Dance Dance Dragon (2012)


Director:  Kat Goh
Cast:  Dennis ChewMeng LaiKym Ng
Plot:  Mother Loong desires to have a grandchild but none of her children have plans for any children. Things change for the Loongs when a newborn boy is found on their doorstep.

Genre:  Comedy 

Awards:  -
Runtime:  93min
Rating:  PG


One of two local films to grace our screens this Chinese New Year holiday, Dance Dance Dragon is a more satisfying alternative to Jack Neo's We Not Naughty, which has brought Singapore mainstream cinema to a nadir. 

You can do no worse than pay for a ticket to catch Neo's film, but you are entitled to console yourself in the hope that your ten dollars could go a long, long way, and I must stress the length of this journey, to fund more and better local features in the near future.

Making her directorial debut, Kat Goh has fashioned a light-hearted, family movie that picks up key elements of the Chinese tradition, and consolidating them into a simple and straightforward narrative.  

Written and produced by Kelvin Tong, Dance Dance Dragon draws upon the mythology of "the Dragon" in the Chinese zodiac.  A grandmother (Lai Meng) prays to the heavens to give her a grandson whom she could proudly call a dragon baby.  Her wish is granted when a baby in a basket with seemingly mystical powers appears at her doorstep.

Dance Dance Dragon stars identifiable local names such as Adrian Pang, Kym Ng, and Dennis Chew.  The cast gives standard performances that you see daily on your goggle box. But at least they exude some kind of familiar warmth along with some decent comedy chops. 

Shot in only 16 days and with a budget of S$1.2 million, Dance Dance Dragon will be a crowd pleaser among the older generations , though it remains to be seen if younger folks would embrace this local film as one of their own. 

From a comparative standpoint, Dance Dance Dragon is a more coherent and entertaining film than Neo's effort.  But to be honest, Goh's film is nothing exceptional; it is merely a passable effort.  It is a film that is ordinary in every sense, though it feels comfortable in its own skin.  

There are some flaws to the way the plot unfolds, and some of the supporting characters such as Bryan Wong's are merely perfunctory, often too caricaturized to be taken comically.  There is an inconceivable moment towards the end in which a bolt of lightning strikes a cab.  I will leave you to discover the scene yourself as all logic is thrown out of, for the lack of a better noun, the cab window.

Dance Dance Dragon will compete directly with a whole host of Chinese features releasing these few weeks of festive period: We Not Naughty, I Love Hong Kong 2012 , All's Well End's Well 2012, The Great Magician, and The Viral Factor.  Whether Goh's film struggles or prospers is entirely in your hands as a moviegoer.  And of course, your word-of-mouth.  The vote is in your wallet. 


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