Wire fu in Romeo Must Die

“If the film (Romeo Must Die) cannot integrate Jet Li into his own film, it stumbles even more over its incorporation of 'Hong Kong action'. Romeo Must Die is, visually, a post-Matrix film, but it does not have its predecessor's fantasy remit to explain why fighters float in mid-air... the CGI-enhanced wirework looks as though…

Romeo Must Die

“With Jet Li going to war as only he can,” smirks the cover of my Romeo Must Die DVD, “Romeo Must Die is alive and kicking.” This film purports to be a Jet Li vehicle – “his first English-language lead role” (1) and it really fucks up its potential. By the time he made his…

Great Quote No. 7

“But Julian Stringer reminds us that there are some issues of cultural power surrounding the 'camp' gaze at Hong Kong cinema, which is, after all, a 'largely white gaze at a Chinese other' (1996/97: 55)”. p. 12 “... box office figures do not tell us much about how a film was received and the conditions…

Jet Li in Lethal Weapon 4

Lethal Weapon 4 is the first American movie to feature Jet Li and, as such, marks the beginning of an era in this performer’s filmography that has caused mixed reactions in his fans. The perception among some fans at least (and, of course, I am generalizing here) is that many of Li’s American vehicles have…

Another great quote about Lethal Weapon 4

“(In Lethal Weapon 4) Jet Li is offered to us simultaneously as dynamic spectacle - “How the hell did he do that?” marvels Mel Gibson's Riggs after he dismantles a gun at lightning speed – and inscrutable Other, garotting old men and kicking pregnant women. Such spectacle, as Marchetti argues, pulls in two directions: 'It…

Great Quote: Lethal Weapon

A couple of years ago, when I was preparing for my blogging project whereby I would systematically work through Jet Li’s filmography (naively assuming that it would take me a few months instead of more than 2 years), I watched all of the special features on the DVDs I could get at the time and…

Hitman

When watching Hitman, released in Hong Kong in 1998 and starring Jet Li*, I find myself comparing it to a later Jet Li film, Rogue Assassin (US, 2007). Both these films cast Li in the role of an assassin for hire. Both are set in a contemporary urban setting, although both have settings that very…

Once Upon A Time In China And America

How do I hate this movie, let me count the ways. This is my least favourite Jet Li movie by a country mile. Everything is wrong with it, from the Worzel Gummidge type hairdo on the actor playing Billy to the nasty synthesized music. “The script, which was written as the film was being shot,…

Dr Wai in the Scripture with no Words

Dr Wai in the Scripture with no Words is a flawed film but it certainly has its entertaining moments. It could be seen as a Chinese version (or even spoof) of an Indiana Jones type story. I think the Indiana Jones movies are far more disciplined and better crafted but I do prefer Dr Wai…

Great Quote: Dr Wai and the Scripture without Words

A “... theme began to emerge in Li's modern-day films as they become more self-conscious; that of the hero as a fiction or illusion. Major has referred to a 'creeping identity crisis' in Li's later Hong Kong films (2000: 165), filled with secret identities and multiple personalities, even amnesia; Black Mask, the 'King of Adventurers',…