I don’t know why this film is called Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon. There are no tombs or dragon in this movie. Having viewed this number based purely on the title I was more than a little disappointed.
Dr Travis Preston (Scott Adkins) is a crypto zoologist who tracks down animals thought not to exist anymore. After seeing him fail to capture a prehistoric bear that mauls his friend to death (this scene just ends we never find out what happens to the bear) they get enlisted by a lawyer to track down a Cryptid. A creature that is initially referred to as a crocodile , then looks like a shelless turtle and finally a large lizard. This movie feels like a sloppy and joyless mix between National Treasure, Indiana Jones and the creature comforts movies which frequent the sci-fi channel (e.g. Aligatoctosharkosaurus Rex).
One of the best features of the film is its set in China and all of the Chinese characters speak Chinese and the main characters require a translator to talk to them – very realistic Indeed. The positives end there. Scott Adkins really does his best with the subpar dialogue, but the fundamental problem is that it never feels like you are watching a conversation. It feels like you are watching two people waiting for each other to finish their lines before speaking their own. Rinse and repeat. Dr Travis tries to capture and exhibit the animals whilst hunter Harker (Dolph Lundgren) attempts to kill them. This dynamic forms the core of the movie.
The vast majority of the movie is just the characters going around looking at tracks chasing after the monster as it flees. And every now and then the monster kills another nameless character.
Travis also builds this strange romantic relationship with a Chinese woman. Amidst her broken English and the stale dialogue the romance just doesn’t grab the audience’s heart. It seems the editor felt the same way because towards the end of the movie he cut the romance completely. Travis also gets the honour of ‘Dumbest line in the film’. Quite an achievement. About half way through when discussing Harker’s plans to kill the cryptid Travis says “We have no justification to kill this thing”. The monster has literally been killing people and dragging them off to a cave to eat them, terrorising innocent people, attacking Travis, attacking Travis’ friends the entire movie.
Dolph Lundgren does breathe a breath of fresh air into scenes with his token charisma, however, as he forms about 5% of the overall movie, Legendary collapses into its own tomb of a sequence of joyless, unimaginative events. Dolph lundgren also gets all the lines worth hearing in this movie. And in a desperate attempt to give a balanced review I will share one of my favourites: “Everything needs to die Travis, even you”.
Some films make you laugh, some make you cry, some like Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon elicit from you no emotional reaction what so ever.
The vast majority of the movie is just the characters going around looking at tracks chasing after the monster as it flees. And every now and then the monster kills another nameless character. The ‘movie’ is also full of the sort of blunders you would expect. The plot calls for the characters to be by a lake, but, for some reason they couldn’t film by a lake so they filmed by a river. Now despite the fact that this creature can go on land the only thing the characters do is go back to land to be safe, then the monster just swims away. So, anyway, the plot happens and all the character end up somehow at the same cave.
Some films make you laugh, some make you cry, some like Legendary: Tomb of the Dragon elicit from you no emotional reaction what so ever. A serious of tedious events happen in succession to a bunch of characters you can’t remember the names of and then it ends.