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Film / Fire Dragon

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Brigitte Lin is so hot in this movie!

Fire Dragon is a 1994 Hong Kong Wuxia movie directed by Yuen Woo-Ping, starring Brigitte Lin during her stint as a period action-drama icon back in the early 90s following the success of the Swordsman movies.

The film focuses on a pair of Ming Dynasty assassins, Fire Dragon (Brigitte) and Snow (Yeh), whom were raised by the sinister Prince Wan to be killers since birth, for him to facilitate a rebellion and overthrow the Imperial Court. On an assignment to retrieve an incriminating letter proving evidence of Prince Wan's true nature, Fire Dragon ends up being pursued by Imperial Investigator Yuen-ming (Max Mok) and end up stumbling into a bath-house owned by Sister Tang, where she takes refuge while hiding from the authorities after her. But after spending weeks with Tang and the civilians, Fire Dragon ends up growing a conscience and beginning to regret her past actions as an assassin, deciding to renounce her past as a ruthless killer. Too bad her sworn sister, Snow, isn't ready to let Fire Dragon go just like that.


This film provide examples of:

  • Archer Archetype: Snow, besides using her sword and qi-based attacks, also uses a bow and arrows as her backup weapon. In the scene where Snow is sent to kill the magistrate, she easily nails down a dozen guards using arrows, with the precision that seems more like it's some kind of automatic firearm.
  • Badass Cape: On both Fire Dragon and Snow.
  • Bad Boss: Prince Wan demands only the best from his assassins, and doesn't hesitate to berate them for relatively minor failures or physically abuse them. When he berates Fire Dragon for failing to retrieve an important letter for him, Snow tries to speak up for her sworn sister... and earns a slap to her face from him.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The final battle where Fire Dragon duels against Prince Wan in a public square filled with cauldrons of highly-flammable dye, quickly becomes engulfed in fire when her Flaming Sword ignites a spilled cauldron.
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  • Being Evil Sucks: The reason why Fire Dragon, the titular assassin, decides to undergo a Heel–Face Turn after being accepted by Sister Tang and the villagers, whom are oblivious to her past as a ruthless killing machine, and end up renouncing herself as an assassin.
  • Cool Sword: Fire Dragon and Snow both uses impressive jians that fits their qi-based powers. For Snow, her sword is literally this trope.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Fire Dragon tends to do this whenever unleashing her flames using her qi.
    "Fire Tornado!"
  • Caught in a Snare: Snow, during her fight with Fire Dragon, manage to lure her former friend into a snare trap, which managed to restrain Fire Dragon for a short while until she slashes her way out.
  • Cucumber Facial: A variation, with Sister Tang doing a chrysanthemum mask.
  • Dark Action Girl: Both Fire Dragon and Snow, a pair of Professional Killers raised from birth to be assassins. Although Fire Dragon had a Heel–Face Turn in the second act of the film.
  • Death by Irony: Fire Dragon, an elite assassin who has fire-based powers, ends up dying in a flaming inferno and having what's left of her being burnt into completely unidentifiable crisps. In all fairness, this is the only way she can dispose of Big Bad Prince Wan who is Made of Iron, and she at least gets a Dying Moment of Awesome.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: The ruthless assassin Fire Dragon, after spending time with Sister Tang and the civilian village, and realizing the joy of playing with children, bonding with her new friends, and finally realizing how her past have made her a cruel, emotionless monster.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Snow, in her sworn sister Fire Dragon's arms.
  • Dual Tonfas: Yuen-ming's Weapon of Choice during the final battle against Prince Wan and his army.
  • Epic Flail: Snow's third Weapon of Choice after her sword and arrows, which she briefly use to ensnare Fire Dragon in their penultimate battle.
  • The Evil Prince: Prince Wan, a rebellious ruler who wants to usurp the throne and massacre the entire royal family he's raised in, with his ever-growing appetite for power.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Fire Dragon and Snow ends up fighting her sworn sister-in-arms, Snow, twice, the second time which is a Duel to the Death.
  • Flaming Sword: Fire Dragon's sword, which when she puts her qi into it, will ignite and leave burns on targets it slashed.
  • Furo Scene: Sister Tang runs a bathhouse as her business, and her first scene is in the middle of an indoor tub with various bathing customers all in various states of undress.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In the Final Battle when Fire Dragon is fighting against Prince Wan, the Prince orders his soldiers to back him up when Fire Dragon starts winning. But Yuen-ming and Zhen arrives just in time to reinforce Fire Dragon, taking names so that she can focus on Prince Wan.
  • In a Single Bound: Fire Dragon and Snow can both traverse great distances simply by jumping, with some impressive Wire Fu. Prince Wan and Yuen-ming can do this as well. This being a wuxia, no surprise.
  • Lodged-Blade Recycling: The final battle reaches a Hope Spot when Fire Dragon managed to impale her sword into Prince Wan's stomach, the blade snapping in the process. But unfortunately, Prince Wan is Made of Iron, and he instead shoves a palm into the exposed blade - causing it to come flying out through his back into Zhen, killing the latter. And Prince Wan continues fighting even after that.
  • Man on Fire:
    • In her Action Prologue, Fire Dragon uses her qi to set a random guard completely on fire.
    • Snow's eventual death have her becoming a Woman On Fire. Although Fire Dragon quickly puts out the flames, she's too late to save her former friend.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Fire Dragon, after being forced to kill Snow.
  • Mysterious Veil: On both Fire Dragon and Snow, when they are sent out to perform assasination tasks.
  • Not Enough to Bury: Both Fire Dragon and Prince Wan ends up being reduced to Ludicrous Gibs after being blown up by dynamites, and all Yuen-ming - the Sole Survivor of the finale - can retrieve of Fire Dragon, is her burning cape.
  • One-Hit Kill: Most of Fire Dragon's qi blasts can kill mooks with a single blow. Especially in the opening action scene, when she leaps into a group of soldiers to take out their captain - all she did was simply push them aside with her qi, but in the next shot five or six soldiers are seen dead right next to where she just leaped past.
  • Parrying Bullets: Yuen-ming can use his tonfas to block Snow's fired arrows with ease, making her switch to using her sword instead once she realize shooting arrows at him isn't going to work.
  • Playing with Fire: True to her name, Fire Dragon can create fiery blasts of fire using her qi, an ability she displayed constantly throughout the film. Right in the Action Prologue she sets a random guard on fire simply by touching him.
  • Precision Crash: Snow's ultimate demise; when trying to tackle Fire Dragon while both of them are mid-air, Fire Dragon simply deflects Snow so that she gets pushed aside - right into a thick, massive brick wall that is burning up. Snow ends up crashing into the wall to a fiery death.
  • Protagonist Title
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Fire Dragon and Snow, in that order. Their names should be an obvious clue about their personalities.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Assassins working under Prince Wan isn't allowed to leave, and those who attempts to do so - like Fire Dragon - will be summarily hunted down by their former allies.
  • Shoot the Bullet: Well, bullets doesn't exist in the Ming Dynasty, but there is Fire Dragon and Snow throwing exploding projectiles at each other. Which explodes in mid-air.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Fire Dragon and Snow. Besides their names and qi powers based on different elements, their personalities are different as well, fittingly with Fire Dragon as the fiery hothead while Snow being the cold, emotionless one.
  • Taking You with Me
    • Attempted by Snow to defeat Fire Dragon, but she fails and simply ends up smashing herself into a brick wall covered in flames.
    • In the final battle, Fire Dragon eventually destroys her former mentor and Bad Boss, the Big Bad Prince Wan, by grabbing Yuen-ming's satchel of dynamites which still have a few sticks in it, sling it on her neck and tackle Prince Wan into a flaming pile of wreckage. BOOM.
  • Tattooed Crook: In his first onscreen appearance which is a Walking Shirtless Scene, Prince Wan is shown to have a tattoo of a Chinese Dragon covering his entire back, which Snow is constantly re-applying the ink on him.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: In the final battle, while Fire Dragon is duelling Prince Wan, Yuen-ming and Zhen comes to her assistance by fending off Prince Wan's soldiers... while carrying a sling bag full of dynamites. And since the area of battle is burning everywhere, they can easily light and throw sticks of dynamites at Prince Wan's soldiers.
  • White Shirt of Death: In the finale, Prince Wan wears entirely white robes and clothing, emblazoned with golden markings of a dragon. He dies, fittingly enough.
  • Wuxia


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