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Case Number 27595: Small Claims Court

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Dragonwolf (Blu-ray)

Well Go USA // 2013 // 122 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // August 4th, 2014

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson played bass for Dragonwolf.

The Charge

Not the documentary on the British hair metal band.

The Case

In the violent, depraved city called The Devil's Cauldron, evildoers run amok and the innocent are preyed upon. The leading agents causing such chaos are two elite assassins and best friends: Mozart (Patrick Kazu Tang) and Julius (Johan Kirsten). But when a gorgeous woman comes between the two, seducing them and driving an irreparable rift in the friendship, all hell breaks loose. Julius goes on the rampage, looking to smoke out Mozart and put him in the ground. Mozart, meanwhile, has different plans, employing his considerable death-dealing techniques to level the playing field, taking out Julius's henchmen and destroying the criminal infrastructure that holds up The Devil's Cauldron. It all culminates in a major-league throwdown with Mozart on one side and about thirty million dudes on the other.

The ingredients are all here for a memorable action jaunt, but a few things keep Dragonwolf from living up to its fantastic name. But, first the good:

There is a lot of fighting
A lot. From the beginning to the jam-packed finale, Patrick Kazu Tang gets a workout. The intro has him pounding the Miracle Whip out of a steady stream of thugs in a drug lab—and that's before the opening title. Action is distributed evenly through the rest of the runtime, though the biggest fireworks are saved for the end, when you get close to fifteen minutes of unending hand-to-hand mayhem.

The characters are nuts
Like any good violent grindhouse actioner, Dragonwolf has some weirdos occupying its mythology. Julius is sort of a stiff, but Mozart is enigmatic enough. He's aided by a flashy, combat-loving, leather-clad girl from his past and goes toe to toe with a variety of colorful lunatics.

That's about it. And the bad:

It's too long and the fighting actually grows sort of boring and the production values feel low-rent and the ending is a complete letdown.

So, is Dragonwolf worth a spin? I'd really like to say so, because these guys really slather on the melee and everyone seems into delivering bone-crunching zaniness. But the story is overlong and uninteresting and the fights themselves just don't have enough juice to separate them from the also-rans of the overseas martial arts machine.

So-so Blu-ray. The 1.78:1 HD transfer is solid, occasionally suffering from soft resolution, but passable nonetheless. Audio presents an active-enough 5.1 DTS Master Audio 5.1 track. Just the trailer for extra content.

The Verdict

I don't want to slap a "Guilty" verdict on it, but Dragonwolf is a missed opportunity. How about "Guiltish?"

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 75

Perp Profile

Studio: Well Go USA
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
Audio Formats:
• DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
• English
Running Time: 122 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• Blu-ray
• Martial Arts

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


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