Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 5th, 2018
BluRay released: January 23rd, 2018
Approximate running times: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital Stereo Cantonese, DTS-HD 5.1 English, Dolby Digital Stereo English
Subtitles: English, Chinese
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A / Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $29.95
Chasing the Dragon was written and co-directed by Jing Wong, a producer / director whose other notable films include, God of Gamblers, Royal Tramp, City Hunter, High Risk and Naked Killer. Key collaborators on Chasing the Dragon include, composer Kwong Wing Chan (The Storm Riders, Infernal Affairs) and co-director / cinematographer Jason Kwan (Vulgaria, Cold War).
There are two historical figures that are featured prominently in Chasing the Dragon. The first these two historical figures Ng Sek Ho (aka Crippled Ho), who immigrated from mainland China to Hong Kong in the 1960’s. With the arc of Chasing the Dragon’s narrative focusing on his rise to the top of the drug world in Hong Kong in the 1960’s and his eventual downfall. The second of these two historical figures Lui Lok, was a Hong Kong detective staff Sargent, who played a central role in the police related corruption that was rampant in Hong Kong during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Besides Chasing the Dragon, other films that Lui Lok has been the focal point of include, To Be Number One and the Lee Rock trilogy.
From a production standpoint, the film’s narrative is superbly realized and nowhere is more evident, then in regards to how well this film balances its violent outburst and more dramatic moments. And not to be overlooked is how well the film convincingly recreates the 1960 era in which the events that are being depicted too place. And to further bolster, the aforementioned solid narrative. This film contains a handful of well executed action set pieces.
Without a doubt, this film’s greatest asset is Donnie Yen’s (Ip Man, 14 Blades) performance in the role of Crippled Ho. He totally immerses himself in the role and delivers what is arguably one of the best performances of his career. And though this is more of dramatic performance from him. He has an ample amount of moments that showcase his marital arts prowess.
Other notable performances include, Nikki Chow (Love Battlefield) in the role of female assassin, Bryan Larkin in the role Crippled Ho’s main nemesis, a corrupt British police officer named Ernest Hunt and Andy Lau (Days of Being Wild, House of Flying Daggers) in the iconic role of Lui Lok (aka Lee Rock).
Chasing the Dragon comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels remain strong throughout, details look sharp and there are no issues with compression.
This release comes with four audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Cantonese, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Cantonese, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in English and a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. All of the audios mixes sound, clear and balanced throughout. Range wise the more ambient aspects of the film’s soundtrack are well represented and the action scenes sound robust. Included with this release are removable English and Chinese subtitles.
Extras for this release include, Chasing the Dragon, Brotherhood of Blades 2, The Adventures and The Swindlers.
Also, included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo. Overall Chasing the Dragon gets a solid audio / video presentation.