Mahjong Dragon (1996)

November 17, 2007 • Film, Reviews

Country: Hong Kong
Director: Cory Yuen
Writer: ?
Producer: ?

Cast: Josephine Siao Fong-fong, Vincent Zhao Wenzhuo (Chiu Man Cheuk), Lam Kei-wan, Blacky Ko Sau-Leung, Lo Wai-kwong. .

Running Time: 96 Min

Plot: Mahjong Dragon follows the story of two characters: Fan Sau-Tin (Josephine Siao), a Hong Kong cop with a gambling problem, and Quick Hands (Zhao Wen Zhao), a gambler and ex-convict who’s on the run from his former buddy Tin Lone (Ken Lo), a gangster and former gambler who wants to make use of Quick Hands skills, since his own finger was cut off three years ago when he was caught cheating. Sau-Tin goes to mainland China to find a husband, and she hooks up with Quick Hands, who needs to get away from Tin Lone. She agrees to marry him and get him a passport, and in return he promises to win her enough money to set her up for life. From there the plot spins off into a number of different threads, including the obligatory love triange, er, quadrangle, until Tin Lone and his band show up for bloody showdown with Quick Hands.

Mahjongg Dragon features some of Cory Yuen’s best choreography! It also sports a convincing part for actor/kung fu specialist Zhao Wen Zhuo. He’s a famous mainland Chinese gambler who chose the game over the better parts of life, and lives to regret it. Not exactly helping him to get his priorities straight is Josephine Siao as a Hong Kong cop with a gambling addiction and a streak of bad luck as long as your arm. But Zhao is on the run from another famous mainland Chinese gambler, and he needs a green card to escape to Hong Kong, so he and Josephine Siao get married (!) to naturalize him and allow his escape. Who knows how the other mainland gambler gets himself and his army of stooges to Hong Kong without the same kind of permits, but it happens. And while Zhao finds a beautiful little leukemia-stricken girl to fall in love with, Josephine Siao fights to try to keep Zhao, who she believes to be her number one asset, out of trouble and also to tame the errant triads of the area. Cory Yuen’s streetfighting choreography here is fantastic. The duel on the fruit crates between Zhao and Blacky Ko is one of the best in Hong Kong cinema.

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