WISH DRAGON*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens in a cloudy, otherworldly realm. A man spots the gates to the afterlife ahead of him, but when he approaches them, they close. Standing before the man is a towering god playing a pipa. As the man demands to be let in through the gates, the god plays the pipa to perform magic upon the man.
On Earth, we meet a young boy named Din Song (Ian Chen), who lives with his mother (Constance Wu). He becomes friends with a mischievous girl named Li Na Wang (Alyssa Abiera), who lives with her wealthy father (Will Yun Lee) that almost never has time for her. The two children spend a few years together as best friends until the day that Mr. Wang has Li Na move away with him, forcing her to say goodbye to Din and leaving him lonely again. They do promise to maintain their friendship.
Ten years later, Din (now played by Jimmy Wong) works as a food delivery person, focusing more on work than his own studies. He asks a friend named Wei to bring him his assignment to his house. His last delivery has him go to a demolished building where a homeless man (Ronny Chieng) asks for his order. He gives Din a teapot before apparently disappearing into thin air.
Din returns home to his mom and their neighbors about to have dinner, with everyone thinking Din is a genius on his way to a great career. This is ruined when Wei comes in and spills the beans about Din skipping classes, which angers Mrs. Song.
Later that night, Din goes to get a cheap suit and goes to a billboard featuring Li Na (now played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo), who is a model. He deeply misses her and wants to reconnect, but after his suit tears apart, he feels that he is just kidding himself to thinking she would still see him as a friend. When he says that he wishes he kept their promise, the teapot that he brought with him begins to shake, and it unleashes the Wish Dragon, LongZhu (John Cho). He proclaims to Din that he is his new master, although he is unimpressed to see that Din is just a regular teenage boy.
Just outside the alley are three villains – a bald man named Pockets (Aaron Yoo), plus a short henchman (Jimmy O. Yang) and a tall one (Bobby Lee). They are sent by their employer to find the teapot, and Pockets manages to get past guards in the area with his kung fu skills. When they come across Din, they see him holding the teapot. They go after him, but Din wishes he knew how to fight, and Long grants him the ability to utilize his own kung fu skills to fight the villains and help himself escape. The three then have to report to their employer…Mr. Wang.
The next day, Long follows Din as he tries to convince the boy to use his last two wishes. Long tells him that he has been imprisoned in the teapot for the last thousand years to serve ten masters, and Din is the last one. He then follows Din around the city as he becomes acquainted with the modern world and all of the renovations he has missed. Long also becomes addicted to shrimp chips. When they get stuck in traffic in a cab, Long becomes frustrated with the commotion of the traffic, and uses his magic to fly himself and Din out of there despite him wanting Din to wish themselves out of there. The two eventually end up outside the home of Li Na on the day of her birthday party. Din decides to use his second wish to make himself a wealthy princeling so that Li Na will pay him some attention since he really wants to reconnect with his best friend.
Din goes into the party with Long as his servant. When Din manages to get close enough to Li Na, she doesn’t immediately recognize him and is just as polite to him as she is with all the other guests. When it is time for Li Na and her father to share a dance, Mr. Wang doesn’t show up. Din tries to save Li Na from embarrassment by pulling off an impromptu magic show with help from Long, but Li Na just goes to her room to cry. Din goes to try and re-introduce himself to her, but Mr. Wang’s assistant Buckley (Nico Santos) comes in so he can talk to Li Na over video. When he sees Din, he tries to play it cool and lies by saying his name is Dan and that his family runs a chain of dumpling restaurants. Thinking Din is a wealthy suitor, he arranges for him and Li Na to have lunch later.
After the party, Long once again tries to get Din to use his last wish, revealing that he just wants to go to Heaven because he was once a human emperor, claiming to be beloved by all his subjects. When Din goes home, he looks crazy in front of his mom because of Long getting in the way (only Din can see him).
In the morning, Pockets and his goons are seen outside Din’s apartment, unaware that he came home on Long. They then follow him as he heads out for his lunch with Li Na. They go to a restaurant where Long tries to convince Din to seem more snooty and pretentious to the staff, but it is only coming off as unappealing to Li Na. Before she can decide to bail on Din, the villains crash the restaurant. Din uses his kung fu skills to fight them off and get Li Na out of there. They run out but end up in the festival outside where Long disguises himself as a paper dragon to hide Din and Li Na. Pockets and the goons use their own dragon to fight, but Din manages to get himself and Li Na to safety. When they are alone, he reveals himself as Din and that he lied to Li Na because he thought she wouldn’t notice him as a commoner.
Li Na recognizes the neighborhood they are in as the one she used to live in. They go together to Din’s apartment where Mrs. Song remembers Li Na and treats her to a meal, all while the nosy neighbors peep in. Li Na spends the rest of the afternoon with everyone as they make dumplings and have fun. Later that night, Li Na says she must leave and doesn’t feel that she can keep seeing Din because she has expectations and standards to meet because of her dad. Din is hurt but understands.
Din asks Long to just give up his third wish and just make him rich. Long then reveals through cloudy imagery his backstory – as the emperor, he demanded wealth and respect to be the greatest among all the other rulers, but nobody was ever happy around him, and he was always alone. His daughters were married off to other royal families but lived unhappily, and his son was sent off to war and came back dead. When Long died, nobody was there to mourn him, and when he approached the gates to Heaven, he was denied by the god at the gate (the same old man that left the teapot with Din), and he was transformed into a Wish Dragon as punishment for his greed. He feels that he has failed all his previous masters in learning the meaning of life, until he met Din.
Mr. Wang arrives with Pockets and the goons after learning that Li Na was with Din. He asks for the teapot as a means to help save his company, which is on the verge of financial ruin. Pockets betrays Mr. Wang and goes after the teapot for himself. He knocks Din down and throws Mr. Wang off a great height before he makes himself Long’s new master. He uses his first wish to turn everything he touches to gold. Li Na returns and finds her father dying.
Din goes after the villains by swinging down on a wrecking ball. In the struggle for the teapot, the tall goon wishes for enough puppies to open up a pet store, and the short goon wishes for longer legs. Pockets accidentally turns the van into gold, which leads to him and Din fighting for the teapot as Long flies them over the sky. Pockets overpowers Din and nearly turns him to gold, but Long took the hit and starts to turn to gold himself, leading to everyone falling. Pockets accidentally touches himself and turns to gold, and he shatters upon hitting the bridge, while Din falls into the water and cannot save Long since he is now fully encased in gold.
Long finds himself back in the spirit world as a human. The pipa god from earlier is ready to allow Long through the gates to Heaven, but he wants to go back to Din so that he can use his third wish. The god agrees, on one condition. Long returns to Din, and he wishes for Mr. Wang to be okay. He then wakes up, and Li Na is thankful. Meanwhile, the two goons split up now that they got their wishes.
Din returns home with Li Na and her father, and Mrs. Song offers them dinner. Mr. Wang tells Mrs. Song that she made the best soup he has ever had.
A while later, Mr. Wang and Mrs. Song open up a soup/dumpling restaurant, with Din and Li Na working there and maintaining their friendship. Din then finds the teapot again and speaks to Long outside, who tells him that he must now serve another ten masters. Din hugs his friend goodbye and places the teapot on the back of a cart, which is being ridden by the human pipa god.
Din Song was separated from his best friend Li Na Wang as children. As a teenager, he finds a magic teapot that inhabits the Wish Dragon LongZhu, who was once an emperor obsessed with wealth to the point that he alienated his family and subjects, leaving him alone on his deathbed and denied entrance to the afterlife as punishment for his greed, being forced to serve ten masters before he can do so, and Din is his tenth master.
Din uses Long to help him get closer to Li Na, unaware that her father has hired henchmen Pockets (plus tall and short henchmen) to get the teapot to save his company from going under. Pockets betrays Mr. Wang and pushes him from a great height before he takes the teapot for himself and uses his first wish to turn everything he touches to gold. Din goes after him, and when Pockets attempts to turn Din to gold, Long takes the hit, and Pockets accidentally turns himself to gold and shatters after falling. Long also turns to gold and is allowed to enter the afterlife, but he gives up his opportunity to go back to being a Wish Dragon to help Din. The boy uses his last wish to save Li Na's father.
Long must serve another ten masters, but he has gotten a greater understanding of life. Meanwhile, Din maintains his friendship with Li Na after her father and his mother open up a restaurant together.