What is it about Hollywood money that completely destroys Asian film greats?
As an Asian-American raised on pop Asian action classics like Hard Boiled, Drunken Master 2, and Once Upon a Time in China, I’ve seen virtually every one of my childhood heroes fall dramatically in stature after coming stateside. John Woo made Paycheck. Jackie Chan appeared in the Tuxedo and Rush Hour 3. Jet Li made The One (among others), rather than appear in the Matrix sequels. And the latter both made The Forbidden Kingdom <shudder>.
Adding fuel to the fire is that fact that John Woo’s return to Asian cinema has resulted in the apparently-monstrously successful Red Cliff. Chan’s own recent New Police Story showed me that the man still has game, even if he can’t risk exactly the same death-defying stunts of days past.
Now comes word from Variety that Chan has started working on Junior Soldiers, a “road movie” set during the Qin dynasty that Chan will produce, write, and star in. According to Variety, the movie “focuses on three people and a horse.” Even that plot description sounds a bit heavy for a Jackie Chan film, but I’m always up for whatever he tries next, even if it’s just to catch the action scenes (which, let’s face it, is pretty much the only reason to watch any Chan film). Here’s hoping the set pieces will still wow.
Discuss: What do you think of Jackie Chan? Does the man still have it in him to make an exhilirating action film?