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Dragons Forever (1988) 88 Films Blu-ray Review



Some romantic subplots bog down this otherwise amusing and intense martial arts film however, this release from 88 Films is a must-have packed with special features including 3 different versions of the movie.

Plot: A playboy lawyer gets mixed up in a case that will push him over the edge into action … and romance.

Review: A playboy lawyer named Jackie Lung (played by Jackie Chan) has a client who is a drug lord, and when the drug lord tells him to get a concerned citizen off his back, Jackie looks into it and sort of falls for the innocent woman who’s main concern is that Jackie’s client is polluting her neighborhood with toxic chemicals. When Jackie takes her side, he teams up with two buddies (who don’t know each other and clash at first), played by Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, to help him make the right choices. The two of them assist Jackie as he goes up against the drug lord, who has a seriously badass henchman, played by Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. The final fight in the drug lord’s chemical factory is insane, but the end to the film is abrupt.

Some romantic subplots bog down this otherwise amusing and intense martial arts film. Chan, Hung, and Biao had previously appeared in Project A, My Lucky Stars, and Wheels on Meals. Both Hung and Chan fight Urquidez here, and Chan also fought him in Wheels on Meals. Urquidez, who was a champion kickboxer in real life, later made some appearances in a few action movies like Bloodmatch and Kickfighter. Dragons Forever is essential mainly because he’s in it. Without him, it wouldn’t be nearly as special. Hung directed. Corey Yuen choreographed the fights.

88 Films has just released an epic Blu-ray edition of Dragons Forever that will have fans of the film grateful for years to come. There are three versions of the movie, new commentaries, interviews (including a more-than-20-minute one with Urquidez, which I watched first), a huge double-sided poster, and much more, including a thick essay booklet and hardshell case. One of the most impressive special edition Blu-ray releases of 2022, this one is a must-own. A 4K edition is also available.

Bonus Materials

  • Hong Kong Version – 4K restoration of the original Hong Kong version of Dragons Forever.
  • Audio Commentary with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
  • Trailer One – original Hong Kong trailer for Dragons Forever. In Cantonese, with English subtitles. (4 min).
  • Trailer One – original English trailer for Dragons Forever. In English. (3 min).
  • Outtakes and Behind the Scenes – a collection of outtakes and behind the scenes footage, some quite painful but very funny, presented with music. (13 min).
  • Japanese End Credits – original Japanese end credits for Dragons Forever. In Cantonese, not subtitled. (2 min).
  • Deleted Scenes – two deleted scenes. In English. (4 min).
  • The Legacy of Dragons Forever – in this short program, stuntmen Troy Sandford and Chris Jones, and filmmaker Boyask, amongst other, discuss the unique chemistry between the stars of Dragons Forever. In English. (3 min).
  • The Breaker – this archival program takes a closer look at the acting and fighting careers of Billy Chow, who has a memorable role in Dragons Forever. In English and Cantonese, with English subtitles where necessary. (35 min).
  • Kick Fighter – in this archival program, Andy Cheng explains how he entered the film business and discusses his fighting style. There are also some very interesting comments about his collaborations with Jackie Chan. In English. (39 min).
  • Beyond Gravity – in this archival program, martial arts/background performer Joe Eigo discusses the enormous impact Bruce Lee’s films had on him and his eventual transition to the film business. In English. (13 min).
  • Double Jeopardy – in this archival program, martial arts performer Brad Allen explains how Jackie Chan’s style influenced his work and career and discusses his style. In English. (27 min).
  • Working with the Dragons – in this new program, stunt coordinator, performer and choreographer Jude Poyer recalls his work with the stars of Dragons Forever on different projects. (7 min).
  • Hong Kong Cinema Forever – in this new program, Hong Kong cinema expert Mike Leeder quickly addresses Dragons Forever and the things that make it a special film. In English. (6 min).
  • Discussing Dragons Forever – in this new program, Professor of Cinema Studies David Desser discusses Jackie Chan’s legacy and the importance of the ’80s action films he made. In English. (7 min).
  • Benny Forever – in this new program, Benny ‘The Jet’ Urquidez discusses his acting career and the various action films he appeared in together with some of the greatest stars of Hong Kong cinema. In English. (25 min).
  • English Version – 4K restoration of the English version of Dragons Forever, which was commissioned by Golden Harvest for international audiences outside Asia with the classic English dub. (94 min).
  • Japanese Version – 4K restoration of the Japanese version of Dragons Forever., which features two extra scenes and an ending with outtakes. Presented with English subtitles. (98 min)