Bridge of Dragons (1999) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Dolph Lundgren is saddled with the aggressive moniker, ‘Warchild’ in the high energy action film Bridge of Dragons. A film that exists in an undefined time period, in perhaps another dimension. This other time and place contains Military clothes from the Nazi era, cars from the 1940s and weaponry from today. The story follows princess Halo, a headstrong young woman, opposed to an arranged marriage to General Ruechang. It seems that Ruechang murdered the king in a mutinous takeover, now he must marry and produce a legitimate heir to the throne. However on her wedding day Princess Halo, escapes into the forests outside the city walls, in an attempt to join the rebels in their quest to overthrow the murderous regime. Its bad Shakespeare, but its well handled and done with a large amount of style.

Director Isaac Florentine once again displays a unique talent for action cinema. He keeps the film lightening paced, while managing to sidesteps most of my complaints about the genera. The direction is crisp and the rather basic story is told with style and thought. Too many times I am witness to shortsighted direction that cripples these kinds of films. Fans of Lundgren will be relieved to know that Bridge of Dragons contains an equal amount of martial arts mayhem to the gun fights and explosions. Dolph handles the lead role with a charismatic grace that recalls some of his more successful theatrical releases.

Carey Tagawa has always been an underused talent. Here, once again, he plays the heavy. In a role not that dissimilar from his iconic turn in Mortal Kombat. Tagawa, typically, brings more to the character than the script does. He is such a fine actor that his General Ruechang seems to posses an inner conflict that the film never address. At times I wished they had taken a moment to give him a proper scene explaining his motivation. Maybe I am asking too much from a b-movie, but this particular b-movie is of the highest order.

Director: Isaac Florentine
Stars: Dolph Lundgren, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Valerie Chow

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