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Starring: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Deannie Yip, Pauline Yeung, Yuen Wah, Benny Urquidez
Director: Sammo Hung
Rating: PG
Year Made: 1988




- New and Original Movie Trailers
- Movie Stills/Photo Slide Show
Yuen Wah Interview
- Deleted Scenes
- NG Shots
- English Version Ending Song




Subtitles: English/Simplified Chinese/
Traditional Chinese
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS
Running Time: 1 hr 33 mins
Region Code: NTSC 3




A hotshot lawyer Chan is hired by a mysterious chemistry factory to dig up dirt on an inconvenient fishery seeking damaging court action. Sidekick Hung and professional crook Yuen swiftly sprint to Chan's aid. Ironically, the gang finds their toughness softening in the face of two gorgeous ladies at the fishery. They inadvertently hit a center nerve of the chemical factory when they unmask the hideous facade of a narcotic syndicate.


I have to pick this title as my first choice of review for the Fortune Star series, notably as this is the last collaboration effort from the famous action trio of all time.

Which action trio am I referring to? It’s none other than Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.

This Sammo Hung directed movie marks the trio’s swansong on the big screen before they venture into different phases of their career. Jackie of course garnered the greatest success; Sammo has its fair share of glamour with “Martial Law”. The underrated Yuen on the other hand slipped under the radar shortly after.

The plot of “Dragons Forever” goes something like this. Jackie plays a lawyer who is hired to defend a chemical factory who is being sued by a fishery for polluting the seawater. Sammo and Yuen are Jackie’s buddies who are tapped by him to gather inside information. But the chemical factory in fact is a smokescreen for a drug production facility.

To be honest, most of the HK action films in the past have not much of a story to rave about. In “Dragons Forever”, it seems that someone just came up with a “let’s-fight-the-drug-lords-this-time-round” theme and throw in a clumsy romantic subplot to fill up the 90 minutes.

It’s a pity Yuen and Sammo has little chance to show off their skills here. Yuen’s character is a weirdo and social outcast who pulled off some hilarious moments in the movie while Sammo is sort of a sweet-tongue professional conman.

The romance element has Jackie falling in love with the fishery owner’s cousin Nancy (Beauty Queen Pauline Yeung) and Sammo chasing after the fishery owner, Miss Yip (the great Deannie Yip) in the cheesiest way ever imagined. There is the usual slapstick humour, which the trio is famous for. One particularly standout scene involves Jackie trying his very best to have a romantic candlelight dinner with Candy while trying simultaneously to end a dispute between Sammo and Yuen under the same roof.

Golden Harvest productions are known to have better production values as compared to others. But surprisingly, this 1988 production seems pretty much scaled-down. Most of the action sequences took place indoor perhaps the rising salaries of the trio might play a part. However, there’s one which took place on a luxury yacht which have Jackie fighting a group of henchmen (better than the one in the 1999 “Gorgeous” I should say). Man falling down stairs, brutal kicks and smashing glasses rule the day at sea.

There are a couple of action sequences in “Dragon Forever” to please the action buffs along the way. A brawl at a pub has the reminiscent of the one in “Project A” (but the latter plays out stronger) and the trio has a mild slick fight session at a car park. But the ultimate showdown has to go to the one at the drug facility.

Apparently, someone decides to hastily throw out every single ounce of romance element in the final act and devote the last 10 minutes for some real kick-ass action!

Yuen Biao finally has the chance to show off his agility, fighting against Thai kick-boxing champ Billy Chow. The fast acrobatic leaps remains incredibly fascinating on screen after so many years. Watch out for the scene where he flipped through a broken glass panel. Instead of pure wire-fu works (which I detest enormously), these guys go for real. As the script requires Sammo to be out-of-action, he has little to show off here (we know he’s busy behind the cameras). Of course the main fight has to go to Jackie and Benny Urquidez, (a real martial-arts champ who fight Jackie in “Wheels on Meals” if you recall).

The fight is brutal to say the least. Seeing Jackie trading punches in his no-hold-barred style and you realize why he is still the top player in the action genre in Asian or Worldwide.

Yuen Wah, another veteran of action movies and from the same opera troupe as the rest plays the twitching, cigar-chomping villain. He has little to do here as he has a whole lot of supporting players such as the above-mentioned Billy Chow, Benny, and Philip Ko to do the hard work.

“Dragons Forever” didn’t do as well as expected in the HK box-office back in 1988. To be fair, it indeed has lots of weaknesses (a few already highlightened in this review) however it remains one of those last few action gems which came out of that era. And hopefully the trio can get together for a final bow before arthritis crippled those magic moves.


As per Fortune Star releases, the “New and Original movie trailers” are included. Nothing beats the original because the new version comes with cheesy flashy wordings which are more suitable for a web ad.

This is a feature which I detest the most, the “Movie Stills/Photo Slide Show”. Serving absolutely no purpose other than a good excuse for it to be a so-called DVD ‘feature’ on the back cover.

“Yuen Wah Interview” is a short segment with the veteran action actor who mostly plays the villains in action movies. Here, he talks candidly about his cigar-chomping villainous role. The real Yuen Wah is surprisingly quite a nice chap compared to his onscreen roles. He didn’t get a chance to show much of his deadly kicks in “Dragons Forever” but do look out for his dazzling performance in Sammo Hung’s “Eastern Condors”.

The 2 “Deleted Scenes” feature Yuen Biao’s character visiting his shrink. Mostly play for laughs and contributes nothing to expand the wafer-thin plot, perhaps it’s included initially to expand Yuen’s character. Do look out for a fun bicycle trick which Yuen performed though.

“NG Shots” are well NG shots. It’s strange why the original soundtrack is removed and no one bothered to insert in at least a music track to accompanied the scenes. Fortunately, there are a couple of interesting shots. One for example showed Jackie and his stunt men going through a simple fighting scene all over and over again.

An English version ending song, which was recorded for overseas market, rounds up the rest of the DVD.


This is a reasonably done transfer although certain scenes are grainy and defects can still be spotted throughout. If you are not persistent about the visual, I thought it’s a decent piece of DVD to go through repeatedly especially the action parts.

The soundtrack is remastered in both DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1. There are no high-octane explosions in “Dragons Forever” to make full use of the DTS or DD5.1 soundtrack. But the surround gives a good ambience effect during the action sequences.

Parting Thoughts: “Dragons Forever” certainly is not the best project fronted by the famous trio. Of course it’s nostalgic to see so many renowned HK films’ talents gathering in one movie. Corey Yuen who is now a famous action choreographer in Hollywood and Jet Li’s frequent collaborator serves as co-director here.



Review by Linus Tee


. Rob-B-Hood DVD

. The Myth DVD

. Twins Mission


Other HK Classics on DVD:

. Wheels On Meals DVD

. Iron Monkey DVD

. Swordsman DVD


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