Veteran Hong Kong screenwriter Sunny Chan makes his directorial debut with Men on the Dragon, a feel-good sports comedy about four telecom workers who, in the wake of both career and personal troubles, try to rekindle their lost spark through dragon boating.
This unlikely band of heroes is made up of oafish leader Chan Lung (Francis Ng); the self-effacing Suk Yee (Chan-Leung Poon); young and restless William (Tony Wu); and scorned husband Tai (Kenny Wong).
In the wake of mass company lay-offs, the men find they have been recruited to their company’s dragon boat team, hastily put together to improve a dwindling corporate image. With no other way to keep their jobs, the men embark on a journey of self-discovery that teaches them that life isn’t always smooth sailing, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paddling.
Although this premise is promising, the film falls short in its execution. The plot is incredibly predictable, and the female characters are reduced to one-dimensional roles. The only woman that makes any significant impact is Dorothy (Jennifer Yu), the team’s determined coach.
The film has its merits, however, from its beautiful cinematography and fast-paced editing to quality acting. Overall, despite its flaws, Men on the Dragon has just enough charm to stay afloat.
Edited Charlotte Ames-Ettridge