Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Donnie Yen’s follow up after the Kung Fu retirement of Ip Man career comes up with a highly entertaining, fun action affair in “Enter the Fat Dragon”. In fact, this is easily Wong Jing best produced film in years and reminds long time action fans of the glory days of Jackie Chan’s action comedy with an inject of indirect modern day social commentary. Impressive are the action scenes, Yen is comfortably in a fat suit and as agile as Sammo Hung in his prime. This is one film that will likely light up and bright some much needed smile on faces as we are struck with the depressing mood in Hong Kong and China right now in face of a pandemic outbreak.
Donnie Yen is the hero and Bruce Lee’s fan who constantly pass on the message of “be like water in whatever shape or form, fat or skinny”. In fact some of the fight scenes are so straight forward and direct reminding up of the comedy action that Jackie Chan used to do so in his prime days. Scriptwriter and producer and star Wong Jing plays his best role to date as the sidekick in Japan and a persistent lover. The usually annoying Wong Jing is no longer so, as he plays a real character that even ends up being likeable. Talks about impossibility, the film is smartly set in Japan, allowing police to be corrupted with gangsters and a murdered witness to the pending drug crime to be left in the ocean and disguised by cops as a suicide. All these allude to what has been happening to Hong Kong in the past 6 months and surprisingly it is given a wide Tencent streaming China release. Niki Chow is a welcome addition and return to big screen as Yen’s love interest. Teresa Mo is always suitable as Wong Jing’s long time love interest.
All in all, “Enter the Fat Dragon” is grossly entertaining from start to finish, with plenty of laughters and emotions to relate to, this is the best Chinese Lunar New Year film out of the lot. If this is what Donnie Yen is up to post retirement of the Ip Man arena, then the fans can continue to rejoice for many years ahead. As for Wong Jing, this is as delight as it probably will get. Be water my friend.
I rated it 8.5/10