Dragon Tiger Gate (2006) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Original Mandarin Title: 龍虎門
Release Date: July 28, 2006 
Directed by: Wilson Yip
Language: Cantonese
Music by: Kenji Kawai
Starring: Donnie Yen, Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue, Louis Koo, Ella Koon, Yuen Wah, Dong Jie, Li Xiaoran, Tony Wong Yuk-long, Yu Kang, Sheren Tang

Two brothers named Dragon Wong and Tiger Wong, were separated when Dragon’s mother decided to take Dragon away leaving the younger sibling behind with his father. However, Dragon’s mother gave a piece of half jade amulet to Dragon, so as he can reunite with his younger brother who has the other half. Dragon is a master of fists while Tiger is a master of legs. They make a good combination.

Unfortunately,  Dragon’s mother (Sheren Tang) was short-lived when she was killed in a blazing apartment and Dragon is taken under the care of triad boss named Ma Qun and he grew up to become Ma’s bodyguard. Ma Qun’s gang is a subject of the evil Luocha Gate.

Several years later, Tiger Wong (Nicholas Tse) and his friends dines in a restaurant and encounter Ma Qun and his men, who are receiving the Luocha Plaque.

Shibumi (Yu Kang/Louis Koo)

The Luocha Plaque is a symbol of authority within the Luocha Gate and indicates the holder is second-in-command only to the Luocha Gate’s leader Shibumi (Yu Kang/Louis Koo). Ma Qun and the leader of the White Lions Gang were arguing over the Plaque when Tiger starts a fight with the gangsters.

Tiger and his friends seized the Plaque. And, Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) appears and fights with Tiger, whom he does not recognise to be his half-brother. Ma Qwun calls for Dragon to stop.

Tiger Wong attacks one of the White Lion Gang, who is harassing a family

That night, Dragon confronts Tiger and his friends at a Japanese restaurant to take back the Plaque. Tiger and his friends’ meal were drugged by Scaly (Vincent Sze), one of Ma’s lackeys, who also wants the Plaque to prove to his worthiness to the boss.

Scaly and his followers fight Dragon over possession of the Plaque. Turbo Shek (Shawn Yue), was also dining next door but his delicate meal has been interrupted by the commotion and he joins in the fight on Dragon’s side. Dragon and Turbo defeat Scaly and his men and Dragon takes back the Plaque from Tiger. Soon, Tiger realizes that Dragon has the other half of the jade amulet pendant and realises that Dragon is actually his half-brother.

Turbo follows Tiger back to Dragon Tiger Gate and challenges Wong Fuk Fu (Yuen Wah). Turbo was ultimately defeated. Wong Fuk Fu agrees to spar with Turbo and defeats Turbo easily. Turbo is humbled and accepted by Wong as a student.

Meanwhile, Ma Qwun returns the Luocha Plaque to signify his retirement. He is supported by Dragon, who wants to return to Dragon Tiger Gate, and his daughter Ma Xiaoling (Dong Jie), who wants a simple life. Shibumi disapproves and sends the Double Devils to kill Ma Qun.

He uses his subordinate Rosa (Ella Koon) to lure Dragon away while his minions kill Ma Qun. Dragon realises that he had been tricked. Dragon slays the Double Devils after a vicious fight and leaves Ma Xiaoling in his brother’s care before leaving.

Shibumi was impressed with Dragon for defeating the Double Devils and goes to Dragon Tiger Gate to issue a challenge. With Dragon not present, Master Wong Fuk Fu, Tiger and Turbo takes on Shibumi’s challenge but were utterly defeated. Master Wong Fuk Fu is killed by Shibumi. Ma Xiaoling brings Tiger and Turbo to Mount Baiyun to seek help from Master Qi (Tony Wong Yuk-long). Master Qi heals Tiger and Turbo, and teaches them new martial arts techniques to defeat Shibumi.

Turbo Shek (Shawn Yue), Dragon Wong (Donnie Yen) and his brother Tiger Wong (Nicholas Tse)

Tiger and Turbo races to Shibumi’s pagoda to defeat him. Although improved, but still lack of energy and power to defeat Shibumi. Towards a crucial moment, Dragon appears and fights Shibumi, and defeat him.

Reviewer’s Note:
Based on the manhua (Chinese comics) by Tony Wong Yuk-long who also play a cameo as Master Qi in the film.

龍虎門 (Dragon Tiger Gate) by Tony Wong Yuk-long

The manhua depicts the story of a close relationship between both brothers who once endure hardship together as the best of friends. Later separated and reunited when they cross-paths as adults. No matter what happens, the elder brother will always protect the younger one.

Keen readers and followers of the manhua series may or may not like the film because it lacks of its original story. Many scenes were fast-forward and focus on Shibumi’s reign, rather than the brotherhood history.

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