Vanishing Son the Dance of the Dragon

Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV's "Action Pack" series of telepix, "Vanishing Son" launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted.

With:
Cast: Russell Wong, Stephanie Niznik, Jason Adams, Jacqueline Obradors, Ronald G. Joseph, Michael Cavanaugh, Haing S. Ngor, Richard Allen, Tzi Ma, Lucille Soong, Lee Wessof, Alex J. Veadof, Jorge Huerta, Danny Trejo, Robert Cervantez, Atsuko Koga.

Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted.

On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable for featuring Russell Wong as the weekly action hero.

That exception aside, the premiere’s ragged storyline doesn’t leave much to recommend this series.

The virile, clean-cut Wong cuts a romantic figure and his kick-boxing skills are a visceral swoosh. His character is a fugitive in L.A. running from a pair of obsessed Feds (Jason Adams’ chauvinist agent and Stephanie Niznik’s feminist, unlikely sidekick).

Taking cover as an exploited worker in a sweat shop, Wong joins a courageous Guatemalan immigrant woman (Jacqueline Obradors) in a fight to unionize the frightened Latino and Chinese workers.

Meanwhile, the hero confronts a Chinese crime cartel (headed by the seriously miscast Haing S. Ngor, who looks miles away from his Oscar-winning turn in “The Killing Fields”).

Dovetailing action in the streets with the rights of the immigrant working class, the script (Robert Eisele) shakily segues from chase scenes to banal lovemaking (Wong and Obradors) to labor organizing (the latter being the plot’s only nominal surprise).

Director Norberto Barba, however, captures some dramatic illusion by looking into a kind of “Blade Runner” multicultural mirror enhanced by solid tech values. Prominent among the latter are Tim Boettcher’s tight editing and cinematographer Bradley Six’s Chinatown back-alley atmosphere.

Vanishing Son the Dance of the Dragon

(Sat. (21), 9-10 p.m., KTLA)

Production: Filmed in San Diego and L.A. by Rob Cohen/Raffaella De Laurentiis Prods., Stu Segall Prods. and MCA TV. Executive producers, Rob Cohen, Raffaella De Laurentiis, Stu Segall; co-exec producer, Tom Towler; line producer, Michael Bernstein; supervising producer, Norma Safford Vela; director, Norberto Barba; writer, Robert Eisele; creator, Cohen.

Crew: Camera, Bradley Six; editor, Tim Boettcher; art director, David Ensley; sound, William MacPherson; music, Jan Hammer.

Cast: Cast: Russell Wong, Stephanie Niznik, Jason Adams, Jacqueline Obradors, Ronald G. Joseph, Michael Cavanaugh, Haing S. Ngor, Richard Allen, Tzi Ma, Lucille Soong, Lee Wessof, Alex J. Veadof, Jorge Huerta, Danny Trejo, Robert Cervantez, Atsuko Koga.

More TV

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Virtual reality

    Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Go Virtual at Comic-Con

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Destan Arslanoski Stunt Performer

    Stunt Performers Say There's Not Enough Being Done to Address Risks of the Job

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Discovery Extends CEO David Zaslav's Contract

    Discovery Extends CEO David Zaslav's Contract Through 2023

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Janina Gavankar

    Eka Darville, Janina Gavankar, Italia Ricci Join North Fork TV Festival Lineup

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Alice Wetterlund

    'Silicon Valley' Actress Calls T.J. Miler a 'Bully,' Cast Members 'Complicit'

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Troy Searer, Jesse Angelo

    New York Post Launches TV Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

  • Anderson Cooper Facebook Watch

    Facebook Watch's News Programs Need to Look Less Like TV and More Like Facebook (Column)

    Continuing the saga that was launched last year as part of MCA TV’s “Action Pack” series of telepix, “Vanishing Son” launches as a weekly syndie series, with an opening salvo that is stylishly shot but routinely plotted. On the other hand, given the industry’s reluctance when it comes to casting Asian-Americans, the show is notable […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content