Plot: Alex has a troubled existence, one that has him wandering the land and almost always engaged in combat. He fights anyone and everyone, including entire schools of kung fu masters. His friend loves to fight too, but doesn’t have the skills of Alex, so he just travels with him. Alex’s friend also loves to stir up trouble and start fights, then have Alex step in and finish the conflicts. Alex has great fighting skills, but he is haunted by the memories of his childhood when he saw his father lose a fight. This is how he winds up against a powerful gangster known as The Leopard, as he sees some thugs trying to humiliate an old man in front of his grandson. After Alex dispatches the thugs, he learns of The Leopard and his hold over the village. But even if Alex could defeat The Leopard and his henchmen, can he ever overcome his trouble past and make peace with what happened back then?
Entertainment Value: Dragons Never Die is also known as Kung Fu: 10th Dan, but its never been easy to track down under either title. The story here is kind of odd, since this dude is just haunted by his dad losing a fight, which seems rather extreme. I get the honor thing and the spirit of competition, but Alex really should have just moved on with his life, I think. Despite the somber tone of his father’s defeat (shown here in murderous red soaked flashbacks), Dragons Never Die has a comedic slant in most scenes. There’s even a scene where the fighting is sped up to chipmunk level speed, which is of course, an unusual sight. The movie takes a more serious turn toward the last half hour, but until then, the tone is light and even goofy at times. There’s a lot of action and not much down time between fights, which is nice. A slower pace does kick in toward that shift in tone, but it goes with the narrative, so it makes sense. This movie isn’t going to convert any non believers, but if you’re into wacky chop socky movies, Dragons Never Die is well worth a chance.
One girl gets topless after she gets worked up watching hot blacksmith action, needed to take a bath to cool down. Our comic foil comes in and ruins her bath of course, which is always fun. No blood, but lots of chop socky style violence. I mean a lot, as Dragons Never Die is petal to the metal action in most stretches, with a short respite toward the end, then it ramps right back up again. The fights aren’t that intricate, but are rock solid and are a lot of fun to watch. For a movie with so much comedy, you might be surprised how effective the fight scenes are in this one. The English language track is totally off the wall, or at least I assume it is. The broken English is hilarious and the voices don’t mesh well with the characters, just goofy stuff. A lot of hilariously bad lines that just add to the film’s comedic slant. Aside from the voice work and blood red flashbacks, there isn’t much crazy about Dragons Never Die, so it remains pretty grounded within the chop socky expectation spectrum.
Overall Insanity: 1/10