Chasing the Dragon (1996) Markie Post, Dennis Boutsikaris, Noah Fleiss, Deirdre O'Connell Movie Review

Chasing the Dragon (1996)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Markie Post in Chasing the Dragon (1996)

Caught in a Trap

Gwen Jessler (Markie Post - Someone She Knows) is a single mum who loves her son Sean (Noah Fleiss), has just met a nice guy in Nat (Dennis Boutsikaris - Beyond Betrayal) and whilst her boss frustrates her she enjoys her work as a video game designer. But thanks to her work colleague Louis (Peter Frechette) she starts to dabble in doing recreational drugs especially when she returns home from work for a date with Nat but feels exhausted. But dabbling becomes an addiction and soon Gwen's life is in freefall as she can't kick her growing addiction as she steals from her son whilst also suffering major mood swings.

If good intentions equalled a good movie, well there would be a lot of good made for TV movies out there. The reality is very different as whilst TV movies, especially those of the 90s, try to do the responsible thing and deliver dramas about real life issues the finished product can end up not being the realistic drama that was the original intention. This is the case when it comes to mid 90s TV movie "Chasing the Dragon" as it tries to explore the world of drug addiction told from the point of view of a single mum who ends up ruining her life when she starts to dabble in recreational drug use only for it to turn into a full blown addiction.

Dennis Boutsikaris in Chasing the Dragon (1996)

Part of the trouble with "Chasing the Dragon" is that whilst it wants to be a warning of the hazards of drug use with just a little here and there turning in to an addiction it also wants to be entertaining. As such we have the lovely Markie Post playing a really cool single mum, we have Dennis Boutsikaris as a nice guy with this wonderful apartment and who is basically Mr. Perfect and of course we have Gwen's son who is cute in a wise ass sort of way. It just doesn't ring true to real life but is basically there to try and heighten the impact when Gwen's life ends up in freefall as it wants us to question as to how could this happen to such a nice person. Yes the effect of watching Gwen rummaging through her bin to lick drugs off of wrappers, stealing money out of her son's bank account and looking gaunt is powerful but it feels sensational rather than realistic.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "Chasing the Dragon" has good intentions when it comes to how drug addiction can get anyone it ends up unrealistic due to it wanting to heighten the impact of how even some one nice can end up caught in the trap.