HK Cinema - 1988

Jackie, Sammo and Yuen got together one last time to make Dragons Forever.  It is a wonderful film full of playfulness and some great fighting scenes. The last fight against Yuen Wah and Benny Urquidez is an absolute jewel. Yuen Biao is allowed to do some of his best work in this film and nearly walks away with it. There was though a fair amount of friction between Jackie and Sammo that perhaps was inevitable. Though they had gone to school together and were friends, there was also a very keen sense of competitiveness between them. Though they have worked together since Sammo directed Mr Nice Guy the three of them have never teamed up again. In some ways this film also marked a watershed point in their careers.

Sammo has gone on to direct and do the action choreography in many films, but none of his action films have reached the creative and exciting level of his earlier work. He did go on in 1989 to star in one of my favorite films Eight Taels of Gold but it is a completely dramatic role. He is now of course starring in the American TV show Martial Law.

Jackie has gone on to make a number of good films Police Story II in the same year, Police Story III in 1992, Drunken Master II in 1994 and one of my favorites Canton Godfather in 1989 but he too was not breaking any new ground with these films. In his latest ones, it has become clear that he is trying to broaden his appeal beyond Asia, but by doing so he has watered down many of the aspects of his films that people loved so much.

To some degree Yuen Biao came into his own in this film. Movie goers had a real opportunity to see what amazing acrobatic skills he possessed. Left to his devices, he formed a production company and began making his own films. Some of them are absolutely terrific On the Run, Iceman Cometh, A Kid from Tibet but since the mid-90s there has not been a lot to rave about.