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The Legend of Red Dragon
The Legend of Red Dragon
Actors: Kenichi Endo, Shingo Fukushima, Tatsuya Gashuin, Naho Izumi, Yu Misaki
Director: Tôru Ichikawa
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
UR     2008     1hr 17min

In Osaka, members of Kurosawa kai, a Japanese mafia group, are being slaughtered. According to the police investigation, the victims were cut in half by a sharp sword and it s obvious that these homicides have been committ...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kenichi Endo, Shingo Fukushima, Tatsuya Gashuin, Naho Izumi, Yu Misaki
Director: Tôru Ichikawa
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Martial Arts, Indie & Art House
Studio: Westlake
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/23/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 17min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

2 Stars: Action, Mild "Pink" Violence, a Sexy Japanese Wom
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 11/04/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Japanese action films, especially the ones that have a low budget, have usually carried the usual theme of vengeance ever since the inception of "pink violence" in their films. They usually have a very simple plot and the action it delivers may go from mild to ultra violent-- that uses some blood splattering effects, sex and nudity with the usual theme of betrayal and vengeance. "LEGEND OF THE RED DRAGON: Woman of Vengeance" (aka. Sekiryu No Onna, 2006) is a mild entry into the pink violence genre as directed by Toru Ichikawa.

In a small town in Osaka, a mass serial murder targeting the Japanese mafia- Kurosawa Kai are occurring in waves. According to the police files, the victims were murdered with the use of a very sharp sword by someone with an uncanny ability to wield such a weapon. Aramaki (Kenichi Endo), one of the officers of the mafia clan resolves to find the killer; but the body count continues to rise as does his anxiety. A clue surfaces that is related to "sekiryu" (red dragon)--it awakens an ominous memory: The truth behind the brutal murder of the Asahina family and the shadow of vengeance--a lone survivor. A woman raised by a legendary swordsman named Yui (beauteous Yu Misaki) steps forward to exact her revenge...

Sounds pretty cardboard doesn't it? Well, it is. I was told by a friend that what matters is the film's journey. The film isn't going to win any awards for originality. "Legend of the Red Dragon" refers to the dragon tattoo at the back of an Asahina clan's master. The film does have the usual themes of betrayal, revenge, love and attempts for redemption. The film doesn't offer anything new, except that it does somehow manage to make me say "What the Heck?" once again. The film takes a dark and serious tone but the appearance of the "Otomatsu trio" just made me laugh my socks off. I was a little confused, as to this change of tone that gave the film a manga-inspired feel. Whether this was intentional or not, I rather took it as a way to lighten the film's mood a bit--even though it felt severely out of place.

Aside from the outrageous oddball trio, the film pretty much sticks to textbook Japanese action characters. Yui is an orphaned girl raised by a former hitman for the mafia played by legendary stunt coordinator Kenji Ohba (whose works are mostly followed by Tarantino himself). Yu Misaki who plays the female lead is a Japanese model who has represented Japan in different modeling competitions. I suppose her performance was decent enough as our beautiful, brooding heroine. There is nothing sexier than a beautiful Japanese woman in a red gown who wields a red katana sword. Kenichi Endo is the main antagonist and his role isn't any different from the other ones he has played. Some characters proved minor fillers to emphasize Yui's divided resolve. The film also relies on flashbacks (mostly shot in Black and white) to give our main characters some development.

The action sequences go from good to decent to mediocre to good. You can almost tell that the shooting of the action scenes required most of the film's budget and its quality shifts from time to time. I can definitely tell that some scenes required Yui as being doubled by a male stuntman but thankfully they abandoned this idea near its climax. Yu Misaki does her share of fight sequences but the camerawork didn't hang back to show all her moves. Despite its weaknesses, I thought Misaki looked capable in the action scenes and definitely exuded a restrained sexiness in the action poses. There are some blood splattering effects used and some gore had been utilized. I kind of liked the film's soundtrack, and of course there is some sex and nudity in its proceedings but they are quite mild compared to "pink" film standards.

Overall, "Sekiryu No Onna" is entertaining enough but definitely forgettable. It doesn't offer anything new to the genre but the Otomatsu trio is still making me crack up. The action scenes are quite mediocre compared to the awesome swordplay in Ryuhei Kitamura's fantastic "Azumi". I was real disappointed that the encounter between Yui and the Aramaki's Chinese female bodyguard didn't reach fruition but I guess it was hampered by the film's budget. The film's climax seemed a bit too perfunctory for my tastes and some elements were heavy-handed. The film wasn't bad but it was just too MEDIOCRE.
However, if you measure this film in regards to "guilty pleasure" with a 6-pack of brewsky---then yes, it would be quite good.

Recommended with caution to fans of Japanese cinema; Rental for everybody else. [2 ½ Stars]
The dvd's quality is simple; the video is Letterboxed with 2.0 Dolby Digital Japanese track. The English Subtitles are good.

Information is wrong.
Christopher Beaumont | NY | 09/21/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"The image and description are for a 2006 Japanese film (Sekiryû no onna) with the international title of THe Legend of the Red Dragon. This is not the Jet Li film from 1994 as indicated by the printed title and cast/director."
Movie is a waste of time and money.
lk2 | 10/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"This review is for the movie "The Legend of Red Dragon".

As the review by Christopher Beaumont "draven993" states, Amazon shows the artwork for "The Legend of Red Dragon", but has the product details for a different movie with a similar title. "Legend of the Red Dragon".

The artwork shown is for a movie starring Yu Misaki, and does not have Jet Li.

The product details are for a different movie that does not have Yu Misaki, but does have Jet Li.

The plot of The Legend of Red Dragon is simplistic, about a young girl who grows up to take vengeance on her father's killers. She uses a sword to kill. The subtitles are stupid, the type of dialog I remember from the 1970s Hong Kong chop socky movies. The acting is strictly amateur hour. And the action sequences are clumsy and unbelievable.

There are so many better movies out there to watch. Rent this turkey only if you plan to get drunk and watch this flic with some buddies for talking trash.

Revenge is not always Unjustifiable
Jusuf Hariman | Australia | 11/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I like this movie very much, even though the non-expression of the red dragon might make one depressed. I like it because it is consonant with my philosophy that often, law is too slow and direct revenge is therefore is not always unjustifiable. In Osaka, members of Kurosawa kai, a Japanese mafia group, are being slaughtered. According to the police investigation, the victims were cut in half by a sharp sword and it is obvious that these homicides have been committed by a professional. One of the officers of Kurosawa Kai, Aramaki, seeks to catch the killer: however, the number of victims rises. Clues start to come to the forefront during this investigation which raises suspicions that these are vengeful crimes by 'sekiryu' (the red dragon). One woman stands up against Aramaki who comprehends the truth."