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Blu-ray Review: Enter the Fat Dragon

August 18, 2020

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

In the kung-fu comedy Enter the Fat Dragon, Donnie Yen disappears beneath padding and makeup for much of the film to take on the role of Fallon Zhu, a once fit and trim cop in Hong Kong who is put on desk duty and ends up gaining a bunch of weight, only to be called back out.

In the film’s opening scenes, Fallon is preparing to meet his TV actress fiancée Chloe (Niki Chow) to take pictures for their wedding, when he ends up thwarting a bank robbery and causing major damage to the precinct in the process. As punishment for his actions, Fallon is put behind a desk in the evidence room, right near a vending machine.

It’s not long before Chloe leaves him, unable to cope with the national embarrassment he has become, and Fallon soon gains over a hundred pounds from a combination of constant snacking on the job and eating his feelings. Now at 250 pounds and out of shape, Fallon gets assigned the job of escorting a wanted criminal to Japan, where he ends up at odds with local gangsters. Chloe also happens to be in Tokyo for a gig, forcing the two of them to cross paths.

A loose remake of the 1978 Sammo Hung film of the same name, which was itself a spoof of the popular Bruce Lee movies of the era namely Way of the Dragon and Enter the Dragon, Enter the Fat Dragon is first and foremost a light comedy that mixes in elements of romance and martial arts action. The film often feels scattershot both in terms of plot and tone, with its comedy running the gamut from physical humour to some more scatological potty jokes involving farts, which raises questions of what audience the film is really intended for.

The film mainly functions as a chance for Yen, who recently gave a nicely understated performance in Ip Man 4: The Finale, the chance to show off his ability to do broad physical comedy, (the makeup and latex work that is done to add weight to his slim frame is surprisingly subtle and well done), as well as his usual impressive stunt work. The film opens with a pretty crazy set-piece that finds Fallon handily fighting off several attackers in the back of a moving van, and it’s both the most inventive sequence in the film and a signifier of the often gonzo action to come.

Directed by Wong Jing, who also has a supporting role in the film as a former Hong Kong police officer whom Fallon teams up with, Enter the Fat Dragon moves forward at a hyperactive and almost relentless pace that can be a bit exhausting but also isn’t boring. While it’s predominantly a comic film, and it is quite silly at times, it still features several decent action sequences and overall functions as an amusing martial arts satire for fans of the genre.

Bonus Features (Blu-ray):

International Trailer (1 minute, 38 seconds)

US Trailer (1 minute, 33 seconds)

Previews (Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula Teaser, Cut Throat City, Ip Man 4: The Finale)

Enter the Fat Dragon is a Well Go USA release. It’s 97 minutes and unrated.

Street Date: July 14th, 2020

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