The guys came over the other night and we watched Hero Tattoo with Nine Dragons, or 九紋龍 – I think. Let me tell you, that is one fine quality movie.
And it turns out to be based on another of those Chinese classic novels, this one is called The Water Margin (水滸傳), written around 1300. In that novel, there are 36 heroes and 72 demons, each with a special quality or fault. The movie focuses on Shi Jin, who has a nine dragons tattooed on him, (hence the title,) and whose special quality is throwing people through doors — oh, I mean Subtlety. You wouldn’t know it from the movie though.
It also turns out that this novel is popular in Japan, and in Japanese is called “Suikoden”. They’ve made millions of comic books, tv shows, and video games based on it.
Anyway, the movie is just totally great. Synopsis: Hero Tattoo beats up on all his teachers, gets in trouble, finally gets a teacher who can teach him something, gets in more trouble, meets up with a crazy Monk and some lady and then goes off to the end guy’s mountain stronghold. At some point his family is killed and he must get revenge. You know the drill. But we didn’t get to see the ending, due to an unfortunate incident about 10 years ago involving a glass of coke.