Dragon Fury (1995)
So the Apocalypse happened back in 1999. I know, you probably missed it; I know I did. But it happened, and Los Angeles split from the continent by the fault line and was hit by a plague. By some strange voodoo, this resulted in the remnants of the city becoming entrenched in a mix of medieval pageantry and ninja violence.
Well, if any post-apocalyptic city is going to devolve into a bad action movie, they’re right, L.A. would be the place.
Mason travels back in time to find the vaccine for the plague, and ends up with temporary amnesia. Dr. Ruth helps him recover his memory just in time for Regina to show up and make him this offer:
“I’ll answer all of your questions after we have sex.”
Hard to argue with that.
The plot, as convoluted as it is, is basically a clothes hanger for the many action scenes and gratuitous nudity. Kicks, flips, and some remarkably goofy sword fights are aplenty here. Mason and Fullock spend almost as much time showing off with their weapons as they do using them.
The film operates on a special version of logic that no matter how far you are away from someone, if they kick at you, you will fall. All L.A. street gangs have an instinctive knowledge of really slow moving karate. Security guards will let anyone through as long as they say they’re one of the scientist’s friends or offering ice cream.
It’s gloriously ridiculous but the movie doesn’t seem to think so. There’s a distinct lack of irony in proceedings, as well as a desire to show off all of the ugliest and silliest parts of the early 90’s.
The fashion sense is also impressive. The post-apocalypse relies a lot on chokers and shirts either wide open or missing altogether. Milton wears one impressive number that seems to come straight from a discarded piece of shag carpeting.
Dragon Fury has an issue with momentum, as much of the middle of the movie seems to follow characters walking around and looking upset. There’s one particular fight with a Chinese gang that just kind of happens and ends after the action choreographer picks up another paycheck. Every minute is aching to push this movie past the 80 minute mark, and it doesn’t even make that.
Despite this and a fair amount of lame acting, when the action hits, Dragon Fury is cheesy fun.
Rating: 5/10 (A gag so bad it becomes good again, Christ analogies for no reason, the glasses do nothing, the world’s worst security guard, totally pinned behind that desk)
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This one is available for free and in full over on YouTube.