Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Wait one minute!  Is that Dolph Lundgren AND Scott Adkins on the box cover of this movie 'Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon'?  Plus this is some kind of Chinese produced movie so that HAS to mean plenty of high flying, wire-fu ass kicking action for one and all!  Heck yes… bring that on.   Oh wait… there is no high flying, wire fu ass kicking action in this movie.  In fact this is like a SyFy channel creature feature similar to 'Boa vs. Python' or 'Mega Snake'.  Well that's disappointing.  Not so much the movie itself as it was certainly serviceable as a creature feature, but dang… it had Scott Adkins and Dolph Lundgren in it.  Were Corin Nemec and Costas Mandylor busy that week or something?  Because if I saw those two in a movie about a giant lizard, I wouldn't have been all that disappointed. 

Adkins is Dr. Travis Preston, an esteemed fellow studying in the art of Cryptozoology.  Now wait one moment because we need to ask where in the heck did Dr. Preston get this PhD of his.  I mean Cryptozoology is the study of creatures that basically don't exist, which means it's the study of pretty much nothing, and I'm not aware of any accredited universities tossing out bachelors, let alone PhD's in that discipline… but we will roll with it.

Anyway, Travis is kind of sad right now because on his last excursion somebody on his team got killed, largely due to the indiscretions of big game hunter Harker (Lundgren) who was supposed to be there for protection, but instead was seeking glory.  Kind of.  Actually it's really Travis' fault because the team did mention that it's almost sundown and they should leave before the beast came, but he didn't listen.  I kind of understand the logic of Travis because when you're in the business of searching for things that don't exist, and then there comes the chance it might exist, I can see where
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one might be willing to risk one's life.  Anyway, one day Travis gets a visit from a Mr. McConnell (James Lance), a lawyer with a big client who thinks he has a line on some thought to be extinct giant lizard which is terrorizing folks on some big construction dig in China.   Now with the Cryptozoological passion for searching for things that don't exist is fired up once again, Travis reunites the team and heads for China for some mythical creature studying.

Sure enough, there's a giant lizard running around eating Chinese people, but unfortunately for Travis his arch enemy, Harker, has gotten there first, hired by the construction company to kill this thing.  Travis and his team want to save it.  I know Harker's the bad guy in this equation, but the thing is killing people.  At a rather alarming rate.  So I kind of think it needs to die too.

Regardless of all of that, the race is on.  Travis and his team are attempting to set a trap to save the beast, Harker and his team have their automatic rifles loaded up to destroy the beast, and the beast could care less, just very happy that these lunatics have strolled into its home, delivering juicy human meals to its cozy cave enclave.

To be completely honest with you, once you get past that fact that Adkins and Lundgren aren't in a crazy action picture kicking each other in the face, 'Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon' wasn't so bad.  I mean it wasn't great or anything, but it wasn't terrible.  In fact, if it did air on the SyFy channel, it would rank as one of their best movies ever.  But to be clear, I didn't see any legends, tombs or dragons… unless you want to count Dolph Lundgren as legendary, which we are more than willing to do here at the FCU. 

You see, not surprisingly, Dolph Lundgren is the best thing going on in this movie.  With three decades of experience under his belt, Dolph understands with crystal clarity what he's good at, what he can do, what he can't do, and here he was living in his element.  You need someone to be big, tough, mean and ugly?  You have a few cool tough guy lines in your script and you need them delivered in a way that makes an audience believe?  Dolph is your guy.  He's almost genetically engineered to be a cinema villain, and he does it well. 

Scott Adkins on the other hand, love him as we do, has a tougher row to hoe.  Scott certainly looks the part of a traditional leading man, but he too plays a much better villain or anti-hero.  His second 'Ninja' movie was better than the first one, in part, because he went from leading man to super angry anti-hero.  It's what he does best.  Here was saddled with being the leading man, reciting often painful dialog and pretty much not kicking anybody in the face, which isn't playing to my man's strengths as an actor. He was also forced to mask his British accent, which often faded in and out, and we don't know why the filmmakers didn't just allow the man to speak in his natural voice in this international production. 

Still, director Eric Styles keeps this nonsense moving forward.  I saw Mr. Styles last film, a RomCom about a woman trying to get pregnant in 'Miss Conception'.  I don't why I saw it, but I did.  And this movie, which had a was certainly inconsistent in tone at times with its monster horror movie elements, combined with some Romantic elements tossed in between the Adkins character of Travis and his cryptozoological counterpart Dr. Zeng (Yi Huang), still managed to entertain despite a CGI lizard that looked like ass on some occasions.  Other times it didn't look so bad.

Yes, we'd rather Scott and Dolph punch each other in the face, and yes 'Legendary' wasn't the best thing we've seen coming out of China recently, but we still live for this stuff, and this one, at least, didn't make me want to kill myself after it was over.  Somebody put that blurb on a box cover.
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