Issue #288         HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES        November 7th, 2005

Legacy of Rage
(1986; D & B Films Co.)

Cantonese: Lung joi gong woo
Mandarin: Long zai jiang hu
English: Dragon All Over the Country


  RATING: 6/10


Fans of Brandon Lee Kwok-ho should make a point of seeing this D & B Films actioner, the late actor's only HK film. Lee (whose real voice is not heard in any version) plays an honest but rather slow-witted young man, whose gangster "friend" (Michael Wong Man-tak) frames him for the murder of a corrupt, blackmailing narcotics officer (Lam Chung). While serving an eight year prison sentence for manslaughter, he befriends a wily gunrunner (played by the film’s action director, Mang Hoi), who later joins forces with him for a final assault on the villain's estate.

Regina Kent (left), Brandon Lee Brandon Lee

LEGACY OF RAGE proceeds much along the same lines as Lee's later Hollywood efforts, SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO (1991) and RAPID FIRE (1992), with the formula plot periodically allowing its star to engage in methodically staged action setpieces (the most memorable being an early hand-to-hand skirmish with Bolo Yeung, who appeared with Lee's father in ENTER THE DRAGON). The requisite stock characters are all present and accounted for: the doomed girlfriend (Kan Wai-ling, billed under her English name, Regina Kent), the benevolent prison guard (Shaw Brothers veteran Ku Feng), the fatherly boss (Yip Wing-cho), the young son he didn't know he had, etc. Lee does well enough with this hackneyed material but, sadly, it wouldn't be until his final performance in THE CROW (1994) that he really exhibited the talent and presence to be more than just another action hero. Similarly, genre conventions also bind director Ronny Yu Yan-tai, who was likely chosen to helm the project because of his proficiency in English, the only language Lee spoke (Michael Wong and Regina Kent were probably also hired for that same reason). Apparently influenced by John Woo's A BETTER TOMORROW (released in August of 1986, four months before LEGACY), Yu stages the bullet-riddled finale along much the same lines, as did every other HK gangster flick until the cycle finally ran its course in the early 90's. Michael Chan Wai-man, Shing Fui-on, Che-Kirk Wong Chi-keung, and Ng Man-tat co-star. Watch also for Blackie Ko Shou-liang (who performs a terrific car stunt) and Ken Lo Wai-kwong (who appears long enough to get shot several times)...and isn’t that Ronny Yu (as a hood tasting some cocaine) at the 4 minute mark? Brandon Lee’s tragic demise on the set of THE CROW is well known, but sadly, Regina Kent also died at a young age, and this adds some poignancy to the scenes they share.

Yip Wing-cho (left), Bolo Yeung Michael Wong Man-tak (left), Regina Kent


Aside from some very minor weaknesses (originating, at least in part, from the filmstock and short production schedule), the presentation looks very good. The re-mixes are not quite as polished, however, and some swearing has been deleted from the Cantonese track. "Original Cantonese Soundtrack" is promised, but it is also in stereo with some new foley, so this is clearly not the older mix. The English dubtrack is new, and an improvement over the old, though the compromised Cantonese versions are still a better choice. English subtitles are included (translating the Cantonese dialogue, not transcribing the English), along with the HK theatrical trailer, a new video promo spot, and spots for other Fox titles.

Brandon Lee (left), Mang Hoi Ku Feng

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2005. All Rights Reserved.


- U.S. Release

NTSC – Region 1 Only

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (no cat #)

Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0/DTS

Post-synced Cantonese and Dubbed English Language

Subtitles (Optional): English

20 Chapters

16:9 Enhanced (1.85:1)

87 Minutes


- Argentina: 16

Australia: R 18+

Canada (video): 18A

Great Britain: 18 (cut)

Manitoba: PA

Nova Scotia: R

Ontario: R

Quebec: 13+

Singapore: NC16

Spain: 13

United States: R

Contains brutal violence, coarse language, and some substance abuse

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful