Donnie Yen

Chasing the Dragon (2017)

chasingthedragon Hong-kong-icon

Donnie Yen stars in this fact-based film on the life of one of Hong Kong’s most notorious drug lords with Andy Lau reprising a role from a two-film series in the 1990’s.

In the year 1960, a man named Ho and his three best friends escaped China and headed for Hong Kong. There, they make their money by joining gangs in street fights. During one fateful night, Ho and his men find themselves enraging a British police officer, Hunter. However, they are saved by Lee Rock, a recently promoted sergeant major who is as corrupt as his fellow officers, but has the smarts to outwits those who rank above him. Ho and his friends one day incur the wrath of crime lord Chubby, who offers Ho and the others a job after Ho proves himself to have impeccable fighting skills.

As the years go by, Ho gains respect within the ghetto known as the Walled City. Plagued with issues involving his brother, who has dropped out of school and has become a drug addict, to the possible idea of a double cross, when Ho learns that Lee is set up to be framed and killed by the nephew of Walled City’s top gangster Master Dane, Ho saves Lee only to be betrayed by his now former boss, who cripples Ho. No longer being able to fight, Ho decides to use his street smarts when he joins forces with Lee Rock. However, with power comes greed and Ho soon finds himself biting the hand that feeds him as he is set to play a dangerous game that could cost many lives.

Surprisingly, one would never have thought that someone like Wong Jing, who has been more known for his buffoonery of films in the 1990’s, would have written this film let alone direct it. However, he collaborated with cinematographer Jason Kwan, who shares both writing and directing with Wong. However, Wong has had his fair share of serious films such as his Colour gangster film series and he has executive produced the original Young and Dangerous films. It is safe to say that if he’s not out there doing goofball-style films, then gangster films are truly his forte.

It is clear that action star Donnie Yen is slowly branching out into roles that allow him to do both his frenetic action skills and even turn in some dramatic chops as well. Ip Man was just the beginning of that transition period, but this film is truly becoming to take that cake. In what is a very bold move, Yen gets to mesh the two strengths in the first half of the film only to take the dramatic side in the second half as his character is in fact crippled. Yen’s character Crippled Ho is based on a real-life Hong Kong gangster, Ng Sek-Ho, who was one of Hong Kong’s most notorious drug lords. Yen pulls off all the stops to tackle the role and does quite a great job of it.

As for Andy Lau, the Heavenly King returns to a familiar role. In 1991, he starred in a two-part film series produced by Wong and directed by Lawrence Lau entitled Lee Rock. The film series was based on Lui Lok, a real-life officer who was involved in major corruption during the 60’s and 70’s. Lau reprises that role and having played the role before, he just seems like a natural fit. Not only does this film bring some excitement that we have Donnie Yen and Andy Lau in the same film, but they actually play each other well.

What many will find extremely important is that while the focus of the film is on Crippled Ho and Lee Rock, the film has no real good guys at all. As a matter of fact, all of the important characters are extremely bad guys with no remorse towards their actions. Aside from Ho and Lee, we have Kent Tong’s Ngan Tong, who starts out as Lee’s superior only to become his biggest rival within the ranks of the police force. Bryan Larkin’s Hunter is the notorious British officer who has a hatred towards Chinese and yet, he finds himself in a situation where he and Lee have to show some sort of respect towards each other because of their profession. Even Ben Ng’s Chubby switches gears from ruthless to benevolent to even more ruthless as it is he who seals Ho’s fate in the first half of the film.

Chasing the Dragon is a film that proves that one, Wong Jing can make some pretty good serious films; two, Donnie Yen can be a solid actor with dramatic chops; and three, just because a film is about gangsters, there don’t need to be any good guys and this is a film where all the important characters are notorious and if need be, ruthless.


An Infinitus Motion Picture/Bona Film Group/Sun Entertainment Culture Limited/Mega-Vision Project Workshop Limited production in association with Sil-Metropole Organisation, Rock Partner Films, and Red Carpet Cultural Industry Investment Fund. Directors: Wong Jing and Jason Kwan. Producers: Wong Jing, Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Connie Wong, Ren Yue, Jeffrey Chan, Stanley Tong, and Yang Guang. Writers: Wong Jing, Jason Kwan, Philip Lui, and Howard Yip. Cinematography: Jason Kwan, Ko Chiu-Lam, and Jimmy Kwok. Editing: Li Ka-Wing.

Cast: Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Kent Cheng, Ben Ng, Kent Tong, Phillip Keung, Wilfred Lau, Yu Kang, Michelle Hu, Xu Dong-Dong, Felix Wong, Niki Chow, Bryan Larkin, Philip Ng, Jonathan Lee, Lawrence Chou, Wang Qianyu.


Yen Gives Update on “Sleeping Dogs” Adaptation

Donnie Yen is hard at work on his upcoming film Enter the Fat Dragon, but what about the announced live-action adaptation of Square Enix’s video game Sleeping Dogs?

Yen himself took to Instagram this weekend to give an update on the film, in which he will take on the central role of Wei Shen, a American-based Hong Kong police officer infiltrating the Triads when he returns to Hong Kong. Yen said the film is “in motion”. Does this mean that he will shoot this after Enter the Fat Dragon or will he shoot Sleeping Dogs after Ip Man 4? Only time will tell.

You can see Yen’s post below:

Neal H. Moritz is producing Sleeping Dogs under his Original Films banner. More as this develops.

Li, Yen, and Wu Possibly Joining Forces


Three martial arts heroes are truly coming together for a new short film.

It had been rumored that Jet Li, Donnie Yen, and Wu Jing would be teaming up for a new project. This all comes in the wake of netizens sparking rumors of a dispute between Wu and Yen as Wu’s recent film Wolf Warrior II has broken major records in China with Yen’s upcoming Chasing the Dragon set to be released on September 28.

Yen, who faces off against Wu in SPL, actually congratulated Wu on the success of the film. The photo above Yen had posted as Li, who has taken a back seat to action films due to both his focus on philanthropy and his hyperthyroidism, and Wu congratulated Yen on his 14th wedding anniversary to Cissy Wang.

The rumored project that these three may join together to work on is a short film entitled Master, which Alibaba Pictures chairman Jack Ma invited the three to work on.

More as this develops.

H/T: Film Combat Syndicate

Yen to Become a New Kind of “Dragon”


Donnie Yen is about to become a new kind of “Dragon”.

Out doing promotion for his upcoming crime drama Chasing the Dragon, Yen and Wong Jing practically shocked the martial arts film world when they announced their next collaboration will be a remake of an underrated classic!

The classic they are remaking? Enter the Fat Dragon! For those who are unfamiliar with this film, the original film was released in 1978 and was directed, choreographed, and starred Hong Kong legend Sammo Hung as a Bruce Lee-fanatic who has practiced his idol’s skills to near perfection when he is called upon to leave his farmland to help his family from a gang of thugs in the big city of Hong Kong.

One of the highlights of the film includes Hung beating the heck out of a Bruce Lee-impersonator, played by Tony Leung Siu-Hung, on the set of a Bruceploitation film, and it may have caused some controversy as well in the form of Lee Hai-Sheng decked out in blackface to play an African-American karate expert.

Regardless, the film is hailed as one of Sammo’s best kung fu comedies and it was announced with the remake that it will be Yen playing the Hung role, which means he will be wearing a suit to make him look heavier. Just like the commercial below (Thanks to M.A.A.C. for the link):

Yen has quite a full plate in terms of his schedule. Along with this film, he is set to begin shooting on Ip Man 4 in March of next year, and is set to play undercover cop Wei Shen in the live-action adaptation of Square Enix’s hit game Sleeping Dogs and the recently announced sequel Flash Point 2.

It is believed that after Yen and Wong will be making Enter the Fat Dragon right before he goes into Ip Man 4.

More as this develops.

H/T: Film Combat Syndicate

Yen and Lau Go Bad in “Chasing” Teaser

Get ready to see action hero Donnie Yen in a whole new light in the upcoming true story-inspired Chasing the Dragon.

Yen plays “Crippled” Ho, a Mainland China-based immigrant who arrives in 1963 Hong Kong and rises through the ranks to become a notorious drug lord, with a corrupt police officer named Lee Rock joining him.

Playing the role of Lee Rock is the legendary Andy Lau, who actually played the character in a 2-part film series from director Lawrence Lau in 1991.

Jason Kwan and Wong Jing directed this film with Wong writing the screenplay. Co-starring are Kent Cheng, Philip Keung, Wilfred Lau, and Michelle Hu.

Well Go USA has acquired the North American rights while a release date for Hong Kong is set for this Fall.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

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2016, Disney/LucasFilm Ltd.

Gareth Edwards
Simon Emanuel
Allison Shearmur
George Lucas (original characters)
John Knoll (story)
Gary Whitta (story)
Chrus Weitz (screenplay)
Tony Gilroy (screenplay)
Greig Fraser
John Gilroy
Colin Goudie
Jabez Olssen

Felicity Jones (Jyn Erso)
Diego Luna (Cassian Andor)
Alan Tudyk (K-2SO)
Donnie Yen (Chirrut Imwe)
Jiang Wen (Baze Malbus)
Ben Mendelsohn (Orson Krennic)
Riz Ahmed (Bodhi Rook)
Forest Whitaker (Saw Gerrera)
Mads Mikkelsen (Galen Erso)
Jimmy Smits (Bail Organa)
Alistair Petrie (General Draven)
Genevieve O’Reilly (Mon Mothma)

The first spin-off of the Star Wars saga serves as a bridge between Episodes III and IV, all revolving around the mission to steal the plans to the deadly Death Star.

Fifteen years ago, former Imperial scientist Galen Erso is forced back to complete a deadly weapon known as the Death Star under the orders of Commander Krennic. When Galen’s wife is killed when she tries to resist the motion, Galen’s daughter Jyn goes into hiding until she is saved and raised by old friend Saw Gerrera. However, as an adult, Jyn has been using aliases and has become a survivor even if she finds herself incarcerated.

En route to an Imperial camp, Jyn finds herself rescued by the Rebel Alliance’s Cassian Andor and K-2SO. The Alliance knows her identity and requests that she finds both Saw and her father as they are now aware of the Death Star being completed. At first reluctant, Jyn decides to assist the Alliance in exchange for her freedom. Going to Jedha, they learn Saw has taken a defected Imperial pilot, Bodhi Rook, who was sent by Galen to inform them of a weakness in the Death Star. Along with mercenary Baze Malbus and former temple master Chirrut Imwe, Jyn and Cassian decide to infiltrate the Empire to steal the plans for the Death Star. However, this is truly one mission that will not be as easy as expected but the Alliance is ready to do the impossible.

When it was announced that not only would there be three new episodes to the Star Wars universe, but a series of spinoffs, the universe was excited. This first official spinoff, which in some aspect can be described as “Star Wars 3.5”, acts as a bridge between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. This is apparent with the characters of Darth Vader, Grand Moff Tarkin, and a certain Princess returning. However, these three particular characters are played by new actors with the latter two having the likenesses of the original actors imposed on the performers while James Earl Jones returns to voice Vader.

The heroes of this film are great with their eclectic personalities. Felicity Jones leads the charge as Jyn Erso, a headstrong warrior raised to survive dire situations even when she has mixed feelings about her father’s loyalty to the Empire. Diego Luna is the pilot Cassian Andor who has a complete sense of loyalty to the Alliance with Alan Tudyk providing some comic relief as Andor’s robot K-2SO. Some welcome additions including Chinese actor and filmmaker Jiang Wen as mercenary Baze and action legend Donnie Yen, who with this role finally gets the Hollywood breakthrough in the role of the blind warrior Chirrut, who believes he is one with the Force. Mads Mikkelsen and Forest Whitaker make the most of their roles as Jyn’s father and mentor respectively. Riz Ahmed starts out scared as he defected but shows his mettle in the later portions.

While there isn’t much lightsaber action like the other Star Wars films, there is plenty of shootouts and hand to hand combat. Yen pulls out the stops when he starts wielding his staff and unleashing his martial arts skills, but don’t count out Jones, who in one scene unleashes a barrage of fighting skills against a trio of Stormtroopers in the Jedha scenes, even impressing Cassian. The action is truly up to par with the series even with a bit of a darker tone but is well executed.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a definitely Force-worthy spin-off to the sci-fi saga, with a wonderful and diverse cast, a great story that serves as a bridge and some great action. Definitely worth checking out!



Yen to star in “Dogs” Adaptation

Major news has arisen in the form of a live-action movie adaptation of one of my favorite video games.

It has been reported that Hong Kong superstar Donnie Yen, who made a welcome return to Hollywood with his pivotal role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will be headlining a live-action adaptation of Square Enix’s Sleeping Dogs.

Yen will play Wei Shen, a Hong Kong cop who returns from the United States and goes undercover in the Triads to uncover his sister’s death and discovers a major conspiracy as the lines blur between going undercover and being a real life gangster.

In the video game, Wei Shen was voiced by Will Yun Lee. The game also featured the voices of this year’s Oscar winning best actress Emma Stone, action stars Robin Shou, Conan Lee, and Ron Yuan; actresses Lucy Liu, Celina Jade, and Edison Chen. The Fast and Furious film series producer Neal H. Moritz is planning to produce this adaptation, which will follow suit and be set in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, one of Yen’s most recently completed films, Chasing the Dragon, has been picked up by Well Go USA for release.

Perhaps we may see Sleeping Dogs in 2018. More as this develops.

H/T: Deadline

Yen to get Handprints Imprinted at TCL Chinese Theater


A big Congratulations is going out to Hong Kong action icon Donnie Yen as on November 30, he will have his handprints imprinted at the famous TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Yen, who has followed in the footsteps of Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Gordon Liu, to become one of Hong Kong action cinema’s greatest talents, has not one, but two major Hollywood films in the next two months.

Yen will appear in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16, 2016 followed by XxX: Return of Xander Cage on January 20, 2017. The TCL Chinese Theater has handprints of over 200 celebrities with Yen being the latest Chinese-born performer to add his prints following Jackie Chan, John Woo, Feng Xiaogang, Justin Lin, Vicki Zhao, and Huang Xiaoming.

Yen was already a star in Hong Kong cinema for his prolific style of choreography, especially from 2005, using mixed martial arts in his choreography. However, it was 2008’s Ip Man that propelled Yen to international superstardom. Yen had attempted Hollywood before with roles in 2000’s Highlander: Endgame, a small role in 2002’s Blade II, and 2003’s Shanghai Knights. However, like Jackie Chan, Yen will have a resurgence in Hollywood and here’s hoping that lightning will in fact strike twice for him!

Congratulations to Donnie Yen on this grand honor!!!

H/T: JayneStars


The Lost Bladesman (2010)

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The writers of the Infernal Affairs trilogy and action star Donnie Yen bring the story of Three Kingdom warrior Guan Yu to life in this pretty exciting historical epic.

Guan Yuncheng was one of Liu Bei’s greatest generals in the Shu Kingdom during the warrior periods of the Three Kingdoms. However, when he is held prisoner by Cao Cao, the powerful general working for the Emperor, Guan is given a chance to be free when Cao Cao asks for his help in defeating General Yan Liang. To earn his freedom, Guan leads a cavalry and eventually defeats Yan Liang. Aside from his freedom, Guan is given the title of Marquis, which he somewhat refuses because of his loyalty to Liu Bei.

In an effort to make Guan defect to the empire, Cao Cao has Guan’s food poisoned temporarily and has also kidnapped Qilan, a young woman who is betrothed to be Liu Bei’s third wife yet has feelings for Guan. When Guan decides to leave anyway, Cao Cao lets him leave. Instead, when Guan and Qilan are en route to rejoin Liu Bei, Guan learns the truth that he has become a wanted man. Having no other choice but to face the emperor’s top generals, Guan must rely on his skills to defeat them, knowing eventually he will have to face Cao Cao.

Action star Donnie Yen is truly versatile when it comes to action films. He has done modern day, classic kung fu, and historical epic. Since playing the iconic Wing Chun grandmaster Ip Man, Yen has been taking roles that allow him to not only stretch his action muscle, but his acting muscle as well. Yen does quite well in the role of Guan Yuncheng, aka Guan Yu, the future “God of Righteousness”, who is seen as a warrior who just wants to do right. His actions are seen as chivalrous and deadly at the same time, even going as far as earning the respect of his most feared enemy. The role allows Yen to play Guan as both strong and humble at the same time, showing his strength when he fights, but when others compliment him, he takes it humbly and just sees himself as someone who wants to do right.

Jiang Wen, a filmmaker in his own right, brings Cao Cao as a general who is not sadistically evil, but one who knows of his power and brings a more nonchalant view of what he envisions the world to be after he has hopes to unite them. Despite their rivalry in their factions, it is clear this Cao Cao sees Guan Yu as a highly respected warrior and even when Guan makes the decision not to join him and return to Liu Bei out of loyalty, Cao may be responsible for sending the other generals to kill him, but respects his decision and sees if Guan is truly the respected warrior he is seen to be. As for Sun Li’s Qilan, she may be seen as a damsel in distress type, but is strong willed and knows her loyalties, even going off on Guan when she learns that he had helped Cao Cao in her first scene of the film.

The action sequences were done by Yen, who by now, is happy with sharing the spotlight when it comes to action, even if he is the one who has to emerge victoriously. Despite an all-too brief cameo by Chin Siu-Ho that ends before it begins, one of Yen’s best action sequences pits him against Andy On, who plays General Kong Xiu. In a nod to the likes of the classic Martial Club and Once Upon a Time in China II (which Yen played villain to Jet Li), Yen and On have an amazing weapon fight in a narrow hallway like structure with Yen using the Kwan Dao against On’s spear technique. It is clear that On, who had learned martial arts for film for just about a decade at the time, has learnt well and is impressive. This is why Yen handpicked On to take him on as the villain of Special ID three years later. Yen also gets to take on a group of archers singlehandedly by evading their arrows and then using both crossbow and sword against them in a very nicely executed battle scene. And for why one would wonder why the Guan Yu statues depict him in red, a theory can be seen here.

The Lost Bladesman is a film that once again proves Yen is a bankable actor alongside his exciting action, which delve into the historical epic, which sees the normally villainous Cao Cao in a different light of sorts, respecting Guan Yu as a humble warrior. Definitely one to check out, especially Donnie Yen fans.


A Star Union Skykee International Media Limited/Shanghai Film Group Co. Ltd./Anhui Media Group Co. Ltd. production. Directors: Alan Mak and Felix Chong. Producer: Liang Tang. Writers: Alan Mak and Felix Chong. Cinematography: Chan Chi-Ying. Editing: Kong Chi-Leung.

Cast: Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Sun Li, Alex Fong, Shao Bing, Andy On, Wang Xuebing, Edison Wang, Dong Yong, Li Zong-Han, Chin Siu-Ho, Zhou Bo, Yu Ailei.


Well Go USA to Unleash the “Ip Man Trilogy” Next Week


With Donnie Yen‘s recent announcement of a fourth Ip Man movie in development and the holidays coming up soon, here’s a nifty gift for fans of the first three installments.

Well Go USA Home Entertainment will unleash the Ip Man Trilogy movie set on October 11. That’s right…one week from today.

The trilogy revolves around the Wing Chun grandmaster whose most famous student was none other than the legendary Bruce Lee, who appears as a child in Ip Man 2, as played by Jiang Daiyan, only to be played by Danny Chan in a more extended cameo in Ip Man 3.

The trilogy will be available on both DVD and Blu-Ray, so on October 11, check your local stores from Well Go USA’s release of the Ip Man Trilogy.

To pre-order your copy of this prolific trilogy, click on the image below: