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Chasing The Dragon (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Blu-ray Region A

Andy Lau (Actor) | Donnie Yen (Actor) | Wong Jing (Writer, Director, Producer) | Lawrence Chou (Actor)
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YesAsia Editorial Description

Hong Kong cinema titans Donnie Yen and Andy Lau team up in the highly anticipated crime action drama Chasing the Dragon. Co-directed by Wong Jing and Jason Kwan (A Nail Clipper Romance), the film about crime, corruption and brotherhood in 1960s and 70s Hong Kong revolves around a gangster and a cop inspired by notorious real-life figures: drug lord Ng Sek Ho, whose life was previously dramatized in To Be Number One, and corrupt sergeant Lui Lok whom Andy Lau portrayed in the Lee Rock series.

In the 1960s, Ho (Donnie Yen) flees from Chaozhou to Hong Kong to seek a better life, but this rich and corrupt city has little for poor, uneducated folks like him. Ho and his friends barely get by as short-term laborers and occasionally take money to pose as gangsters for triad showdowns. During one of these gang fights for show, the brawl turns real and Ho gets into a violent confrontation with a vindictive British cop. Inspector Lee Rock (Andy Lau), who admires Ho's fighting skills, gets him out of prison. Ho later returns the favor by sacrificing his own leg to save Lee. Starting from the bottom rung of the Kowloon Walled City, Ho fights his way to the top of Hong Kong's drug empire. Meanwhile, Lee rises the ranks to become the top-ranking Chinese officer. Working together from opposite sides of the law, the two corner the drug market, eliminate enemies, accumulate riches and maintain the power balance of the underworld. The partnership begins to unravel, however, as Ho's aspirations grow and Lee sees the writing on the wall with the establishment of the ICAC.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Chasing The Dragon (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) 追龍 (2017) (Blu-ray) (香港版) 追龙 (2017) (Blu-ray) (香港版) Chasing The Dragon (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version) Chasing The Dragon (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)
Also known as: Chui Lung Chui Lung Chui Lung Chui Lung Chui Lung
Artist Name(s): Andy Lau (Actor) | Donnie Yen (Actor) | Lawrence Chou (Actor) | Kent Cheng (Actor) | Ben Ng (Actor) | Kent Tong (Actor) | Kenneth Tsang (Actor) | Chan Wai Man (Actor) | Philip Keung (Actor) | Felix Wong (Actor) | Niki Chow (Actor) | Hu Ran (Actor) | Wilfred Lau (Actor) | Philip Ng (Actor) 劉 德華 (Actor) | 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 周 俊偉 (Actor) | 鄭則仕 (Actor) | 吳毅將 (Actor) | 湯 鎮業 (Actor) | 曾 江 (Actor) | 陳惠敏 (Actor) | 姜 皓文 (Actor) | 黃日華 (Actor) | 周麗淇 (Actor) | 胡然 (Actor) | 劉浩龍 (Actor) | 伍 允龍 (Actor) 刘 德华 (Actor) | 甄 子丹 (Actor) | 周 俊伟 (Actor) | 郑则仕 (Actor) | 吴毅将 (Actor) | 汤 镇业 (Actor) | 曾 江 (Actor) | 陈惠敏 (Actor) | 姜 皓文 (Actor) | 黄日华 (Actor) | 周丽淇 (Actor) | 胡然 (Actor) | 刘浩龙 (Actor) | 伍 允龙 (Actor) 劉徳華 (アンディ・ラウ) (Actor) | 甄子丹(ドニー・イェン) (Actor) | 周俊偉(ローレンス・チョウ) (Actor) | 鄭則仕(ケント・チェン) (Actor) | 呉毅将(ン・ガイチョン) (Actor) | 湯鎮業(ケン・トン) (Actor) | 曾江(ケネス・ツァン) (Actor) | 陳惠敏(チャン・ワイマン) (Actor) | 姜皓文(キョン・ヒウマン) (Actor) | 黄日華(フェリックス・ウォン) (Actor) | 周麗淇(ニキ・チャウ) (Actor) | Hu Ran (Actor) | 劉浩龍(ウィルフレッド・ラウ) (Actor) | Philip Ng (Actor) 유덕화 (Actor) | 견자단 (Actor) | Lawrence Chou (Actor) | Kent Cheng (Actor) | Ben Ng (Actor) | Kent Tong (Actor) | Kenneth Tsang (Actor) | Chan Wai Man (Actor) | Philip Keung (Actor) | Felix Wong (Actor) | Niki Chow (Actor) | Hu Ran (Actor) | Wilfred Lau (Actor) | Philip Ng (Actor)
Director: Wong Jing | James Kwan 王晶 | 關 智耀 王晶 | 关 智耀 王晶 (バリー・ウォン) | James Kwan Wong Jing | James Kwan
Producer: Wong Jing 王晶 王晶 王晶 (バリー・ウォン) Wong Jing
Writer: Wong Jing 王晶 王晶 王晶 (バリー・ウォン) Wong Jing
Blu-ray Region Code: A - Americas (North, Central and South except French Guiana), Korea, Japan, South East Asia (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) What is it?
Release Date: 2018-02-14
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, Original Soundtrack
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Country of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: [HD] High Definition What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: 7.1, Dolby Digital EX(TM) / THX Surround EX(TM)
Disc Format(s): Blu-ray
Screen Resolution: 1080p (1920 x 1080 progressive scan)
Duration: 128 (mins)
Publisher: Panorama (HK)
Package Weight: 100 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1064746125

Product Information

* Special Features: Trailer 1&2

In the 60s, Hong Kong had its darkest days in history. Under the British colonial rule, Hong Kong Police Force partnered with the triads and corruption was as rampant as ever. Ho (Donnie Yen), along with his fellow brothers Wil (Philip Keung), Wayne (Wilfred Lau) and Chad (Kang Yu) slipped into Hong Kong illegally from Chaozhou. With his exceptional fighting skills and guts, Ho entered the underworld of Hong Kong and became a notorious fighter in the triads.

Supported by the British, Chief Detective Lee Rock (Andy Lau) created a set of triads regulation. Rock's henchman Piggy (Kent Cheng) helped Rock to collect bribery money in a systematic manner. Rock appreciated Ho's ability, and helped him to escape from further torture by British Police.

Ho was grateful to Rock for his help. During one of the gang fights, he even sacrificed his right leg to save Rock's life, hence becoming "Crippled Ho". While Ho was in hospital, he was looked after by the nurse Jane (Michelle Hu), who later became his wife.

Indebted to Ho, Rock helped him to become the leader of the Big Four in triad society. Rock even sent his follower, Rose (Raquel Xu) to Thailand to cut off others' source for drugs which make Ho the leader of the drug empire. Rock and Ho became extremely powerful and separately ruled the upper-world and the underworld of Hong Kong.

Until 1974, the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) forced Rock to have a premature retirement. However, Ho did not want to leave and determined to become the sole dictator of the drug empire¡K
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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Chasing The Dragon (2017) (Blu-ray) (Hong Kong Version)"

May 14, 2018

In terms of Hong Kong star power, it really doesn't get much bigger than Chasing the Dragon, headlined by the legendary Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, teaming up for a retelling of the stories of drug boss Ng Sek Ho, better known as Crippled Ho, and corrupt police sergeant Lee Rock. The film was co-directed by Jason Kwan (who previously helmed the oddball A Nail Clipper Romance) and the one and only Wong Jing, charting their rise and fall in the 1960s and 80s against a background of turbulent change in Hong Kong.

The film begins in the 1960s with Donnie Yen as Ng Sek Ho, who with a group of friends smuggles himself from Chaozhou to Hong Kong, hoping to find a better life. Things don't go as planned, and during a gang fight on the streets, he runs into trouble with a particularly unpleasant British police officer (Bryan Larkin), only to be rescued by Inspector Lee Rock (Andy Lau), who believes he has a use for Ho after seeing his fighting skills in action. The two throw in together for their mutual benefit, watching each other’s backs as they rise through the ranks of the police and the criminal underworld, maintaining a harmonious balance while plotting to take over. Inevitably, their ambitions start to clash, and with the formation of the ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption), it becomes clear that their days in the sun are numbered.

Given the temptation to whitewash their subjects, biopics aren't always the easiest films to pull off convincingly, something which goes double for Chasing the Dragon, which has to both satisfy the Chinese censor and deliver a hard-edged tale of criminality. Expectations are very much key here, and it's fair to say that anyone looking for something gritty and morally-challenging is likely to be disappointed, as the film has clearly been tailored to the Mainland market. Indeed, compared to Lee Rock and Crippled Ho-themed predecessors like Poon Man-kit's 1991 To Be Number One or the Andy Lau-starring Lee Rock series of the same period, Chasing the Dragon is an entirely safer and less provocative offering, with its protagonists being depicted throughout as noble types, who somehow seem pushed into doing the wrong thing while retaining their righteousness.

While there's nothing essentially wrong with this kind of focus on the 'brotherhood and honour' side of the Triad life, the problem here is that neither Crippled Ho or Lee Rock come across as either consistent or believable – for example, the narrative follows Ho as he becomes Hong Kong's top drug kingpin, while at the same time giving him lots of chances to deliver anti-drug speeches and showing him refusing to sell product to the wrong people. It doesn't help that the film lays the woes of its two protagonists entirely at the feet of the British in an almost pantomime fashion, who are uniformly portrayed as over the top, psychotic villains in what's presumably an effort to distract from the fact that its leads are not, by any stretch, actual heroes. To be fair, this is clearly a sign of the times, and the chaos and immorality of films like To Be Number One is a thing of the past for Hong Kong cinema. Still, it's hard not to find Chasing the Dragon more than a little sanitised in this respect.

How much this matters is down to the viewer of course, and the film does have a good amount going for it in other areas, not least its undeniable star power, the pairing of Donnie Yen and Andy Lau giving it a definite lift. Fans should be aware that the film sees Yen in acting rather than action mode, and though he does get a few chances early on to show off his skills, for the most part this is one of his more serious efforts. Despite being saddled by the saintly glow the script gives his character, Yen doesn't do too bad a job, and his occasional moments of over-acting are at least entertaining. It's certainly fun to see him sparring with Andy Lau (credited in a guest role, though he has at least as much screen time as Yen), who is on great form himself, seeming to be having a fine time returning to the Lee Rock role and having more to do than he has had in some of his recent films.

With Wong Jing co-directing, the film unsurprisingly has a commercial look, never straying far from the usual visual cues of the genre. The film benefits from a strong local sense and it does at least have a creditable old school Hong Kong feel, even when at its most censor-pandering, with some good uses of sets and locations. Though there's not too much action, the expected mass brawls and shootouts are all well-choreographed by Yen and his team, and the film gets a boost from throwing in a good number of bloody and violent scenes. This keeps things moving throughout the challenging two-hours-plus running time and makes up to an extent for some of the films narrative lapses, as well as adding a vague sense of threat and danger.

by James Mudge - EasternKicks.com

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