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THE PLOT THUS FAR

Two best friends rise through the ranks of New York’s Chinese underworld in the 1980s.

WHAT WE THOUGHT

“Revenge of the Green Dragons” is a disappointment from the team that brought us the original “Infernal Affairs”. Martin Scorsese is presenting this limited release out some sort of sense of obligation. The film offers up a retread of similar plots. If anything, the finale almost seems to pay an homage to Scorsese’s work on “The Departed”. Everything comes full circle in its own way. That’s kind of trippy, but what can you do? Marvel at Ray Liotta basically functioning as the same character as Raymond Burr portrayed in the American cut of Godzilla?

The Green Dragons aren’t a fearsome game, so much as they play dress up in the clothing of cinematic villains that have come before. I was quite disappointed that I seemed to know every move they would take to keep their criminal ways afloat. Even when the case against them collapses, they push against logic to rub out our hero. Plus, what’s up with that hammer scene? Oldboy’s cool and all, but it felt brutally out of place in this film. Just shoot someone and move on.

Human trafficking is still an alien enough concept to most Americans. Therefore, you have a film that tackles subject matter for an audience that doesn’t necessarily view it as an immediate threat. If that wasn’t enough, the filmmakers are so busy trying to compare themselves to legendary films. What happens when nobody cares? It’s a serious question and this film isn’t the first to leave it unanswered. Even talented filmmakers can be plagued with periods of lackluster production. Hell, one dude made “Stoker”. This wasn’t Stoker bad, but I’ll accept that there are some pains to be had when moving into a new audience.

The Blu-Ray comes with deleted scenes, commentary and featurettes as the special features. The A/V Quality is astounding for an indie feature. The 1080p transfer pops, even though a few scenes were shot dark. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio continues the sharp audio trend that I expect from the A24 pick-ups. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 01/13/2015

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