Watch Now: YEAR OF THE DRAGON
Filmmaker Michael Cimino garnered both fame and acclaim thanks to his 1978 Academy Award-winning war movie The Deer Hunter, only to fall from grace because of his follow-up, the 1980 Western Heaven’s Gate that failed at the box office, and did so miserably. With Year of the Dragon (1985), Cimino got the chance to set the record straight, and even though the neo-noir crime thriller was not all that financially profitable, it would go on to gain a cult following in the years to come, becoming one of the most important action films of the 1980s.
The screenplay, based on the eponymous novel by American author Robert Daley, was a joint effort between Cimino and Oliver Stone, whose unproduced Platoon script left Cimino thoroughly impressed and in want of a collaboration. Year of the Dragon is centered around Mickey Rourke’s war veteran and cop Stanley White who seeks to put a stop to Chinese organized crime in Chinatown and gets romantically involved with television reporter Tracy Tzu in the process. While exploring themes of race and racism, gangs and drug trafficking, Cimino’s film never ceases to be violent and action-packed, showcasing a smartly written script and gifting us with Mickey Rourke’s frenetic and expressive performance.