Taking place in the early 1980s, Wai-Keung Lau & Andrew Loo's Revenge of the Green Dragons tells the story of Sonny and Steven, two chinese immigrant brothers who have just arrived in New York City. Surviving in the impoverished area of New York, they quickly join 'The Green Dragons', a highly dangerous Chinatown gang. Quickly rising up the ranks, Sonny and Steven fall deeper into this dark world which threatens to destroy everything they've ever loved. Revenge of the Green Dragons is an intricate look into the brutal lifestyle of Chinatown's most notorious gang during the 1980s. A raw and unflinching portrait, the film delivers a powerful tale of gang culture but it fails to bring much new to the table, falling victim to generic tropes of the genre too often. This is a film that shows flashes of being highly critical of immigration policies in the United States, capturing how they create a breeding ground for violence, drug abuse, and gangs. Touching on racial problems among our police force, Revenge showcases how these gangs were largely ignored by the police and FBI, deeming them a secondary concern. My biggest problem with the film is that it only scratches the surface when it comes to exploring race and immigration, content on sticking solely with its somewhat generic gangster epic. Based on true events, Revenge of the Green Dragon is a solid but generic ganster story that isn't brave enough to explore its more interesting thematic sensibilities.
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