El Dragon: Return of Warrior Review: A Swing And A Major Miss For Netflix Should Have Stayed Away

1

Summary

Coma-inducingly dull, this quasi action series tries too hard to be profound and misses just about every mark going.

A strange feeling sank in about 20 minutes into the second episode of El Dragon: Return of a Warrior, something I don’t ever recall encountering before. I imagine it must be somewhere close to the feeling of being in a fugue state. Something I have never experienced watching television. I have never encountered a show as forgettable as this. Somehow, narrative threads appear to evaporate before your very eyes leaving you to question whether or not you even sat down to watch it. This is combined with a glacial pace that makes each episode feel as though you’ve been watching it for days on end. The effect of these two co-existing phenomena is to leave the viewer in some sort of strange trance, simultaneously unsure of what is happening or how long they have been there. It’s a bit like having extreme jet lag without leaving your living room, an odd dislocation of time and space.

So how does El Dragon: Return of a Warrior achieve this feat? One word: Boredom.

In short, It isn’t very good.

A young man is sent away to Japan after the murder of his parents; 20 years later he returns to Mexico assume his role as the heir to his family’s cartel. This, to be fair, is a strong premise that sets up what should be an interesting series. The problem is, as is often the case, in the execution.

The script of El Dragon: Return of the Warrior is frankly appalling, with huge swathes of dialogue sounding as though they have been lifted wholesale from chichescreenplay.com, a fictional website I invented for the purposes of dragging on this show. If the villains were any broader they wouldn’t fit on screen. Drug cartels have never been more predictable or looked more awkward holding guns than this collection of rent-a-goons sipping tequila snarling.

Very shonky stunts and tediously paced set pieces that mean the action scenes drag forever with long takes and very cheap looking effects.

The camera leers at its female supporting characters with regular shots of women in a state of undress for no particular reason other than perhaps to distract the viewer from the shameful writing. This show is of course not alone in having questionable attitudes towards its female characters but somehow the imbalance feels more pronounced by the general rubbishness of everything around it.

Also, a 24 episode series?! Perhaps the producers could have taken their budget and spread it out and condensed it into a much shorter run. Each episode labors over its plot and you do really sense that if they had a 12-episode arc they would be forced to cover the same ground much more quickly and efficiently. Then again, I suppose if the best way to improve a show is to make significantly less of it then the chances are there wasn’t much in there of value to begin with.

There is nothing wrong with a glossy, by the numbers guns and gangsters crime show per se; indeed, Netflix is stacked with them. It doesn’t have to be original to be entertaining. Sadly, El Dragon commits perhaps the worst sin a show like this can. It’s boring and takes itself much too seriously to be fun and is nowhere near good enough to be taken seriously. A total armpit-stain of a show.

Andrew Punter

Andy joined the Ready Steady Cut team in October 2018. A Graduate of Exeter University, he writes mainly about films and TV.

28 thoughts on “El Dragon: Return of Warrior Review: A Swing And A Major Miss For Netflix

  • October 8, 2019 at 3:32 pm
    Permalink

    blah blah blah, if you want to make your self useful let us know if there will be season 2?

    Reply
    • October 23, 2019 at 9:23 am
      Permalink

      U right! It’s all blah blah blah!!! Don’t decide for us please and keep your judgement for yourself if it’s not useful. U should learn a lesson from the show ” speak when it’s useful” can’t wait for season 2…

      Reply
    • November 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm
      Permalink

      You are COMPLETELY WRONG! EL Dragón es muy adictivo. Yes it may be cheesy in some parts but I was hooked from the first episode. There needs to be a series 2 asap. For those of us mere mortals who enjoyed this series, we are wairing with baited breath to see what has happened to those in the office. If you can’t say anything nice MEJOR NO DIGAS NADA!

      Reply
  • October 8, 2019 at 9:44 pm
    Permalink

    One of the worst tv shows ever. Bad script, bad acting, bad picture. Omg. I really tried to watch this. This one wins the worse mexican tv series on netflix and lets say it it really has big competition.

    Reply
  • October 13, 2019 at 9:48 am
    Permalink

    Ok, taking into consideration where it was made and for that audience a little charity for the team is required. Personally found it addictive after first episode, yes it’s hammy, yes it’s cheesy,but….. It’s fun, no topless women to keep you hooked.
    It’s refreshingly different from the usual crap that has to use sex to keep you involved.
    How diverse a premise, Japan meets Mexico, Latin v Samurai…the cultural diversely divided national outlooks.. The most amusing thing is covering up vehicles manufactures names… This censorship is probably why the series is handcuffed to rigid rules Restricting the Directors work.

    When is series 2 coming out…

    Reply
  • October 14, 2019 at 5:45 am
    Permalink

    I Enjoyed it.
    Some parts could have been edited out, but on a hole, it was suspenseful.
    When does Season 2 be released?

    Reply
    • October 16, 2019 at 4:37 am
      Permalink

      I loved the show hope they have a season 2

      Reply
  • October 15, 2019 at 8:30 am
    Permalink

    El Dragon, Fabulous, was hooked straight away, it was suspenseful enough to be intriguing,really interesting the cultural differences and blend. Characters loved the chemistry especially between Miguel and Adela, their super approachable, charismatic and fun the type of people you’d like to chill and have a drink with. All the actors and actresses portrayed their characters perfectly. That what the shows about goodie, baddies a bit of entertainment, sometimes you just want to escape into the world their bringing on the screen Bring on Series two, I’ll definitely watch.

    Reply
  • October 16, 2019 at 8:23 am
    Permalink

    I’d enjoyed the series, kind of would have done a bit more with the action/Japanese scenes and when Miguel goes through flashbacks ; but in general it’s addictive and the characters have a good chemistry with each other. I’ll definitely watch a second season, looking forward to it!

    Reply
  • October 17, 2019 at 3:48 am
    Permalink

    I enjoyed the series and I cannot wait for the next one.

    Reply
  • October 20, 2019 at 7:00 pm
    Permalink

    Loved it ! When is Season 2 due to be aired can’t to see Miguel & Adela together….it must happen.

    Reply
  • October 21, 2019 at 12:42 am
    Permalink

    I did love the story… cast did a good job…. waiting for season 2??

    Reply
  • October 22, 2019 at 8:14 pm
    Permalink

    I was hooked on this from the first episode and have binge watched it since, I agree with all of the positive comments on here and sincerely hope that they will make a second series as it certainly deserves one

    Reply
  • October 23, 2019 at 2:34 am
    Permalink

    To all the negative critics: you know nothing about the intricacies of Japanese culture and how this show has proven to be a great Latin American plot series.
    If you do not like it, don’t watch.
    BUT FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THIS: LET US HOPE FOR SEASON 2 SOON!

    Reply
  • October 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm
    Permalink

    waiting for season 2 pls. I and my wife hooked with this series.

    Reply
    • October 27, 2019 at 12:38 am
      Permalink

      Really enjoyed season 1 and am so excited for season 2

      Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 12:54 am
    Permalink

    This was a great show and season 2 will be much better if u got bored after the first 20 mins why bother watching the rest of it, I am sure if u switched it off you could find something else you liked personally I bunged watched loved it.

    Reply
  • October 25, 2019 at 7:23 pm
    Permalink

    I really enjoyed and I cant wait seson 2. I spent 3 days watching whole seson 1. :))))
    Very very good.

    Reply
  • October 26, 2019 at 10:00 pm
    Permalink

    have some missing but really characters in the show are addictive:epigmenio,adela etc how the finished season 1 cause so much will to see what happened after last scene

    Reply
  • October 28, 2019 at 3:55 am
    Permalink

    Bit of a light hearted series – Samurai attitude does not mix with Mexican revenge! A simple parcel bomb blew Miguel to history including his all of office… that’s it? really? Now, is this series seriously making fun of the Japs or the Mex. Teqillia burps? However I liked it despite all short comings..

    Reply
  • October 28, 2019 at 3:58 am
    Permalink

    Bit of a light hearted series – Samurai attitude does not mix with Mexican revenge! A simple parcel bomb blew Miguel to history including his all of office… that’s it? really? Now, is this series seriously making fun of the Japs or the Mex. Teqillia burps? However I liked it despite all short comings

    Reply
  • October 30, 2019 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    I LOVED WATCHING THIS SERIES WAITING FOR NEXT SERIES.. WHEN WILL SEASON 2 WILL BE AIRED ???

    Reply
  • October 31, 2019 at 4:42 am
    Permalink

    Binged watch whole season in 3 days. What’s not to like? There’s suspense, slashing, gun shooting, silliness, cheesy moments, sucker moments mostly of Chisca, silly moments of Kenia & Jorge, I can go on & on. And of course just watching Miguel & Adela was enough to motivate me to looking forward to Season 2.

    Reply
    • January 21, 2020 at 4:38 am
      Permalink

      Sad shocking ending.
      I’m reeling.

      Reply
  • November 1, 2019 at 12:36 am
    Permalink

    I enjoyed watching this show. It has what a series needs. Good looking actors, gore, romance, irritating Chisca, complicated Miguel, sweet Jorge. I eagerly await Season 2. Waiting to see how the siblings react when they learn that their Grsndad plotted the murder of their parents.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2019 at 3:49 pm
    Permalink

    Totally loved this show and couldn’t stop watching until is was done. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Hoping that Season 2 won’t take long to come out!

    Reply
  • December 6, 2019 at 12:50 pm
    Permalink

    Loved season 1 …….can’t wait for season 2, Miguel Garza is one hunk of a guy !!!!

    Reply
  • December 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm
    Permalink

    Loved it, loved it, loved it. Binge watched it and can’t wait for series 2!!!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: