Year of the Dragon

Year Of The Dragon
Year Of The Dragon

Recommended by Ralph Mellon

The first film entrusted to director Michael (‘The Deer Hunter’) Cimino after the colossal critical and commercial catastrophe of ‘Heaven’s Gate’ five years earlier. Mickey Rourke, still fairly potent in 1985, stars as Stanley White, a highly decorated cop in New York’s Chinatown, who is obsessively determined to clean up murderous Triad youth gangs, rising corruption and drug trading with a worldwide profile, as embodied by ascending crime kingpin Joey Tai (John Lone).

Stanley’s unpopular with his colleagues, neglects his wife and is a fanatical racist, but none of these traits are as objectionable as his hairstyle.

He also begins a fractious relationship with Asian-American TV journalist Tracy Tzu (Ariane), while his contempt for her keeps shining on through.

Co-scripted by Oliver Stone, from Robert Daley’s novel, there are some excellent sequences and, 30 years on, the film is still worth enjoying.

Although, as one reviewer did note, it ‘almost drowns in a sea of excess and self-importance’.