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Review Enter the Fat Dragon a.k.a. Fei lung gwoh gong (2020): More a romantic comedy than a parody!

genre: comedy, romance, martial arts. action

The original Enter the Fat Dragon with Sammo Hung was a parody and tribute to Bruce Lee and the period that came after Bruce Lee's death. Bruce Lee's popularity was so huge that everybody wanted to be him. The Bruceploitation was born where several look-alike actors would mimic Bruce Lee for better or worse. Sammo Hung is the last person you would expect to act as a clone but he did it in a way that honoured Bruce's legacy and at the same time made a good martial arts film. Donnie Yen's film is a different beast entirely.

Supposedly this is a remake of the original Enter the Fat Dragon but other than the main character being fat and causing chaos there are no similarities. A huge difference is the fact that in the original it's established that the main character is a huge fan of Bruce Lee. And that he thinks he can solve any problems using his fists like Bruce Lee did in the films. The fact that it only increases his problems is what made the film funny. In this remake the main character originally is a slim super cop who has gotten fat after a break up and very public demotion. I guess he felt like comforting himself with food. Apart from one scene where he is watching Way of the Dragon it's never made clear that Donnie Yen's character is a fan of Bruce Lee. I happen to know that Donnie Yen himself is a fan. There are some obvious references but that is about it. Seeing how the film has played out it is clear to me that parodying Bruce Lee wasn't the intention. If anything Donnie Yen is more interested in parodying himself which is demonstrated in the scenes referring to his own films Saat Po Lang and Flash Point. But no this isn't the intention either. Donnie Yen for whatever reason finds it important to show and remind people he can do romcoms as well. As much as I agree that he does a good job in that department it's not what I want from Donnie Yen at the moment. I want him to show off his fighting skills as long as he is capable. The scenes. where he actually could be bothered to flex his muscles and do some fighting himself, are easily the best. It is therefore completely incomprehensible  to me that he has his stunt double do most of the work this time. 

That being said I can't dismiss the charm the film has. I was ready to blast it until I saw how it played out. I was like, ok, that is what you were going for. Never mind, I will forgive you this time. So yes, this might not be a good remake of the original nor among Donnie Yen's best. It certainly delivers on the feel good comedy and is a much better film than Big Brother.

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