It should come as no surprise at this point that I love all types of film, not just horror. Hell, if you’ve been following this site for a long time, I’m sure you’ve had to suffer through some non-horror reviews before. Well, I hate to disappoint, but I have to do it to you one more time. Tonight’s viewing pleasure went to an action comedy, Kenji Tanigaki’s Enter the Fat Dragon.
Officer Fallon Zhu is one of the best the police force has ever known — fit and vigilant. After a breakup with his fiance, a bicycle accident, and being assigned to desk duty, however, things turn ugly. Now, six months later and 100 pounds heavier, Fallon is given the grunt work of escorting a Japanese suspect to Tokyo. As is the case every time Fallon is involved, an easy job quickly turns into a whirlwind involving gangsters, crooked cops, and his ex!
As the title would suggest, Enter the Fat Dragon is not to be taken seriously. This 2020 picture, directed by Kenji Tanigaki and Wong Jing is an action-packed, fast-paced martial arts comedy that is a whole lot of fun from start to finish.
A remake of Sammo Hung’s 1978 film of the same name, Enter the Fat Dragon doesn’t take long to set the stage for what the next 97 minutes has in store for its audience. We are quickly introduced to our protagonist, a fit, good looking local hero named Fallon Zhu. Played by martial artist and veteran actor Donnie Yen (Ip-Man franchise), Fallon is a dedicated officer always striving to perform to the best of his abilities and to stay safe… even if that means no one else around him is.
Yen’s Fallon Zhu is known for making all of the big arrests for his department, but also for wreaking havoc while doing so. Because of his rather sloppy methods of catching the bad guys, he is demoted to desk duty, making his already sad situation of losing his fiance even more troublesome.
I am ashamed to say that I have not seen very many of Donnie Yen’s films, but I do know that when I do see him perform, it is always a treat. His performance in Enter the Fat Dragon is no different. Even at his heaviest, covered from head to toe in make-up and a fat suit, the martial arts master is as quick and nimble as only he can be. He is an extremely talented actor, as seen here in his more comedic scenes, and he even shows a softer side, thanks to the developing subplot of trying to win back his ex.
Joining Yen is a wide array of characters, all with their own unique traits, of course. While Fallon is in Tokyo trying to straighten out the mess he’s gotten himself into and once again becoming a big time hero, he is accompanied by Thor. Portrayed by co-director Wong Jing, himself, Thor is also struggling with re-kindling an old flame with Charisma (Teresa Mo, Hard Boiled). In the end, Thor is looking to do the right thing just like Fallon. Seeing Charisma and Thor bickering back and forth like an old married couple throughout Enter the Fat Dragon brought a smile to my face more than once and I enjoyed this lightheartedness, which I don’t experience in film often enough.
Enter the Fat Dragon has more to offer than just these characters, however. There is the corrupt head of the Tokyo police department, Inspector Endo (Naoto Takenaka, Quartet for Two) who can’t control his gas and wears a different wig in each scene. There is also the translator for both Endo and Fallon, Maggie (Jessica Jann, Easy A), who’s real dream in life is to be a tap dancer… or a helicopter pilot. She can’t decide really. Either way, there are plenty of characters to fall in love with here and they are all a joy to watch.
I can’t talk about a martial arts film, comedy or not, without touching on the fighting, right? Enter the Fat Dragon is as successful in this department as it is in every other I’ve discussed so far. Almost every one of the film’s 97 minutes are filled with exciting choreography, car chases, and more. In a style perhaps made most popular by Jackie Chan, a lot of the hand to hand combat is coupled with comedic elements. A fish full of drugs is used as a weapon; The love of Fallon’s life, Chloe (Niki Chow, Nothing Gold Can Stay), is trapped underneath his overweight body while still getting her own licks in. Scenes of this nature help keep the tone of the film intact, while also allowing fans to enjoy some pretty badass martial arts!
Enter the Fat Dragon at Home
Enter the Fat Dragon will be available to own on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD on Tuesday, July 14 from Well Go USA Entertainment. The Blu-ray home release presents the film in a 16:9 widescreen format and features a DTS HDMA 5.1 Stereo audio track. The disc also contains English and Chinese subtitles.
Sadly, there are no special features to speak of, other than trailers for other Well Go USA releases. Fans are treated, however, to a myriad of bloopers and peeks behind the scenes while the end credits are rolling, so be sure to stick around for those!
Enter the Fat Dragon is a fun ride from start to finish. It provides a lot of laughs, features martial arts superstar Donnie Yen and countless other very talented actors, has tons of exciting fight scenes on display, and more. If you need a break from horror and are looking for a good time, look no further than this one.
Pick up a copy for yourself, as I give Enter the Fat Dragon 4.5 pants-less escaped suspects out of 5.