Thursday, 5 August 2010

CITY DRAGON (1995) 'Philthy' Phil Phillips

In the immortal words of Andy Williams....'Where Do I Begin?"

How on earth would a few lines of synopsis, do a movie like CITY DRAGON justice? For starters, it's a Kung Fu flick. Secondly, it's a comedy (of sorts) and it's also a semi-musical. It's also cringe-worthy in acting, plot, dialogue, fight scenes and music.......Yet somehow, it works!
I try to add a little humour to my reviews (and fail, most times) but it's a nigh-on impossible task to be any more humorous than the source material itself. The following synopsis (and 'ahem' lyrics) are the genuine article, as featured in this (slow) motion picture.

This epic movie opens up, with four Latino homeboys trying to carjack Ray, and falling foul to his amazing(ish) kung-fu skills (fools!) Ray (played by the amazingly named M C Kung-Fu) is a rapping romeo of the streets (seriously, 96% of his entire dialogue rhymes) and he hangs out with his two 'homies' Philthy Phil and (pretty fly for a white guy) 'Rhymin' Rick (who's a self proclaimed 'wigger') They lock hands a recite the following rhyme:

"Four Homedogs
It is our duty
To get some 'trim'
To get some boootttaaaay"

We sit (slack-jawed) as our three heroes meet up in a club, free-styling over the ladies they've loved (no joking, these guys constantly brag about the daily rota of girls they do the 'wild thang' with!) Ray spends little time in chatting up a cutie (rhyming throughout) and after bedding her leaves her a 'rapping' dear Jane letter, the following morning (To which she remarks "You rhyming fuck!")

No sooner than this (and for no apparent reason whatsoever) we cut to an almost music video montage of Ray rapping on the streets (a lovely ditty called 'Scandalous') that puts all other rap songs to shame (and doth officially piss on anything by Eminem)

"Brace yourselves, ladies, ladies
Here with cool three brothers crazy
Sniffing, sniffing, til we find you
Then they go boom, shakers spot you.
Acting cool, don't wanna blow it
Tricking chicks, but they don't know it.
Jealous boyfriends love their uzi,
But i don't care...they can kiss my booty"


"Scandalous, Scandalous...oh no...he's Scandalous...woof, woof, woof!"

Still though, our three heroes still have time to meet up in the dojo (and in true Three Musketeers style 'hand-on-hand' chant) recite their credo for life and love:

Three home-dogs getting' busy
Knocking boots, we make girls dizzy
Three of us, having a ball
So many women
We'll have em' all!"

But when Ray (dressed up in a all black, shorts and dungarees combo, that would shame Milli Vanilli) meets Tina, it looks like he's met his perfect match (and duff chat-up lines asside) and looks to stop his 'player' lifestyle. (Can a stud as bad-ass as Ray leave the 'game'.....and will the 'game' let him leave?) Problem is, Tina has just finnished with her psychotic ex, called John. (mmmm?)
(The Frisbee, just rounds off, an already impressive 'fashion statement' for M C Kung Fu)

Tina's boyfriend, John is a raging Psychotic, and when he suspects her of cheating on him (which, technically, she is) he kicks the shit out her. Tina leaves him, and moves in with Ray.

Philthy Phil, could very easily be in the music biz fo' real, when you hear him 'dropppin' rhymes in overtime' to his (haunting) rap ballad 'Night-swim' (which for my money, just pips 'Scandalous' to the post, with it's edgy rhymes and soulful chorus)

"I was at my girlie's on a Friday night
Smooth champagne and candlelight
Musics pumping, crowd is jumping
Later on tonight, we will do something"


"Nightswiiiiiiimmmm, I'll take you on a nightswim baby"

(Bear witness to Philthy Phils microphone fitness)

As Philthy is 'spitting lyrics' for the crowds (with their chants of "Go Philthy, Go Philthy") John (and about ten of his buddies) confront Ray (who opens a can of whupass on all of them) But during this 'ruckas' Philthy Phil is shot. This scene really upset me, to the point were I've not included any stills. Thankfully Philthy Phil survives (and is soon chatting up the nurses in hospital) Maybe he won't be as nimble to 'bust a move', but homeboy can still "rhyme like a ma'facker" (

(I couldn't insert a still of Philthy Phil getting shot....sorry guys)

John (alone and dejected) reaches boiling point, and whilst at work (pot-washing) he flips at the constant jibes by (camp) fellow worker, Queen Mary....whom he promptly murders. But a rookie cop (who almost steals the movie) jumps into the scene of the recent homicide, and arrests John with a cry of "Drop the queen" and giving him five seconds to surrender (with a countdown consisting of "Un...Deux...three...four.....five") A genuinely funny line of dialogue (which seems out of place, given all the other unintentional 'howlers'?)

Ray and Tina move in together (tina is expecting a baby, but unfortunately John is the father) Unfazed, Ray grts on with his usual routine (i.e, training, and occasionally fucking up more street punks for the crime nudging his ice-cream cone) but despite his bad-ass lifestyle, he seems to settling down. Ray gets a steady job in an office (doing 'god-knows-what?) but it's not long before his reputation as a sword-smith comes back to haunt him, in the shapely form of his blonde female boss (who blackmails Ray for sex) All this double 'pipe-layin' is exhausting the City Dragon out, and he's simply too tired to give Tina the (ahem!) attention she deserves. Tina confronts Rays 'nymp-ho boss', finds out about his 'overtime' and she leaves him, and moves in with her father (who is a rather unsympathetic character)

(Perks of the job)

(John, incarcerated and restrained, but obviously not deemed dangerous enough to be left around Electrical sockets?)

Ray (although gutted at Tinas absence) keeps on top of his training, but is cronfronted by a dozen or so goons at the dojo. The ringleader (in a fetching Superman t-shirt) really lays into Ray (mocking him in a 'stereotypical' ching-chong Chinaman accent) Things really reach boiling point, when these ruffians mock Bruce Lee. Needles to say, Ray kicks all their asses.

John breaks out of the mental institution, and kidnaps Tina's newborn baby from the hospital. Ray happens to be on the scene, and chases John to the hospital rooftop. But Tina's ex dangles the newborn baby (a patently obvious doll) from the roof. Ray talks John out of it, then (can you guess what happens next?.......) Yep, Ray kicks his ass!

One duff fight scene, a dead psychotic ex-boyfriend and safe baby later....Ray and Tina are reunited, and walk off into 'Happyendingsville'

For all those, craving the days of Dolemite and The Last Dragon and (a dash of) Breakin.....add City Dragon to your collection, it's way better than all the 'Save The Last Dunce/Never Back Down' shite that Hollywood is putting out.....without a doubt.....Ray turns it out....He's got the clout.....To knock you out (see, one viewing of this movie, results in a all-day 'rhyme-fest'?)

(NOTE: Philthy Phil don't use no ghost-writers fo' his lyrics of fury)


  1. Great Review! Just found this classic a couple weeks ago. Will be watching it really soon for the site!

  2. Check this out!