Year of the Dragon (1985)

October 29, 2010 at 2:13 am Leave a comment

Released in 1982 by MGM, Year of the Dragon is a thriller starring Mickey Rourke (who has not aged well), John Lone (famous for The Last Emperor) and Ariane Koizumi (her first role). The film was met with controversy for its depiction of Chinatown and Asian Americans by the Chinese American and Asian American community and as a result a disclaimer was attached to its opening credits. With a production budget of $24M the film made less than $19M, making it a commercial flop. It was based on a novel by Robert Daley (written in 1981) which in turn was adapted by Michael Cimino who brought in Oliver Stone (Platoon, Wall Street, JFK, W.) to help due to time constraints. Michael Cimino is also the director, his previous include Magnum Force (Dirty Harry movie) and The Deer Hunter (also another movie which a presents a view of Asians and Asian Americans).

The plot of the film is about two similar men in their respective communities and how they do not really fit in. Both Stanley White and Joey Tai do not obey superiors or elders and are aggressive men who do what it takes to get the job done. This often puts them in direct conflict with the status quo of their communities. Both the police and Chinatown triads have an agreement and a status quo that both these characters disrupt. White vows to cleanup Chinatown by any means necessary while Joey Tai ruthlessly rises to top of his criminal organization. In the end, White is ultimately victorious (though he loses his wife) and Tai commits suicide.

-Written and Posted by Jonathan Soon & Megan Kilroy

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China as New Foreign Threat to America + “Evil Chinese Professor” Contest The Second Mini Festival of Recent Asian American Films @ The Claremont Colleges (November 5-6, Pitzer College)

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