So once again we have survived.

Lady Dragon 2

tn_ladydragon2In LADY DRAGON 2, Cynthia Rothrock de-prises her role as Kathy Galagher, ex-CIA underground fighter out to avenge the death of her also-a-CIA-agent husband. This time she plays Susan “The Golden Angel” Morgan, who in the opening scene defends her professional (i.e. not underground) competitive karate title in the presence of her very much not dead yet husband and famous soccer player Sonny (George Rudy). But then later her husband gets murdered and she has to avenge it.

Meanwhile, criminal maniac Diego (Billy Drago, DELTA FORCE 2, MARTIAL LAW II) and his two flunkies (Sam FLASH GORDON Jones and Greg Stuart [QUIGLEY DOWN UNDER]) are stealing diamonds from the mafia, and then staying in the same hotel as Susan and Sonny. Somehow sensing that Sonny’s fame as an international soccer star will get him brushed through customs without much more than a glance, they stash the stolen loot in his luggage and follow him to Jakarta. But when they go to reclaim the diamonds they’re gone.

Before we move on, let me just say that they call it soccer throughout the movie, they don’t say football, so I don’t have to say it either. Those are the rules. I also say shit instead of shite. It’s how I was raised.

Anyway yeah, it’s that same plot about avenging the death of the husband, but this one drags us through a bunch of torment before we get to the fun part. First they cripple him, then later kill him. Alot of the movie is the three thugs repeatedly invading their home, breaking stuff, threatening and cackling. They wear all black but I think the suspenders are an homage to A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. Not to be controversial but in some ways it could be argued that this one is not quite as artful as A CLOCKWORK ORANGE in my opinion. In fact I would have to watch it again but from what I remember A CLOCKWORK ORANGE is just an all around better movie than LADY DRAGON 2, at least for my tastes. Just my two cents.

Unfortunately, just like in part 1, Rothrock’s character gets raped. And like before it’s thankfully not graphic, but also completely gratuitous because once again she already has the dead husband revenge motive. It’s not fair. Mason Storm didn’t have to get raped in the middle of his movie to give him extra incentive to go after Senator Trent. Rothrock’s characters shouldn’t have to either.

And I’m afraid part 2 is all around more rapey than part 1. Drago of course loves to play a weirdo pervert, lustily slithering around and running knives over women and shit. It’s his acting style. And this Diego also shows up at the house when Susan isn’t home and rapes her housekeeper Sari (Bella Esperance, who played Susan in part 1). She’s disturbingly passive about it. I wondered if we were gonna find out that actually they were together and that wasn’t a rape, but instead we find out that yeah, it was, and she decided to shack up with him afterwards. But yes, he still holds a knife at her neck for consensual bubble bath sex.

mp_ladydragon2Susan does dress up sexy and go to the discoteque like Kathy did, but just to meet somebody in a nearby alley for information or something, not to beat up a bunch of guys. It’s really half-assed compared to the first one, with a shitty keyboard score, no goofy rock ‘n roll, less fighting, less plot, more long boring scenes of the bad guys fuckin around. Those three actors  do seem like they’re having fun, but they’re obviously riffing to create filler.

She doesn’t get adopted by an old man who teaches her new dragon-like fighting styles. In fact there are no training montages in this one. It’s directed by KICKBOXER‘s David Worth again, but without training montages isn’t he kind of David Worthless?

She decides to hunt her enemies one-by-one, but please note that she only has three enemies and the first one barely puts up a fight. It is kinda funny though how she lures him in: by wearing a shitty Marilyn Monroe wig and black shoulder length gloves, leaning against a piano and gesturing for him to come with her. This chump just fell for a trap only slightly more sophisticated than when Bugs Bunny dresses up like a girl.

Jones’s character (who’s named Reb – I wonder if Reb Brown turned it down?) would’ve gone too if she’d pointed at him, and later he proves himself even more clueless when he doesn’t realize that the whispering little woman in the baseball hat and big sunglasses who abducts him at gunpoint is the same woman who he’s been terrorizing and who just killed his friend. I mean, who else would it be? Are there other women trying to kill him that he could confuse her with? And why does she have to trick him anyway? He goes with her because she has a gun on him, not because he thinks she’s harmless.

Drago gets the longest battle, obviously, but he’s not a martial artist, so he can’t really return her spin kicks. The car chase part is pretty good. There is a lovingly slow-motioned car flip stunt that’s just some innocent bystander. The best part is when he’s driving around with fire blazing out of the trunk.

Also, in all fairness I have to mention that there’s a scene where the villains trick Susan into shooting at the dug up, maggot-ridden corpse of her husband, propped up in a chair. And they set it up just right so that the chair spins around and a soccer ball falls off his lap and rolls over to her. And then the next scene is them laughing their asses off like they just pulled the greatest prank of all time.

I really don’t know what the deal is with this one. I guess in some countries it’s called ANGEL OF FURY, which fits with the character’s “Golden Angel” nickname, but a different movie Rothrock shot in Indonesia right before this was already called ANGEL OF FURY in the U.S. Anyway, it was probly supposed to be an unrelated take on a similar formula, but then they decided because LADY DRAGON is such a massive hit and beloved cultural institution it would do better as a sequel-in-name-only to that. It’s interesting that it repeats the theme of her having a female friend played by Belle Esperance who is actually an enemy. In this one it’s reversed, though. Instead of going undercover as a friend and employee to someone and betraying her, her friend and employee is the one who turns on her.

Sari is a meek, unlikable character, but when she makes a speech about her motives – she was a poor girl in love with the famous soccer player Sonny and then this white lady came in and married him and she had to be their housekeeper and she’s tired of being a servant her whole life – I kinda respected her more.

Susan, on the other hand, keeps giving you reasons not to like her as much. For example at one point she sees a couple rats and screams and complains that she’s afraid of rats. Come on, man. It’s this close to having her stand on top of a chair and say “Eek!” This is supposed to be a lady dragon here. Don’t make her a sissy.

At least she gets a pretty good ridiculous one-liner at the very end. I won’t give it away, so if you watch it you’ll have a piece of cheese waiting for you at the end of the maze. But to be honest I do not recommend it. This is a real piece of shit compared to the first one. Like any of us I enjoy KICKBOXER, so when LADY DRAGON was pretty good too I thought “Oh shit, I need to see all the other movies by David Worth!” LADY DRAGON 2 put a damper on that idea real quick.

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VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015 at 9:56 am and is filed under Action, Martial Arts, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

4 Responses to “Lady Dragon 2”

  1. Drago’s acting style…David Worthless…the bad guys laughing at their “prank” like the guys in Porky’s?
    There is no way in hell this movie is more entertaining than your review. Bravo

    And that’s the first thing that came to my mind when my love left me for my friend – I should become their manservant! WTF

  2. The Original Paul

    September 2nd, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    On the topic of Worth, I didn’t realise until I just googled him that he directed both BLOODSPORT and KICKBOXER. This surprises me since I’ve always regarded KICKBOXER as a pretty enjoyable movie but nonetheless a poor second to BLOODSPORT, which it seemed to be aping. (I know some people here have the opposite view though.)

    I also IMDB’d Rothrock and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more of her movies than I realised. What does strike me is two things: 1) she does seem to get typecast as the cop-on-the-edge-of-the-law, doesn’t she? and 2) I kinda wish I liked her movies more than I do. I haven’t seen either of the LADY DRAGON movies but I’ve seen both CHINA O’ BRIENs and neither of them do much for me. Incidentally I saw RAPID FIRE on the list of movies she’s done and was like “Wait, Rothrock was in that?” I checked and it’s not the same RAPID FIRE that I remember – which starred Brandon Lee and Powers Boothe and had a nice appearance by Al Leong – but a different one. Not sure if the two RAPID FIREs are related, or if one’s a remake of the other, or what’s going on there.

    Man, action movies are confusing sometimes.

  3. I so hope you review American Ninja 2:The Confrontation.

  4. if Billy Drago had an English accent he’d be John Hurt, but instead he has to settle for being, well, himself. The already villainous name probably doesn’t help his career either. I’m sure he’s actually a really nice guy, and I’ll bet the poor guy gets lots of weird looks from people who half-recognize him (“I don’t know why, but you make my skin crawl for some reason.” “Aww, thanks. Glad you like my work.” He may say)

    anyways, on a bit of a tangent, but I was shocked as hell to see Richard Norton in Mad Max: Fury Road. I didn’t recognize him after the first three times I saw the film, and it was only upon grazing the special features that I learned that not only was he in it (he’s the dude Furiosa headbutts at the end) but that he also choreographed the fights in it. I always associate him with Cynthia Rothrock flicks (they only co-starred together about five times maybe) and was very pleased indeed to see him get a nice latter day gig like that. Cynthia too is well overdue for some sort of vested appreciation for her work. Something like when Sho Kosugi got a big part in a mediocre Hollywood action film and was the best part in it, I’d love to see that for her, only in a film that’s better than Ninja Assassin, maybe if I’m being picky.

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