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April 22, 2022

DRAGON INN — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

 

COLE SMITHEY

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Actor turned writer/director King Hu opened a new chapter of action cinema when he moved from Hong Kong to Taiwan in 1967 to make Dragon Inn, a groundbreaking wuxia film that retains its stunning vitality to this day.

“The carriage, the boat, the road, the inn; you cannot escape these things without getting murdered.”

Screen Shot 2022-04-22 at 12.00.18 PM

You can see traces of Dragon Inn in Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight.

King Hu’s influence extends to Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon.

Hu contrasts traditions of Chinese opera with Japanese action Cinema, think of Kan Shimozawa’s phenomenal Zatoichi franchise, to form a stylistic foundation upon which to layer his arsenal of cinematic tricks. The carefully choreographed swordplay is believably deadly. 

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Fluid camera work and Kin Hu’s innovative action techniques elevate beautifully edited sequences acted out with impressive gymnastic skill by Hu’s amazing actors.

Dragon Inn is a classic martial arts film by all standards. This is an exquisite movie you will not soon forget.

Not Rated. 111 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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