Dragon Eyes

2012

Action / Crime / Drama / Thriller

0
IMDb Rating 4.5 10 5629

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 08, 2021 at 03:51 AM

Director

Cast

Peter Weller as Mister V
Jason Mitchell as J-Dog
Cung Le as Hong
720p.BLU
843.22 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
1 hr 31 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Hellmant 6 / 10

Showcases Chung Le's talents well as an action force to be reckoned with!

'DRAGON EYES': Three Stars (Out of Five)

International Kickboxing champion and UFC star Chung Le stars in this crime drama action film. It co-stars Jean-Claude Van Damme, Peter Weller and Kristopher Van Varenberg (Van Damme's son). The film was directed by John Hyams (who also directed the last two 'UNIVERSAL SOLDIER' films, also featuring Van Damme) and written by Tim Tori (who also wrote the low budget B horror films 'PROWL', 'HYSTERIA' and 'TRESSPASSERS'). It was produced by After Dark Films, who had primarily been known for releasing horror films but has now turned to martial arts action films as well (they also produced the recent Scott Adkins action film 'EL GRINGO'). The film is about what you'd expect from your average martial arts B movie but it does showcase Le's talents well; as an action force to be reckoned with.

Le plays Ryan Hong, a mysterious loner who rolls in to a town, rife with gang violence, known as St. Jude. He turns the two ruling gangs there against each other before falling under the attention of corrupt police chief Mr. V (Weller). Mr. V first sees Hong's skills as an asset and uses him to help control the gangs but then finds him to be more of a menace than an ally. Hong turns to the skills he was taught in prison by an old resident of St. Jude, known as Tiano (Van Damme), and attempts to clean up the town once and for all.

Le has had a lot of cool supporting turns in action films like 'TEKKEN', 'PANDORUM', 'FIGHTING' and most recently 'THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS' but this is his first chance to show off his leading man chops. His fighting skills are very impressive and he has an acting style similar to the likes of the greats; like Jackie Chan and Jet Li (in my opinion). It would be nice to see him get better movies with higher production values but this is a good start for him. Hyams is a good action film director and it doesn't get much better than having Van Damme and Peter Weller supporting you in your first starring role. Van Damme plays little more than an extended cameo in the film but was given top billing in all the marketing (including posters and the DVD cover) in order to sell it (his name is pretty marketable these days, despite being seen as washed up just a few years ago). He doesn't really have enough screen time in this film to make much of an impression but just his presence gives the film some extra cred. Weller is great as the movie's villain and it's nice to see him popping up in films still as well. The movie is really just an action vehicle for Chung Le though and at that it does it's job pretty well.

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Reviewed by filmnut1 3 / 10

Completely failed to meet expectations

In 2009 director John Hyams raised the bar for direct-to-DVD action films with UNIVERSAL SOLDIER: REGENERATION. Expectations were low and so was the budget, but Hyams overcame those limitations with some jaw- dropping action scenes that included a pleasing rematch between Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme. The standard set so high that I felt disappointed when I saw the trailer for Hyams' follow-up DRAGON EYES (2011).

As with the previous film, Van Damme plays a key supporting role but the headlined star is a UFC fighter. While Van Damme was not on screen a great deal in REGENERATION he was still arguably the lead but that is definitely not the case here. Despite what the distributors might want you to think. His character, Tiano, plays a pivotal role but only appears in a string of flashbacks. He is mentor to a prisoner called Hong, played by mixed martial artist Cung Le, who drifts into the town of St. Jude (state unspecified) with a clear but unspoken agenda.

DRAGON EYES is back-to-basics action of the "Cleaning up the town" variety. The kind of thing we've seen in the likes of STREET CORNER JUSTICE (Charles Bail, 1996), Latin DRAGON (Scott Thomas, 2004) and ROAD HOUSE 2 (Scott Ziehl, 2006). It's a storyline that reaches all the way back through the 1980s to the glory days of the western influenced by Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo (1961). There's a heavily retro vibe to the whole film. This is established with a credits font that evokes the blaxploitation era. After REGENERATION I felt sure that Hyams would get a decent budget to show what he can do, but it would seem the opposite was true. The trailer indicated that the locations would be simple (back streets and abandoned buildings) and there was a limited Van Damme presence, but I felt sure any shortcomings would be overcome by great looking action.

While it appeared low budget, I was hopeful that DRAGON EYES would be something akin to the first couple of films starring Tony Jaa. Unfortunately, while Le's character is as thinly written as any of Jaa's and both are skilled martial artists the comparisons between the two end there. Le lacks charisma and isn't given much to say or do apart from the action scenes. While there are inventive action moments there are simply not enough of them. Le shows no promise of being the next big thing. It's not really his fault, Hyams just fails to deliver. There's a notable overuse of slow motion.

Looking like it was shot on video (although with a decent camera), DRAGON EYES is a major disappointment. During approximately 80 minutes of screen time, the plot meanders and seems total nonsense. Exposition is minimal (which is unusual) and the film coasts from one scene to another with no real sense of direction or momentum.

There are lots of pointless scenes involving supporting characters, including one funny one featuring a crackhead called Beech played by Eddie Rouse. Rouse and Le both previously appeared in PANDORUM (Christian Alvart, 2009) and of the two it's Rouse who delivers the most memorable performance in DRAGON EYES. That is apart from Peter Weller, always a great screen presence, clearly having a ball playing villain Mister V. He gets all the best lines.

The simple plot is overly complicated and unconvincing. We are meant to believe that Hong has been able to locate and break into all the main bad guys safes to steal their contents. This is all going on while he runs around like a ninja to make them uneasy and things take a turn when after beating up the local gangstas they seem to respect him for it.

I was confused when some guys he fought in one of the first scenes started to come to his aid when another group show up to fight him. It wasn't until this second group are shown listening attentively as he tells them to stop selling drugs to kids and put away their guns, that I realised the absurdity of what was going on. They are listening to him like he's Jesus. This just allows for more bad guys to take their trade and they do nothing. They just get shot.

As usual this all builds to a big climax (it's no surprise that it's in an abandoned building) in which Hong fights his way through some thugs to confront the villain and rescue a girl. The action's not engaging and I really didn't care. I just couldn't wait for it to be over so I could put this all behind me. It's not that it's a really bad film, it's just that it's bland and poorly put together and I expected so much more.

If you want to see a film like this with a comprehensible plot and good action, just rent the Steven Seagal movie URBAN JUSTICE (Don E. FauntLeRoy, 2007) or give Van Damme's little seen Yojimbo-influenced DESERT HEAT (John G. Avildsen, 1999) a go.

Reviewed by mikesblast 6 / 10

Old school ass kicking

I was finally able to watch this and I have to say that I enjoyed it. I do agree with some others that the story did have some plot holes, which was the main flaw of the movie. It felt like a lot of the scenes were missing about 5 min that would explain why the next scene plays out how it does. Still, this didn't really affect most of the overall enjoyment factor for me. I thought Cung Le was a cool lead. He has minimal dialog, which is probably a good thing, so he comes off as the strong silent type. As we all know, JC only has a small part...probably about 10 minutes spread throughout the whole movie. His scenes and his performance are both very cool. I didn't really care for how his back story was explained though. The fights do have a lot of slow motion thrown into them but it actually works for the most part. It allows you to feel the brutality of street fighting...plus you see everything clearly, which is great. Hyams knows how to stay on a scene, which I love. As far as the side characters go, they are all clichéd but the acting is actually pretty solid. The guy who plays Beech probably delivers one of the best crack head performances I've seen in a movie. The ending is very abrupt but I felt like it actually fit the tone of the movie. Like Regeneration, I really enjoyed the subtle music score from Michael Krassner too. Overall, the movie isn't great but I thought it was a well made little indie action flick. It totally felt like a late 80's/early 90's beat em up flick like Road House or Perfect Weapon. 3.25/5

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