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Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) (Blu-ray) (Vicol Version) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region All

Nicholas Tse (Actor) | Donnie Yen (Actor) | Shawn Yue (Actor) | Yuen Wah (Actor)
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All Editions Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.9 out of 10 (22)

YesAsia Editorial Description

Following their successful partnership with SPL, super action star Donnie Yen and director Wilson Yip reunite for the highly anticipated movie Dragon Tiger Gate. Together with Nicholas Tse (New Police Story) and Shawn Yue (Dragon Squad), Yen forms an invincible trio in this movie adaptation of Tony Wong's hugely popular, long-running Hong Kong comic series. The film brings alive the dynamic action and visually stunning fighting scenes from the comic books. Packed with hard-boiled action sequences, the film features 5 large-scale fighting scenes, all choreographed by Donnie Yen.

Donnie Yen is Dragon, who left the martial arts organization Dragon Tiger Gate years ago and is now working under triad leader Ma Kwun (Chen Kuan Tai, star of many Shaw Brothers swordplay films). Ma Kwun gets the Lousha Plaque which grants him the exclusive rights to do business with Shibumi, the evil leader of the Lousha Sect. Dragon's long-lost brother Tiger (Nicholas Tse), still living in Dragon Tiger Gate, accidentally gets hold of the Plaque, and the two brothers finally cross paths...

The film eventually climaxes in some spectacular fighting sequences set in the mysterious Lousha headquarters, with Dragon, Tiger, and Turbo Shek (Shawn Yue) fighting against the savage Shibumi. Apart from astounding action, Dragon Tiger Gate also contains many touching moments, which is where director Wilson Yip's strength lies. The movie co-stars Yuen Wah from Kung Fu Hustle as the kung fu master of Dragon Tiger Gate. Mainland actresses Dong Jie and Li Xiaoran play Ma Kwun's sweet daughter and vixen Lousha respectively. Tony Wong, creator of the original comic series, makes a cameo as a martial arts expert, and fans of the original comic series will surely find his appearance remarkable.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) (Blu-ray) (Vicol Version) (Hong Kong Version) 龍虎門 (2006) (Blu-ray) (域高版) (香港版) 龙虎门 (2006) (Blu-ray) (域高版) (香港版) 龍虎門 (2006) (Blu-ray) (域高版) (香港版) Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) (Blu-ray) (Vicol Version) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Nicholas Tse (Actor) | Donnie Yen (Actor) | Shawn Yue (Actor) | Yuen Wah (Actor) | Li Xiao Ran (Actor) | Dong Jie (Actor) | Chen Kuan Tai 謝 霆鋒 (Actor) | 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 余文樂 (Actor) | 元華 (Actor) | 李小冉 (Actor) | 董潔 (Actor) | 陳觀泰 谢 霆锋 (Actor) | 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 余文乐 (Actor) | 元华 (Actor) | 李小冉 (Actor) | 董洁 (Actor) | 陈观泰 謝霆鋒(ニコラス・ツェー)  (Actor) | 甄子丹(ドニー・イェン) (Actor) | 余文樂(ショーン・ユー) (Actor) | 元華(ユン・ワー) (Actor) | 李小冉(リー・シャオラン) (Actor) | 董潔(ドン・ジェ) (Actor) | 陳観泰(チェン・クアンタイ) 사 정봉 (Actor) | 견자단 (Actor) | 여 문락 (Actor) | Yuen Wah (Actor) | Li Xiao Ran (Actor) | Dong Jie (Actor) | Chen Kuan Tai
Director: Wilson Yip 葉偉信 叶伟信 葉偉信(ウィルソン・イップ) Wilson Yip
Blu-ray Region Code: All Region What is it?
Release Date: 2014-12-23
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1, Widescreen
Sound Information: 7.1, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray, 25 GB - Single Layer
Video Codecs: AVC (MPEG-4 Part 10)
Rating: IIB
Duration: 94 (mins)
Publisher: Vicol Entertainment Ltd. (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1037860789

Product Information

Director: Yip Wai-Shun

  Tiger Wong is an exceptionally skilled martial artist with a strong sense of justice and benevolence. While dining at a floating restaurant, he chances upon a high level triad meeting and notices a family being bullied. Enraged by the sight he defeats the bullies using his special kick - Eighteen Dragon Slaying Kick. At the same time, he unwittingly takes a gold medal which is a precious trophy of the triad gangs.

  It turns out that the gold medal is the Lousha Death Plaque granted by Shibumi, the leader of Lousha Gate. "Gate" is a word describing a martial arts sect or organization and Lousha Gate is a major Asian criminal organization. The receiver of the Lousha Death Plaque has the power to demand the full cooperation of Lousha Gate. During his celebrations the gang ambushes Tiger, who is unaware of the plague's powers......
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) (Blu-ray) (Vicol Version) (Hong Kong Version)"

September 16, 2006

This professional review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (DTS Regular Version) (Hong Kong Version)
Four words put the fear of god into me when used in relation to HK cinema: based on the comic. Over the years, HK filmmakers' relationships with their favourite comics have been uneven at best, stretching back for almost thirty years now. In the 80s we were subjected to (or treated, depending on your viewpoint) crudely made horrors taken from Japanese manga: The Story of Riki-oh and Wicked City, which provided camp entertainment only for their graphic excess and ridiculously poor special effects. Continuing the manga theme, the 90s saw the rise of hit and miss martial arts films like City Hunter and Dragon from Russia, while Andrew Lau took the HK triad comic Young & Dangerous and kick-started one of the most successful film franchises of the decade, although by the end of the decade, too many sequels had left a bad after-taste. In 1998 and 1999, Lau dipped into the HK comic well once more when he directed the big-budget SFX action-extravaganza films: Storm Riders and A Man Called Hero, two vapid, vacuous films where little things like characterisation, story, and even martial-arts took a back seat to CGI effects that could only match US TV shows like Star Trek rather than Hollywood blockbusters like The Matrix.

Almost a decade later and director Wilson Yip is riding high after teaming up with Sammo Hung and Donnie Yen to make the first decent HK martial arts film in too long: Sha Po Lang. When news that he would be working with Donnie Yen again to deliver another martial arts film, I rejoiced, but then I read that it would be a high-budget CGI fest and those four little words...

Based on the immensely popular and influential comic serial Dragon & Tiger Heroes by Tony Wong Yuk-Long (which has been running for over 35 years now), Dragon Tiger Gate follows the exploits of two estranged brothers: Tiger Wong (Nicholas Tse) and Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) and an eager young nunchaku specialist called Turbo (Shawn Yue), all of whom have ties to a dojo run by the brothers' uncle: Wong Jiang-Long (Yuen Wah) at the Dragon Tiger Gate. The film opens as Tiger and his dojo "posse" are enjoying a meal in a restaurant where the Ma Kwun gang are arguing with a rival gang over the fact the powerful Lousha Gang have given Ma Kwun (Chen Kuan-Tai) their Lousha Plaque, which gives his gang the monopoly on smuggling jobs. While the two gangs argue upstairs, Tiger comes to the aid of a family at a nearby table who are being shook down by Ma Kwun debt collectors. The ensuing melee ends up disrupting the triad meet and Tiger finds himself in possession of the plaque. Opting to keep hold of the plaque as a memento, Tiger is eventually stopped by Ma Kwun's personal bodyguard, Dragon, who recognises Tiger as his younger brother and refuses to deliver the finishing blow.

When Tiger escapes with the plaque, Dragon tells his boss that he will go retrieve the important item and catches up with Tiger and his friends enjoying a meal in a Japanese restaurant, but before he can take the plaque back to Ma Kwun, fellow gang member Scaly turns up with his own men to take the plaque himself. This causes a huge fight with Dragon and Tiger taking on all of Scaly's men, which ends up disrupting Turbo who was enjoying a brief meal. With experts fighting Scaly's men, the brawl soon comes to an end, and Dragon swiftly returns the plaque to his boss while Tiger takes Turbo back to the Dragon Tiger Gate because the youngster wants to enrol as a student there, but becoming a student of Wong Jiang-Long is a lot harder than Turbo thinks. Meanwhile, after briefly re-uniting with his younger brother, Dragon starts to realise the decisions he made in life that led to him becoming a triad member were probably the wrong ones, and seriously contemplates leaving the underworld behind for good. As it turns out, Ma Kwun is also considering retirement, but when the ruthless Lousha leader Shibumi finds out that the man he entrusted the plaque to is planning to pull out of the crime business, he sets in motion plans that will tear the Wong brothers' lives apart.

Does Dragon Tiger Gate finally prove that HK can pull off high-spectacle comic book films to match the glut of titles coming out of Hollywood? No, I'm afraid not, BUT it is a lot better than the horrid Storm Riders and A Man Called Hero. The film's ultimate failing is that Wilson Yip tries to have his cake and eat it by incorporating five decent-sized action sequences and three distinct character arcs into a story that's over by the 95minute mark. It's simply too much; the end result is an almost non-existent narrative that barely demands any dramatic involvement from the viewer, and characters that amount to little more than the most basic genre clichés. Action legends Chen Kuan Tai and Yuen Wah are the biggest casualties of this; both have matured into fine character actors in their old age but their dull cardboard cut-out characters give them little opportunity to display this. Only Dragon is afforded much of a back story and some form of moral depth as a man with a natural sense of justice who became a triad to please his adoptive father Ma Kwun and is now realising his heart belongs to the Dragon Tiger Gate. This is pretty much the extent to his character, which is shocking considering two-thirds of the narrative is set around this most basic of conflicts. Tiger and Turbo are completely surplus to requirements; Turbo arrives in HK from overseas to convince Sifu Wong to join his dojo under any circumstances and that's it! Tiger is at least afforded a romantic subplot with Ma Kwun's daughter, but Yip expects the audience to accept them as a creditable romantic couple after they've shared two scenes together and swapped mobile phone numbers. What's most shocking though is that aside from one or two scenes, their story arcs run completely separately to Dragon's to the extent that they don't even fight alongside him when the inevitable fight showdown with Shibumi occurs.

Of course, I'm well aware that adaptations of action comics should ultimately be judged by whether they capture the essence of the source material and the strength of their action set-pieces than the actual script, but unfortunately Dragon Tiger Gate is uneven in these areas as well. Wilson Yip is a talented visual director - he's proven this with his previous films - and he directs a number of scenes with real style, with a particular high point being the shooting of the Japanese restaurant action sequence where Yip's camera glides, jumps and slides from room to room covering the various participants. It's obvious that genuine effort has been made to capture the fantastical visual style of action comics, but what looks good on page does not necessarily transfer well to screen. For instance there's the stylistic difference between the main characters' world and the villain's. The HK that Dragon, Tiger and Turbo live in looks pretty much identical to the real thing, but whenever the story cuts to Shibumi, he appears to be living in Mordor, only instead of a tower with a big eye on top he is given a huge crypt with a big throne and stairways that lead nowhere. The look of Shibumi's lair is a big departure from the comic book, but proof that what works on page doesn't necessarily work on screen is provided by the comical hairstyles that make the three leads look like they have been assaulted by Vidal Sassoon. If their camp appearances as adults weren't funny enough, when Dragon flashes back to his childhood, we see that the child versions of Dragon and Tiger also sport the exact same clothes and hairstyles! The comic's creator actually wrote and co-directed a film adaptation of his serial in 1979, which was released in the west as Hell's Windstaff. Fans of Hwang Jang Lee (who played the villain) will probably remember the film fondly, but I'm not entirely sure it was that faithful to the original comics, but then from what little I know about Dragon & Tiger Heroes, it doesn't look like Wilson Yip's effort is any more faithful either.

As for the action itself, as mentioned before there are five main set pieces in Dragon Tiger Gate. The first two - set in a Chinese and Japanese restaurant respectively - are technically the most impressive; Nicholas Tse demonstrates some impressive foot work, Shawn Yue looks ok, and Donnie Yen is as good as ever and in fantastic shape for a guy approaching his mid-forties. As action director Yen demonstrates his usual over-reliance on undercranking, but considering the fantastical setting of Dragon Tiger Gate and the superhuman abilities of the characters, the fight sequences don't rely too much on wirework and feature a healthy amount of grounded kung fu. Wilson Yip too ensures the fights are creatively shot. The main problem with the opening set pieces is their heavily contrived setting; both take place before we've gotten to know the characters properly and both defy any form of logic. So instead of sitting back and enjoying the spectacle, you're left wondering why the mayhem started and why are there so many triads in these restaurants in the first place. The Japanese restaurant sequence is particularly nonsensical, as we have a snivelling, cowardly Ma Kwun gang member called Scaly deciding to attack fellow gang member Dragon. Dragon appears to be the boss' number two guy and is a strong, just man, whereas Scaly is shown as a complete and utter scumbag who's horrible to everyone around him, so it makes no sense to see scores of gang members faithfully follow Scaly's wish and attack another senior gang member.

Thankfully, in the middle act we are treated to two fight sequences placed close to the dramatic high points of the film. Both are satisfyingly staged within the narrative and neither rely that heavily on cranking or wirework. As a result these fights leave a much stronger impression. The latter of these sequences is also the first time we get to see the main villain Shibumi in action; up until this point he's a very camp villain in a mask who spends his time hitting large objects in his evil lair, but when he eventually gets off his arse and descends upon the Dragon Tiger Gate, he becomes a surprisingly menacing antagonist. Unfortunately, this impetus is diffused by the final act and confrontation between Dragon, Tiger, Turbo, and Shibumi which doesn't show-piece enough kung fu and relies too much on flash CGI moves.

I've probably made Dragon Tiger Gate sound a lot worse than it is. The truth is that at just under 95minutes long, the film never drags at all. The story may be piss poor, but viewers are treated to a fair share of flashy fight sequences and Wilson Yip's visual flair, which ultimately makes for reasonably engaging, disposable entertainment.

DVD
Dragon Tiger Gate is distributed in HK by Delta Mac in a 2-disc DVD set that contains the film on Disc 1 and 174 minutes of Extra Features on Disc 2 (34 minutes longer than the 140 minutes stated on the box!). There are three different releases of Dragon Tiger Gate to choose from at the time this review was written, with each separate release containing the exact same 2-disc DVD. The most expensive is the Limited Collectors Edition that comes with small Busts of the three main characters, and three tattoos matching the symbols the main characters have imprinted on their clothing (Star for Tiger, scorpion for Turbo, and lightning bolt for Dragon). The 2nd release is the Collector's Edition, which comes with just the three tattoos, and finally there's the just the plain old Regular Edition.

Video
Presented anamorphically at approximately 2.35:1, the transfer looks quite good at first, but as the film progresses, more and more problems pile up. First the good: brightness and contrast levels are perfectly fine and colours are vivid with only some minor bleed around the edges of bright colours like reds. The image is generally sharp but mid- to far-range shots exhibit a slight lack of detail. Now the bad: it appears the disc has been encoded by monkeys, because there are compression problems throughout the film. Most of this comes in the form of Mosquito Noise, which together with some excessive Edge Enhancements in some scenes, causes very ugly ringing all through the film. If this weren't bad enough, the problem is ramped up to eleven when the action scenes kick in, and some very heavy macroblocking is thrown into the mix too. The transfer for the most part is progressive, but very occasionally some interlaced frames creep into the image.

Audio
If the video is lacklustre, then the same cannot be said about the audio, with just over 1.7GB of the DVD taken up by the original Cantonese DD6.1-EX, Cantonese DTS 6.1-ES, and Mandarin DD6.1-EX tracks. For the purposes of this review, I sat through the film twice listening to each of the Cantonese tracks and can confirm that these are pretty much reference quality. The DTS track is full bitrate (1536 Kbps), aggressive and provides a fantastic audio experience. Dialogue is loud, clear and very solid, bass has serious punch but still remains tightly defined. Sound dynamics are excellent, with every little element coming through rich and clear, while the soundstage is expansive with rears being used to good effect during the action sequences.

In comparison the DD5.1 simply lacks the power of the DTS, everything just seems little bit lesser: Nevertheless dialogue remains loud and clear, bass is powerful deep and tight, and the sound dynamics are very good. There's certainly no need for those without DTS compatible equipments to feel like they're not getting the full audio experience from this DVD. As for the Mandarin DD6.1-EX track, it sounds exactly the same as the Cantonese DD6.1-EX track.

Subtitles
Optional English subtitles are provided, with only occasional spelling and grammatical error, nothing that detracts from the film.

Extras
While there isn't a sniff of an extra feature on Disc 1, slap the 2nd disc into the old DVD player and you'll be confronted with a wealth of extra material all neatly indexed into sections for your perusal, and best of all there are optional Chinese and English subtitles for everything - well, except for the Deleted Scenes.

Ok, first let's get the token extras out the way first: Photo Gallery (04min 47sec), Theatrical Trailer, Teaser, and 3 TV Spots, do exactly what it says on the tin. Next up there's a Deleted Scenes (7m 39s) reel, presented in the original aspect ratio but unfortunately non-anamorphically and without subtitles. Most of the scenes are pretty self-explanatory though; many are simple fleshing out of Ma Xiao-Ling's relationship with Tiger and her father. It's worth noting that the deleted scenes are presented in the original recorded audio (as opposed to the finished film which is dubbed). So Dong Jie and Li Xiao-Ran are delivering their lines in Mandarin while everyone else is using Cantonese.

The rest of the extras are placed in sections entitled: ON THE SET, STAR INTERVIEWS, and CANNES NIGHT & HK GALA, so I will go through each section independently:

ON THE SET:
This section is divided into 3 subsections entitled: The 4 Main Settings, Shooting Diaries, and Making Of:

The 4 Main Settings
1) Dragon Tiger Gate (02m 34s): Shawn Yue talks about his character Turbo's role in the movie while we're treated to behind the scenes footage on the Dragon Tiger Gate dojo set.
2) Japanese Restaurant (02m 24s): This is some brief behind the scenes footage on the Japanese Restaurant set while Donnie and Wilson Yip talk about shooting the Japanese restaurant fight scene and how they achieved the fluid high angle camera sweeps.
3) Lousha Gate (02m 35s): Again Donnie and Wilson talk about how they came up with the idea for building a vast set to be the headquarters for the Lousha Gang as behind the scenes footage is shown. One surprising revelation comes when we see that the giant punch bag Shibumi uses for training in the film is an authentic one.
4) Floating Restaurant (02m 27s): Nicholas Tse and Donnie discuss the shooting of the opening fight scene while we're treated to footage of the shoot. This There are plenty of clips showing Donnie directing Tse and making sure he gets the best out of him.

Shooting Diaries
1) Pre-Production (03m 19s): Almost devoid of dialogue, this is a series of clips showing artwork from the comic book and comic creator Tony Wong playing his part in the film's promotion. After this we're shown footage of how the look and style of each charcter was achieved.
2) Shooting Diaries 1 (03m 33s): Random behind the scenes footage from various scenes in the film, mostly the action sequences.
3) Shooting Diaries 2 (03m 59s): This one concentrates mostly on the set design for the Lousha Lair and the Dragon Tiger Gate, although by the end of the feature we have returned the shooting of the fight sequences.
4) Shooting Diaries 3 (03m 30s): The last Shooting Diaries featurette follows the same pattern as the others, a few random clips from the shoot and then a swift concentration on the shooting of the fight sequences.

Making Of (18m 27s)
A very generic Making Of featurette, consisting of cast and director interviews and the occasional bit of behind the scenes footage. Unfortunately almost all the interview footage is repeated from the longer, separate interviews on this disc.

STAR INTERVIEWS:
Donnie Yen (24m 30s): A long and informative interview with the Yenster where he discusses the challenges his dual role as star and action director brought. Yen talks intelligently about every aspect of the action sequences, providing an excellent breakdown of each scene and how he tailored his choreography to match Nicholas and Shawn's individual strengths. This is probably the best feature on the disc.

Nicholas Tse (13m 42s): Tse talks about all his co-stars and reveals Donnie Yen is one of his all time favourite HK action icons and a big reason why he took the project on. Apparently studios had been trying to get this film into production for at least five years now, as Tse was offered the role of Tiger back in 2001, but he turned it down because he felt he wasn't quite good enough for such a high profile, action intensive role.

Shawn Yue(13m 13s): Yue receives the same questions as Tse and replies with similar answers, revealing an earnest, hard working nature.

Dong Jie (07m 28s): The first question Dong's asked is to talk about her character in the film; she then proceeds to basically describe every single scene the character of Ma Xiao-Ling takes part in! Even more amusing, her next question is "What is your most memorable scene?" - I think the answer is all of them! Once she's done with the scene descriptions though, she does give some insight as to what it's like for a young Mainland actress working over in HK and the different attitudes of the crews.

Li Xiao-Ran (07m 11s): Like Dong, Li also talks us through pretty much every scene her character appears in, but then her part in Dragon Tiger Gate was so slight, it's no wonder she'd want to talk about everything. Almost all Li's scenes in the film were one-on-one with Donnie, so she doesn't have a lot to say about co-stars, but she does reveal that Donnie has a very playful side and would wind her up mercilessly each day on set.

Wilson Yip (18m 00s): Director Yip talks briefly about each member of his crew (Composer Kenji Kawai, Costume Deisigner Willam Chang, etc) and of course goes on to discuss the stars of the film and what they brought to each role, he even reveals that he intends Dragon Tiger Gate to be the first in a franchise of films based on the comic. This is the second longest interview on the disc, but also one of the best.

CANNES NIGHT & HK GALA:
Cannes Night (2m 00s): Various footage from the Cannes Film Festival where the film was playing, we see Donnie & Co doing all the promotions and stuff. Note that this feature is set to music, without dialogue, so no subtitles are provided or indeed needed.

HK Gala (3m 46s): Footage from the film's special gala premier ball set to music, so no dialogue or subtitles.

When looking at the extra material as a whole, there's a definite case of quantity over quantity here. The production featurettes are all too short and leave you wanting more, while the shooting diaries are split up into too many categories when they should've just covered all the action sequeneces in one long diary and then keep the non-action footage for over diaries. The most informative and thus interesting extras are the Star Interviews, but it's seriously disappointing that Yuen Wah and Chen Kuan Tai are completely ignored, especially considering their contribution to HK action films over the years.

Overall
Dragon Tiger Gate continues the trend in HK of disappointing adaptations of comic book serials, but it's far from the worst film in the comic book genre. A dull narrative and pointless subplots and characters aside, Dragon Tiger Gate at least delivers a good level of action spectacle within a low runtime - ensuring that the film's pace is kept inoffensively swift. If you like CGI polluted guff like A Man Called Hero and Storm Riders, the chances are good that you'll really like Dragon Tiger Gate. DeltaMac has done a reasonably good job of bringing the film onto DVD; the transfer is rather lacklustre transfer but the audio is fantastic, and there's a wealth of extra material, even if most of the featurettes are too short.

by Matt Shingleton - DVD Times

September 2, 2006

This professional review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (DTS Collector Version) (2DVD+2Poster) (Hong Kong Version)
Early reports on Wilson Yip and Donnie Yen's second collaboration, Dragon Tiger Gate, pegged the film as a very mixed bag and those reports are most definitely correct. While the film features the stellar martial arts you would expect with Yen both choreographing and starring, as well as some surprisingly strong performances from pop stars Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue, the film also has serious script problems and seems caught between wanting to create a frame-for-frame tribute to the source comic and creating something more serious, and so ends up caught in between without really satisfying either urge.

The titular Dragon Tiger Gate is a legendary martial arts school in Hong Kong, a school that uses martial arts to help the poor advance themselves - frequently training street orphans - and that has become much loved as a result. But the united front of the Gate hides a more fractured life behind the scenes, the co-founder having left his first wife and young son to start a new family with another woman. His first wife then left the martial arts community and her son Dragon - played in adulthood by Yen - was eventually adopted and raised by a gangster following her tragic death in a fire. The younger son Tiger - played by Nicholas Tse - remains in the community with all the benefits of an intact family, having only sporadic contact with his half brother.

The film begins with the children fully grown, Dragon now employed as bodyguard to his adoptive father, Ma Kun, a gangster who has just been presented a golden token from crime overlord/masked martial arts master Shibumi, thus bringing on the jealousy of his fellow crime bosses. When a chance altercation between Tiger and some of Ma Kun's goons results in Tiger taking possession of the token, a full-on brawl erupts that both brings Tiger and Dragon back into each other's lives while also introducing Tiger to Turbo (Shawn Yue), a brash young man who came to Hong Kong hoping to train at the Gate. While the brothers struggle towards a reconciliation, opposing forces in the criminal world bring tragedy that unites Dragon, Tiger and Turbo in a fight to the death against Shibumi.

So what does Dragon Tiger Gate do well? Well, the promotional materials promise a load of martial arts action and the film certainly delivers that. Yen's choreography is typically fast paced and intricate. His own performance blazes across the screen and both Yue and Tse prove themselves remarkably competent on the physical front. The central performances are also quite strong with Yue, Tse and Yen all elevating the material they've been given to work with. Yue is greatly underused but while on screen he is charismatic and engaging, and the core relationship between Yen and Tse - a relationship that should have been made more central than it is - is natural and convincing. Tse deserves particular mention in this: from New Police Story to The Promise to A Chinese Tall Story to Dragon Tiger Gate, Tse has now had key parts in four consecutive films with script issues of varying degree, and in all four he has proven himself able to elevate the writing rather than being limited by it. While other actors of his generation are drawing more attention, Tse is increasingly proving that he may be the most talented of the lot, and someone who could very easily break through in a big way if given some parts with some depth to them.

On the negative side is the already mentioned script, one cluttered with unnecessary side plots and secondary characters that serve no role other than to take time and attention away from the key bits that are universally underdeveloped as a result. A key example of this is Shibumi, the central villain who barely exists in the film at all until the final showdown and, as a result, you have no investment in him at all when the key moment comes. There's an overreliance on flash back - which itself relies on one truly horrible child actor - virtually all of the secondary characters are played as broad stock types, and the story plays the deus ex machina card enough times that they must've kept a mechanic on scene to keep the machina in good working order. The film is also critically unable to commit to whether it wants to exist in some heightened parallel reality or in something closer to the real world; transitions between the two options are poorly integrated, and the CG - which is greatly overused at the film's climax - is middling at best.

Most people will judge this film purely based on the quality of the fights. There are seven.
1. Tiger vs Scaly and Ma Kun's gangsters. The first major sequence of the film pits Tiger against a small gang of gangsters harassing a family in a restaurant, a fight that quickly escalates to pit him against a mob of mobsters and showcases the kicking style that he favors through the entire film. Lots of wire assist here, but Tse also showcases his natural speed and agility. This sequence also gives us our first taste of Yen in action as Dragon and, while Yen obviously totally outclasses Tse as a martial artist, that actually plays into the flow of the story since Dragon is meant to be far superior to Tiger.

2. Dragon versus Scaly and thugs. The showcase piece of the first half of the film and very likely the best in the film as a whole. Dragon goes to reclaim his bosses token from Tiger, who he has recognized, only to find that Scaly has drugged Tiger and his friends and intends to lay a beating on them. Dragon defends his brother against a swarm of attackers armed with swords that quickly end up flying out of hands and embedded haphazardly into walls. This sequence also introduces Turbo and his nunchuks and includes a stunning overhead shot of two mass fights occurring simultaneously in neighboring rooms.

3. Turbo versus Tiger. A quickie designed, again, to show off the duo's distinct fight styles while also allowing the characters to bond as they spar. It's over fast and there's nothing flashy, but it's also one of the rare sequences which features no wire assist and allows Tse and Yue to show off their own abilities.

4. Turbo versus Master Wong. Again a quickie, this time featuring the over-confident Turbo being given a lesson in humility by Master Wong who is armed only with a slipper.

5. Thugs versus Ma / Dragon versus Thugs. Starkly lit on a barren field, this is a very old school piece of work featuring a gang of thugs armed largely with poles attacking Boss Ma, armed with a baseball bat. Dragon arrives on the scene with a pole of his own and wreaks absolute havoc. With very little wirework, this is the most naturalistic sequence in the film and shows of Yen's incredible speed while also introducing a different fight discipline to the film.

6. Shibumi versus Turbo, Tiger and Master Wong. Turbo and Tiger are scarcely any opposition at all for the masked villain; Master Wong (Yuen Wah), fares significantly better in a good one-on-one battle with a bit of CG and wire assist. This exists largely to set up the dramatic finale.

7. Shibumi versus Tiger, Turbo and Dragon. Their skills greatly increased (the most obvious and irritating of the narrative cop-outs), Tiger and Turbo go after Shibumi. All three now boast supernatural levels of skill which translate to lots of wire and CG assist - these are the sequences that dominate the trailers - but the different elements are integrated very well and Yen's choreography is excellent. When Shibumi eventually triumphs over these two, Dragon appears on the scene to finish the job. The Dragon versus Shibumi sequence starts very well before eventually being bogged down by incredibly excessive and poorly executed CGI.

The new Hong Kong DVD is excellent. Formatted for all regions so it can be played on standard equipment anywhere in the world, it boasts a beautiful transfer in the proper 2.35:1 ratio and DTS 6.1 and 5.1 EX sound options. The second disc includes trailers, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes reels, production diaries and lengthy interviews with Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue, director Wilson Yip, and both main actresses. All special features other than the deleted scenes include English subtitles.

by Todd Brown - Twitchfilm.net

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Customer Review of "Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) (Blu-ray) (Vicol Version) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for All Editions of this Product: Customer Review Rated Bad 6 - 6.9 out of 10 (22)

Moly97
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February 15, 2009

This customer review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (DVD) (2-Disc Ultimate Edition) (English Dubbed) (US Version)
1 people found this review helpful

3 Nicholas Tse movies Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
I got all three movies on the same day. I wanted to see Beast Stalker the most but ended up seeing
Invisible Target first. It kept my interest and watched the whole movie in one setting. When it
was time to watch Beast Stalker, my minded wandered off a few times but I still finished it. With
the Dragon Tiger gate story, I fell asleep during the middle a couple of times but did see the ending.
To get the whole story, I had to start in the middle to finsih the story the next day.

I like the Kung Fu action in all three movies. Nicholas Tse is a fantastic action hero . I like his acting best in
Beast Stalker. I like Shawn Yu best in Dragon Tiger Gate. Wu Jing is a very impressive action star. The
rest of the cast are all very good. It sometimes makes me laugh when I watch Korean action movies
because they don't look like they hit each other at all. The HK action movies make me cringe. I am
surprised they can even walk after such vigorous scenes.
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Skybanana
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November 22, 2008

This customer review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
2 people found this review helpful

Region A or B Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
I really like this movie, but i didn't bought it long time ago, because it was only region A, but how come it turn to region A and B now? If you guys are sure i can play this on a European PS3 i will buy it immediatly. regard
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デュオロン
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October 23, 2008

This customer review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (Blu-ray) (Multi-audio) (US Version)
1 people found this review helpful

is based in a chinese comic Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
i dont understand how the people can say the movie have overexaggerated
action this movie is based in a chinese comic of course it have action like this
if you dont like movies like this just dont buy it fools!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Low
See all my reviews


May 6, 2008

This customer review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (DTS Regular Version) (Hong Kong Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Dragon Tiger Crap Customer Review Rated Bad 2 - 2 out of 10
I am Donnie Yen's fan but honestly I can skip this movie. The storyline is weak and some parts dont make sense. Disappointed compared with SPL. Not recommended at all.
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YesImABC
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March 13, 2008

This customer review refers to Dragon Tiger Gate (DVD) (2-Disc Set) (US Version)
1 people found this review helpful

Craptastic Customer Review Rated Bad 0 - 0 out of 10
This movie is terrible. Don't get me wrong, I like action movies, but this movie is lacking in all the major areas. Here is what I remember about this movie:

-No plot
-Overexaggerated action scenes in a not-cool-at-all way
- seem that Donnie Yen just wants to make himself look good the whole time. Hello!? Hiding your face with that bad wig is not going to help.
-poorly developed characters

Don't bother!
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