Sight and Sound - 12/01/1985
"...The film is an artful display of goods....Michael Cimino's proven strength is his ability to orchestrate big scenes, to balance the most intimate of widescreen moments with shots of grandiose and spectacle..."
Variety - 08/14/1985
"...A fair amount of solid action....Cimino's eye for detail and insistence thereon has paid off in his impressive recreation of Chinatown..."
Los Angeles Times - 08/18/1985
"...From the first second of YEAR OF THE DRAGON it is clear that Michael Cimino is one of the great, operatic film makers..."
With YEAR OF THE DRAGON (based on the novel by Robert Daley) Michael Cimino has created a captivating, fast-paced action thriller set in New York's Chinatown. The film stars Mickey Rourke as Polish-American cop Stanley White, who wants to keep Chinatown safe for the local consumers and dismantle its deep-rooted tradition in crime. A Vietnam veteran still haunted by his experiences in the Southeast, he is a relentless police captain who has no patience for the elaborate gang violence and the vicious Chinatown crime czar he has vowed to bring down. Excellent performances from Rourke and supporting actor John Lone keep the action moving through the mean streets and lessons in Chinese history.
Description by Warner Home Video:
A Vietnam vet turned New York City cop vows to bring down a Chinatown crime lord.
A crime epic set in New York's Chinatown, YEAR OF THE DRAGON is full of mayhem, murder, and camouflaged vengeance. Explosive and confrontational, the film is based on the novel by Robert Daley and follows a script written by Oliver Stone and Michael Cimino. When a prominent businessman-mob leader in Chinatown is assassinated by a member of a Chinese youth gang, Vietnam vet and highly decorated cop Stanley White (Mickey Rourke) is assigned to Chinatown and ordered to clean up the gang problem. White soon realizes that the teenage hoodlums are under the control of an ambitious young crime boss, Joey Tai (John Lone). Enlisting the help of pretty young Chinese-American television reporter Tracy Tzu (Ariane), White becomes obsessed with destroying Tai. Prone to breaking rules and unlikely to make compromises, White goes after his target, vowing to spare nothing and nobody, including himself. The film is graphic in its depiction of gang violence and received a lot of criticism for it upon its release.