Dance of the Dragon (Film)

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Director: John Radel, Max Mannix
Cast: Jang Hyuk, Fann Wong, Jason Scott Lee
RunTime: 111 mins
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG

In case you haven’t read about it, ST Life gave this film a miserable half a star. Why wasn’t I surprised?

I was looking forward to this movie. After all, it is an interesting collaboration with the Koreans, Americans and Singaporeans, and touted to be Jang Hyuk’s big break into Hollywood. Being constantly fascinated by dance forms, films like Strictly Ballroom, Mad Hot Ballroom and Take the Lead were mostly enjoyable.

The film started rather promisingly, with picturesque scenes of a Korean village, and engaging conversations of father-son tensions. But once Korean village boy Tae (Jang Hyuk) received a dance audition letter out of nowhere from a dance school set in washed-out Chinatown Singapore, the movie is on its route to ridiculous mockery.

“Where. Did. You. Learn. That. Dance. From?” as judge/dance teacher Emi (Fann Wong) asked rather awkwardly and slowly. You will also start to realise that this graceful teacher not only dances slowly, but speaks, walks, picks her clothes, looks into the sky at an amazingly dawdling tempo. (It reminds me of dance teachers I know who dances unhurriedly, but scolds students at the top of their voices. Fann, we need some attitude!)

Jason Scott Lee is completely wasted with his only one black-faced ‘you-owe-me-lots-of-money’ look. Fann Wong has that perpetual dazed gaze, and Jang Hyuk’s charm is the saving grace.

The three gets tied in a love triangle. Martial arts principal gets beaten up for $20,000. He then challenges Korean boy to a duel for dancing with his girl. Korean boy learns martial arts from a DVD. Fann Wong joins a dance competition with somebody she never really practiced with. Do we really care?

During the final act, Fann and Jang get into yet another slow tango, dancing to Enrique Iglesias’s fast tempo Hero, while the audience clap constantly at slow-mo. Sigh… The only thing worth watching is perhaps the Francis Cheong diamond studded red dress. Nice.

Dance of the Dragon – This dance is out of the rhythm

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