Dragonwolf (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 27, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Dragonwolf” is an entertaining martial arts film from Thailand, granted, it has its fair share of many poorly acted scenes. But for a low-budget independent martial arts film, I did enjoy watching it as it reminded me of something that came out of a Japanese manga (comic). If you love martial arts films and also want a laugh, then definitely give “Dragonwolf” a try!
Image courtesy of © 2012 Motionpictures. All Rights Reserved.
YEAR OF FILM: 2013
DURATION: 122 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, 16:9 Widescreen, English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Closed Captions
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RELEASE DATE: July 29, 2014
Directed by Raimuns Huber
Story by Raimund Huber
Written by Johan Kirsten
Produced by Chariyawan Tavoranon
Executive Producer: Shaked Berenson, Trit Charoenrach, Patrick Ewald, Raimund Huber
Associate Producer: Thomas Goth, Ava Napasasorn Intarakoomarn
Cinematography by Wardhana Vunchuplou
Fight Choreographer: Kazu Patrick Tang
Stunt Coordinator: Surin Kamboonraung
Kazu Patrick Tang as Mozart
Johan Kirsten as Julius
Macha Polivka as Mary
David Winters as Brutus
Guk Srisawat as Umiko
The Devil’s Cauldron – a city of depravity and violence, where only the lethal survive. Two hit men rule these streets, feared by all but loyal to one another. When a beautiful woman seduces them both, they turn on each other, igniting an epic battle that may bring the city to the brink of destruction.
When it comes to Thailand action films, filmmaker Raimund Huber is well-known.
From films such as “Kill ’em All”, “Bangkok Adventure” and “Freerunner”, Huber is back with a new action film titled “Dragonwolf”, which will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment in July 2014.
Written by actor Johan Kirsten, the film stars Kirsten alongside actor/fight choreographer Kazu Patrick Tang (“District B13”, “Raging Phoenix”, “Ong-bak 2”).
The film begins with a young boy named Mozart who was dying until a witch doctor in the village manages to save him.
Mozart would eventually befriend a young Julius and the two become brothers. With Julius’ family raising Mozart after his mother died.
Fast forward years later and both Mozart (portrayed by Kazu Patrick Tang) and Julius (portrayed by Johan Kirsten) live in the Devil’s Cauldron and the two have managed to survive and climb their way to the crime world with Julius becoming a crime boss.
With Mozart known for being silent and stoic but amazing with the sword and martial arts, something has tore them apart and Julius sends his men to kill Mozart and his girlfriend Mary (portrayed by Macha Polivka).
Believing that Mozart is dead, he returns back to Devil’s Cauldron with pieces of his memory and wanting revenge on the men that have wanted him dead and taking on the deadliest fighters in Devil’s Cauldron.
“Dragonwolf” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9 widescreen). While a low budget film, picture quality of this film looks very good on Blu-ray with great detail on close-ups. Colors are vibrant outdoors, black levels are nice and deep. There are moments of experimental filters which were intentional but for the most part, “Dragonwolf” looks very good on Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for the lossless audio, “Dragonwolf” is presented in English DTS-HD Master Audio with closed captions in English.
While not amazingly immersive, “Dragonwolf” does feature a good number of action scenes with punches, steel swords clanging when struck, gun shots galore, etc. Sound effects are crystalclear as with dialogue but this is a front and center channel driven soundtrack.
“Dragonwolf” only comes with a theatrical trailer.
While independent Asian martial arts films are aplenty, you have to give Raimund Huber credit for creating some of the most intense low-budget action-films from Thailand.
In first glance, I felt that “Dragonwolf” would be horrid film thanks to its bad acting earlier in the film, bad acting that unintentionally makes a film more comedy, even though that was not the intent.
But since I grew up with the films such as “No Retreat, No Surrender”, I tend to also give independent martial arts films a bit off leeway and the same can be said for “Dragonwolf”.
Fortunately, there is an interesting storyline about two men who grew up like brothers and having chosen a life of crime.
Two brothers who grew up fighting, constantly training with each other and while Julius has always had the upperhand, both have had admirable respect for each other.
But what can come between these brothers? It’s a woman named Mary.
A woman with a noticeable black dragon tattoo on her back, she is dating Julius but has her eyes set on Mozart. And when a group of men working for Julius tries to kill both of them while in bed, suffice to say, Mozart is out for revenge.
While a bit predictable, what makes this film interesting is its crazy characters that target Mozart for death. From a crew of martial arts trash talkers, a group of goth looking swordsman, Russian assassins and more!
While the fight scenes are the film’s strongest point versus the acting, after all was said and done, I actually enjoyed “Dragonwolf” because it was a low-budget film and while expecting worse after its earlier scene featuring a scene of terrible child acting, the film picked up and while the bad acting continued, it lent to a more humorous moment countering the stoic nature of Mozart.
The Blu-ray unfortunately is barebones when it comes to special features but picture quality and lossless audio were very good.
Overall, “Dragonwolf” is an entertaining martial arts film from Thailand, granted, it has its fair share of many poorly acted scenes. But for a low-budget independent martial arts film, I did enjoy watching it as it reminded me of something that came out of a Japanese manga (comic).
If you love martial arts films and also want a laugh, then definitely give “Dragonwolf” a try!
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