Hong Kong, 1998: Enter the Eagles
Gwan Geun See Dam
“Enter the Eagles,” aka “And Now You’re Dead”
Hong Kong, 1998
Genre: Action, Heist
Michael Wong and Shannon Lee star as thieves looking for the Czar’s Prism, one of the largest diamonds in Europe.
In a bizarre blend of Asian, European, and American cultures, Enter the Eagles must be a dark spot in director Corey Yuen’s career. With a shoestring budget and a multi-lingual cast, it seems like hardly more than a quick cash-in flic at the end of the 90s action film era. With a confusing plot and massive leaps in story logic, the movie was completely banking on the director’s popularity and big(-ish) names in the cast. In addition to Wong and Lee headlining the ensemble, the cast also includes on-screen couple Anita Yuen and Jordan Chan, as well as Benny “the Jet” Urquidez as the main villain. It’s somewhat difficult to evaluate the acting, since all the voices were redubbed in post-production. That said, the actors doing the voice-over work (probably mostly the cast dubbing their own voices) were all uniformly terrible. Half-Shatner and half-Seagal, the dialogue seemed to consist of nothing but stiff robotic delivery of melodramatic clichés and fake yelling of pointless one-liners. One incredibly distracting feature of the film was the bi-lingual conversations throughout. Anita Yuen and Jordan Chan’s characters spoke almost exclusively in Cantonese, but went along with the rest of the English-speaking cast perfectly. It’s an amusing little detail when it’s between Han and Chewbacca, but to have a whole movie spoken that way makes things look ridiculous very quickly.
Corey Yuen’s skills as a director are sadly missing from this film. In addition to the poor story and acting, the action is incredibly below average as far as Hong Kong action goes. Filled with more cheesy gun fights than martial arts combat, the special effects look absolutely atrocious in every scene they’re in. With poor use of post-production gun effects, fairly obvious green-screening, and hideous digitally-added explosions, watching the movie was more or less a constant stream of sighs and eye rolls. The one mildly impressive and entertaining part of the film was the martial arts choreography. It wasn’t ground-breaking or particularly amazing in anyway, but it was at a suitable level for filmed combat. Unfortunately, it quickly becomes clear that only Lee, Urquidez, and J.J. Perry (playing the villain’s henchman) have any sort of martial skill, and thus are the only ones with an extended fight scene at the end of the film.
I hadn’t heard of this film before reviewing it, and now that I’ve seen it I really hope it continues to fade into obscurity. Enter the Eagles is insipid, boring, and lacks any redeeming value as an action film whatsoever. Find the ending fight scene online if you’re interested, but I would advise anyone and everyone to leave this one on the shelves.
This review has been brought to you by SNAKE, Inc.