4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Forget it, kid! It's Chinatown!,
This review is from: Year Of The Dragon [DVD] (DVD)
The title refers to the immortal line from the Roman Polanski 1974 film noir classic. Although that film ends in Chinatown, Year of the Dragon is Chinatown. The characters in it, Detective Stanley White and Joey Tai don't own Chinatown, instead, Chinatown owns them and eventually devours them.
The script is a relentless tour de force from Oliver Stone. Considering the excesses that comes with his scripts (Midnight Express and Scarface), this movie may seem like a mundane cop and robbers flick.
This was director Michael Cimino's first film since the debacle known as Heaven's Gate that nearly derailed United Artist in 1980. Having said that, it would be short of a miracle that he could actually direct again in Tinseltown. Nevertheless, this was a film-hungry director who seemed desperately in redeeming his soul.
Another lengthy note on the characters in this film. A great comparison could be made between this film and the equally under-rated William Friedkin's 80s magnum opus, "To Live and Die in LA". Both the protaganists are by and large, immoral, possessed unorthodox work ethnics and extremely obsessiion driven to nab their criminal counterparts even if it meant breaking the law itself. To add a further dimension, Mickey Rourke's character is a tad racist too, this is further accentuated by the fact that his surname, White, has a supremacist undertone.
The film, largely ignored in the mid 80s, is rather intense, to say the least. It remains one of the few movies that I have been waiting to be put up on DVD.