I’ve heard some good things thusfar with respect to action maestro and regular Donnie Yen cohort Kenji Tanigaki’s recent directorial feat, Enter The Fat Dragon, a derivative and tributary action comedy nod to Sammo Hung’s 1978 Bruce Lee riff.
Tanigaki’s own resumè consists of a sprawling list of who’s-who in hit Asian action films, including and especially in his purview as an elite stunt professional on films like the Rurouni Kenshin trilogy and the Dynasty Warrior game franchise. He rejoins Yen with a script by co-star Wong Jing, and writers Lui Koon-nam and Ronald Chan.
Sent to Japan on a routine police escort, Officer Zhu is excited to have the chance to requalify for full time duty as a police officer. However, after a series of mishaps, the mission goes terribly wrong and the suspect Officer Zhu is escorting suffers a mysterious death. Zhu enlists the help of wok-wielding restaurant owner and a former undercover inspector to solve this murder mystery in the new best action comedy movie from martial arts superstar Donnie Yen.
The film only just hit streaming platform IQIYI in the wake of massive theater closures due to the coronavirus pandemic in China, and some good press is just picking up this week including this particular tidbit from Edmund Lee at SCMP:
“The action scenes come thick and fast in this movie, which barely takes note of Yen’s fat suit as it throws the actor into one massive brawl after another. Zhu may be a martial arts fan, and the film does make its customary nods to Bruce Lee, but its most memorable cinematic reference is not to classic kung fu cinema but to Yen’s own fight scene with Wu Jing from the 2005 crime thriller SPL – and it’s hilarious.”
Action blogs did take notice of some of those set photos, so it’s safe to say the cat’s already out of the bag. In the meantime, it does sound like Yen fans will have something to look forward to when the film opens theatrically in the U.S. and Canada on Valentines’ Day, February 14 from Well Go USA.
It’s also worth noting this film totally co-stars Masanori Mimoto in a supporting villain role. I’ve touted him heavily since late last year with his starring debut in Kensuke Sonomura’s action thriller, Hydra, which is a fantastic flick, and also makes getting to see him among the cast here for its U.S. theater release all the more rewarding.
Enter The Fat Dragon also stars Teresa Mo and Niki Chow, and actor Naoto Takenaka.