Sunday, June 6, 2010

Year of The Dragon...A Very Bad Year (and Film) For All Involved

The 1980's were an interesting decade to say the very least. There was the backlash of the Feminist Movement, yet there were powerful female characters that were being portrayed in movies and television. Madonna's music was still great and many electronic British Pop Bands reigned supreme in the hearts of teenage girls (and boys in some cases) and the men that looked the most feminine got all of the girls (and boys).

These guys have had more ass than Fonzi and a toilet seat. Why? Because they are Depeche Fucking Mode that's why!

Of course the 80's were also a shitty decade for movies. In particular, the 80's was not a very good decade for Cop and Crime Dramas if we are speaking in terms of films. There were a few great Cop Shows that came out in this time period but for some reason, there weren't that many cop films that were any good (except for Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and of course the most badass of them all, Robocop)!

Robocop actually has a Master's Degree in Roman and Renaissance Art and he's going for his Ph.D in Italian Renaissance Art. Robocop also has a show called Engineering An Empire on The History Channel. Talk about a major career overhaul.

This movie review is not about Robocop because Robocop is an epically awesome fucking movie and I have no reason to rip on it. Yes it has its flaws, but it is an awesome film. The movie that I have reviewed this week is probably one of the worst movies of the 1980's and that's saying a lot because there were a lot of shitty movies that came out in this decade. I am of course talking about Year of the Dragon.

To be fair this movie was a piece of shit too and it had the villain from Terminator 2: Judgement Day and a dominatrix in it as one of his henchmen. I wish I was making this shit up.


You can already tell that this movie is going to be batshit insane and fucking terrible at the same time. Just look at the fucking poster! Mickey Rourke is running towards you screaming like a maniac with a gun in his hand! RUN THE FUCK AWAY!

This movie is god awful and at this point you expect that because it's directed by the same guy who directed The Deer Hunter which in all fairness was a great film, but Michael Cimino is not remembered for Deer Hunter. Oh no he is remembered for something far worse, Heaven's Gate.

Starring Christopher Walken, a log bench and a live horse that exploded on screen. Talk about an epic hot mess.

Heaven's Gate is the film that killed Cimino's credibility as a director in Hollywood and as he tried to make more films, he was practically blacklisted in Hollywood because seriously the guy is crazy as all fuck and he exploded a real fucking horse on screen, ON SCREEN! Anyway, that film is responsible for the "No animals were harmed in the making of this film," because after the studios found out about the exploding horse, they required that all directors use dummy animals should they inflict animal cruelty on screen, which Cimino could've used a dummy horse, planted some explosives in the dummy horse and just detonated it, but I digress.

So who is Cimino offending this time around? The Asian-American Community. When Year of The Dragon was released in 1985, it caught the ire and fury of Feminists and the Asian-American Community alike because the film perpetuated negative stereotypes about Asians and Tracy Tzu the main female lead was sexist as the entire film was racist.

So let's check out this hot mess of an epic film and see what everyone was complaining about shall we?

So the movie starts off with Stanley White (Mickey Rourke), a Vietnam Vet and decorated loose cannon police officer (sounds familiar doesn't it) who wants to bring down the Crime Lord in New York's Chinatown.

Ok seriously, this is over exaggerated because I've been to Chinatown in Canal Street in New York and traffic is not THAT terrible, in fact the traffic is a lot better than Downtown West Palm.

Anyway, Stanley brings down a criminal associated with the Chinatown Crime Lords and encounters Tracy Tzu (Ariane Koizumi) an ambitious Chinese-American reporter who is being played by a Dutch-Japanese American Model (although I admit she is gorgeous as fuck, but this is pretty fucked up). Why couldn't they cast an actress in this film who is actually Chinese to play this part?! What, Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh or Maggie Cheung were not available at the time?! Oh wait of course they weren't because they have more self-respect than to star in this piece of shit!

These girls were more badass than Charlie's Angels! I mean Anita Mui has a fucking AK-47 in her hands!

Anyway Stanley and Tracy find common ground because she is trying to uncover the truth about one of Chinatown's most prominent residents, Joey Tai (John Lone) and his connection to the illegal drug trade and the gang wars. Of course being the gentleman that Stanley is, he encourages Tracy to dig deeper and she will find something. When Stanley arrives home to his wife she drops little hints that Stanley has missed an important date. Of course Stanley's wife berates him for missing her ovulation for which Stanley apologizes for which is actually pretty random thing. That's one thing that really annoys me about this film, the dialogue is horrible and unintentionally funny.

Anyway Stanley heads back to Chinatown to figure out a way to gather more information on the Triad that is plaguing the community. So he then runs into Tracy Tzu again and figures that he could ask her some questions and gather information that she knows about Joey Tai and the connection between the triad, by asking her out to dinner and talk about what she knows and what does he pick, a Chinese Restaurant of course because Stanley thinks all Chinese people like to eat is Chinese Food. Do you dear reader see what is wrong with this sentence and this film now?

Stanley: I picked this place cause you're Chinese and you like Chinese Food and shit.
Tracy: Uh I prefer Italian food.

Yeah so anyway while they are discussing the case at hand, Stanley whips out a bunch books about Chinese Culture and and basically goes on a fucking racist tirade. Good Lord, I can't believe Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay for this piece of shit film, oh wait yes I can, because Oliver Stone is a dumb fuck!

Pictured: A Dumb Fuck who is trying to do his best (and racist) Fu Manchu impersonation.

So anyway after his racist tirade is over, the restaurant comes under attack and Stanley jumps in to protect miss Tracy Tzu from Joey Tai's goons.

Stanley: So if I save your life will you give me a Happy Ending?
Tracy: What the fuck is wrong with you?!

After Stanley protects Tracy, the attraction between them grows and they part ways. Remember this for later on folks. Meanwhile back at the Legion of Doom, Joey Tai executes the head of the Triad and becomes ruler of Chinatown and then plans to take over the world.


So Joey Tai goes on ahead and proceeds with his plan. Meanwhile Stanley and Tracy's attraction begin to grow and as a result they sleep together despite the fact that he's a racist dick. Good God! The only somewhat feminist character in the film now turns into the most sexist character in the film! What the fuck is going on here!?

Tracy: Oh Stanley, your racist ways get me hot and bothered.

So after they fuck each other, Stanley and the rest of his comrades at the police department decide to do a sting operation by having one of their own officers go undercover in one of the restaurants that Joey Tai owns. Of course the very same undercover officer is also the token Asian Guy. So while this operation is going on, Tracy is continuing with her investigation. While this is all going down, Stanley comes home to find out that his wife (remember her? Didn't think so) knows about his affair with Tracy and decides to file for a divorce. Of course Stanley and his wife argue about this whole thing, but then he and his wife get attacked by some of Joey Tai's thugs. One of Stanley's cop buddies show up to help him but he arrives too late as Stanley's wife is killed and the car that the thugs were driving explodes on impact with a brick wall (at least it wasn't a live horse). Which leads me to believe that the car of choice for Joey Tai and the Triad are Pintos.

Joey Tai: I would like that Pinto over there because it makes me look Gangsta and seriously, fuck Nelly and his fake band aids. I made this look popular, I'm a fucking trendsetter!

So after her funeral, Tracy comforts Stanley and Stanley goes back to work, seeking vengeance, but this is not done without offending the undercover officer who happens to be the token Asian Guy. After Stanley trades barbs with him, the undercover officer responds to him by giving Stanley a taste of his own medicine. You know what, fuck Stanley, seriously! This movie would have been so much better and more progressive if the Asian undercover officer was the star of the film instead because he is a much better written character and not only that, he has a mighty pair of balls on him. I know he has a name, but sadly this will be the last time anyone will see him because he gets killed by Joey Tai's goons.

Of course later on, Tracy Tzu answers the door to her apartment to be greeted by some more of Joey Tai's goons (seriously, where the fuck does this guy go to get his goons, Goons'R'Us) and consequently gets raped by them. Ok Ladies, if someone rings the door or knocks on the door, you should ask who it is before you open the door. If there is no response, call the fucking cops immediately! So after Tracy tells Stanley that she was raped, it becomes the last straw for Stanley (so the death of his wife, the death of the police officer were not enough to piss him off, I mean I know rape is a serious crime and a horrible one at that, but one begins to wonder that Stanley should have just gone after Joey Tai when his wife or when his officer were killed and maybe Tracy's rape could have somehow been prevented?! Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with this movie).

Of course Stanley surrounds Joey Tai's hangout with police officers and SWAT Team Units. Now I have to admit, for the piece of shit this film is, the only good and badass scene in this entire movie was the shootout on the train tracks between White and Tai. That action sequence was actually put together very nicely and extremely well done. So after White kills Tai and saves the day, he finds Tracy reporting on the Chinese New Year Parade in Chinatown and kisses her. They both finally get that Happy Ending.


I mean I have seen worse in which I will post the reviews up sometime this month, but good fucking god I can see why this movie was so sexist and offensive. This film perpetuates negative stereotypes about Asian Americans and their entire community and this film really sets Feminism back 300 years thanks to Tracy Tzu's character which is really sad because in the beginning of the film, she was actually likeable but in most of her intimate scenes with Stanley, she was half naked and practically exploited. After she sleeps with Stanley who is a racist fuck, she basically lost all respect and credibility from me at that point. Not only that, the only positive portrayal of an Asian American gets shot down in the middle of the film! As I mentioned previously, this film would have been so much better if Mickey Rourke played the villain and John Lone or even the undercover officer in the film was the fucking hero. Lone and the undercover officer wouldn't have been racist and Tzu would have been a stronger woman in this film.

At any rate, this film bombed horribly at the box office and the silver lining if there is any from this epic hot mess shit of a film is that at least it employed more Asian Actors than any other film at the time and it also led to some better films from Japan and Hong Kong to become distributed in the United States later on, which is better than nothing I suppose.

I'm Maricruz Gonzalez and I'm the Movie Bitch because somebody has to be.

Stay Sassy Planet Earth!

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