Jinxi, blessed with nimble agility and a brute strength, just so happens to be in the shop when the robbery takes place and bravely risks his life to tackle the two thieves, vanquishing them both with ease. Although labelled a hero amongst the grateful community, detective Xu Baijiu (Takeshi Kaneshiro) is not quite convinced and delves deep into the victor's dark and mysterious past, which threatens to disrupt Jinxi's harmonious and idyllic existence.
Devoted fans of 'wuxia' (a broad term for martial arts cinema) may not be quite as enthralled with Dragon as others perhaps, as although telling a compelling tale, the combat scenes are somewhat underwhelming, with nothing particularly memorable or inspiring about them. The choreography is impressive, but there is little innovation behind it. This is no pastiche, and not as exemplary of the wuxia genre as other films such as Reign of Assassins (2010), released earlier this year. Instead this feels as though Chan is doing something different, and isn't attempting to appeal to a US market quite so much, avoiding the patent conventions of the genre.
Chan effectively manages to capture naturalistic sensibilities amidst a more fantastical setting, and Dragon - complete with an array of rather captivating haircuts on show - is a very ingenious offering. However, as a film that's primarily character-driven, this remains more of a decent 'movie', rather than a decent 'martial arts movie'. which could prove a downfall in regards to the target audience, despite the broader appeal.