More or less having made a name for herself in Point of No Return (the American version of La Femme Nikita), Bridget Fonda is now back in Besson territory. This time around she’s a hooker trying to kick a heroine addiction and pinning away for her kidnapped daughter. Jean-Pierre Richard (Tchéky Karyo) is not only the head of the Parisian police department but head pimp of the city’s largest prostitution ring; he keeps whores like Jessica (Fonda) on the street, their daughters in orphanages and frames the likes of Liu Jian (Jet Li). This skillful action yarn keeps things simple. Indeed, Kiss of the Dragon may be the dopiest yet most successful action flick of the year. Li shows off his acrobatic skills inside a hotel’s laundry chute, at a French canal, inside an orphanage full of scared girls and, ultimately, inside the confines of a police department. Kiss of the Dragon has style and camp to burn. Where fools cheered the reductive explosions of Swordfish and Pearl Harbor, Dragon is pretense-free. Though nowhere near as graceful as Woo’s Hard Boiled or the underrated Blade, Kiss of the Dragon is a hardcore celebration of one grieving hooker and the power of Jet Li’s kick.
- Chris Nahon
- Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen
- Jet Li, Bridget Fonda, Tchéky Karyo, Max Ryan
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