravery, but when Detective Xu arrives to investigate the incident, he becomes suspicious of Liu's incredible martial arts skills. Xu Baijiu is a seasoned detective with an eye for detail, and he soon uncovers evidence suggesting that Liu may not be who he claims to be.

As Xu's investigation deepens, Dragon explores the themes of violence, redemption, and honor. The second half of the movie shifts gears into a more philosophical exploration of these themes, as Liu Jinxi's true identity is slowly revealed, and the two protagonists realize that they are not so different after all. Unable to ignore his conscience, Liu must confront his past and try to make amends for the sins he had committed before his new life as a papermaker.

The fight scenes in Dragon are exquisitely choreographed, blending traditional kung fu with more modern techniques. Donnie Yen is a legendary martial artist and actor, with a storied career that has seen him star in countless films, including the acclaimed Ip Man series. His performance in Dragon is one of his finest, as he seamlessly transitions between the meek and retiring Liu Jinxi and the fierce and ruthless Tang Long, his true identity. Takeshi Kaneshiro, too, is excellent as Detective Xu Baijiu, providing a complex and nuanced performance that elevates the material beyond the standard action movie tropes.

Tang Wei rounds out the main cast as Liu Jinxi's wife, Ayu. Although her role is not as prominent as Yen's or Kaneshiro's, she brings a steely resolve to the character that contrasts well with the softer aspects of Liu's personality. As the movie progresses, Ayu becomes more involved in the drama, proving herself to be a worthy partner for Liu Jinxi in both love and combat.

One of the standout features of Dragon is its cinematography. The movie is shot with a slick and stylish aesthetic that elevates the material beyond the standard kung fu movie fare. The color palette is rich and vibrant, with deep reds and golds that evoke the feel of an ancient Chinese painting. The camera work is also superb, with director Peter Chan using a mix of slow-motion shots and creative angles to create a sense of fluidity in the action scenes.

Overall, Dragon is a thrilling and engaging martial arts movie that explores complex themes while delivering top-notch action. Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro are both excellent, and the supporting cast is strong as well. The movie features some of the best fight scenes in recent memory, and the cinematography is spectacular. Fans of martial arts movies should not miss Dragon, as it represents the genre at its best.

Dragon is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 62.

Where to Watch Dragon
Dragon is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Dragon for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (15,737)
  • Metascore