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Kiss of the dragon...

Movie Review: Kiss of the dragon
Starring:
Jet Li, Bridget Fonda
Director:
Chris Nahon
  

Jet Li stars as Liu Jiuan, a Beijing cop who has travelled to Paris to aid in a police raid against a heroin

smuggler.
  
When the head of Paris' police department, Richard (Tcheky Karyo), ends up murdering the suspect, as well as a prostitute, in a hotel room and setting Liu up as the murderer, it is up to Liu to escape suspicions and seek revenge on the crooked cops behind the operation. Giving Liu an added reason to go after them, Liu meets Jessica (Bridget Fonda), amother-turned-drug-addict/
hooker whose daughter is being held hostage by Richard. So the whole film

is essentially one long chase, with Richard trying to kill Liu before Liu can expose him as crooked. It's never hard to figure out who we're supposed to be rooting for.
 
Kiss of the Dragon has been directed by newcomer Chris Nahoun, a protege of French filmmaker Luc

Besson (who co-wrote the script and co-produced the movie). As for the vital action and martial arts sequences, the best that can be said about them is that they are well-choreographed, and often very violent and bloody. Their innovation level is close to nil, however, and seldom exciting. The thought of the very small Liu taking on a whole room full of martial arts students, leaving all of them pounded to the floor but without a scratch on himself, is ridiculous even for this genre of film.

Jet Li's English isn't very good, and this bars him from being able to express his character's feelings clearly. As a woman who simply wants her daughter back, but has found herself stuck in a grimy life of prostitution

and needles shoved through her veins, Bridget Fonda (1999's "Lake Placid") is so much better than this movie. It's actually a bit disheartening seeing the usually very bright Fonda stuck in an unattractive role that has her saying the most godawful dialogue this side of a cheesy '80s slasher flick.
 
But, something that cannot be denied is that "Kiss of the Dragon" stands out as one of the summer's few high-energy action movies that holds an

audience's attention for its full running length, rather than losing viewers in a sea of plot contrivances
and glitzy special effects.

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