This is my first XE post, so none of you know me. My army of action figures is pretty weak so I'd like to thank Matt for taking a chance on me. Hopefully I won't encounter any discrimination, but the XE home base is already having a different drinking fountain constructed for the people who didn't see Transformers: The Movie. Not a good sign.
One movie I did see was Tai ji Zhang San Feng. In America it's called Twin Warriors or The Eating Rice and Kicking People in the Head Show. Twin Warriors is about the most stereotypical depiction of Asians ever made, because only two things happen in this movie. Eating rice and fancy violence. This movie stereotypes Asians worse than Revenge of the Nerds stereotypes nerds. But since both movies were made by their own respective races, its all good.
This is a kung fu movie. That means the violence will look more like Tom & Jerry violence rather than Braveheart violence. This is not a movie your high school physics teacher will show in class. If he ever did see this movie, he would use his physics knowledge to construct a nuclear warhead and bomb Japan again.
These kung fu movies follow a formula similar to your average porno. The storylines always take a back seat to the action. Nobody watches these movies for the stories, they watch for the action. The only difference is that you don't have to enter a special room to rent kung fu. Twin Warriors must be a high profile kung fu movie because there's a couple recognizable faces in it, Jet Li for one. Jet Li is the Jenna Jameson of the Kung Fu industry, so you know it's gonna be special. And this is how our story begins...
I wonder if the old Chinese guy is gonna teach somebody karate? If you've seen the Karate Kid and two-thirds of Jean-Claude Van-Damme's movies, then you know this old guy. By spouting off nonsense with every breath, he's gonna mold these two boys into supreme fighting machines. Eventually these two boys grow up to be Jet Li, the badass from Lethal Weapon 4, and some other guy whom failed to become famous, and likely fell on his sword for being such a huge embarrassment.
All these guys belong in some monk colony, where they learn how to punch upside down. Probably in the event of an attacking rival ant colony. This is a remote chinese missionary, with no contact with the outside world. I guess learning to punch while standing on your head is the thing to do when there's no TV.
Chinese Monk colonies are like college fraternities, except the beer is replaced with rice, and the horseplay is much more crisp and artistic. Jet Li and his friend were punished for fighting... you know, the stuff they were trained to do every day since they were born. Punishment was to smash bricks on their heads. It took no effort at all for these monks to shatter bricks over their heads. It looked like they were smashing grey brownies over their skulls. This could probably be attributed to never seeing one of those mythical "women" before.
Here's the star of the movie. Jet Li, the man who can make laundry seem like a life and death struggle. Too bad much of his baddass aura is compromised by the anglo-american yuppie voice they dubbed in for the English version. Every line delivered by Jet Li sounds like he is hosting a game show. At one point, one of the characters mention the Tao belief system. Which is usually pronounced "Dow" to those who are one with it. I guess those Chinese elders wanted to trip up those stupid Westerners at their dubbing game.
Things go sour between the Twin Warriors and the other monks. These monks go with the dreaded cheerleader pyramid of death fighting style. Apparently doing head stands to punch didn't leave them vulnerable enough to getting knocked out. Jet Li and the other guy end up dominating them all. The Twin Warriors could've put an end to the LA riots if given 20 minutes and a couple sticks.
Let me explain what's happening in the screencaps above. The guy that's not Jet Li kicked a monk with enough velocity to send him infinitely scooting across the floor. He then jumped on the sliding monk and surfed him while hitting a bunch of guys with a large rod. I think I choregraphed scenes like these with my G.I. Joes when I was 7-years-old. There were many other fight sequences just as crazy, but I couldn't think of reasonable ways to describe them. As if the surf ninja one was reasonable.
The Twin Warriors get dishonorably discharched from their cushy lifestyle. Out in the real world, the two men go their seperate ways. The one guy wants to join the corrupt army and work his way up the chain of command while Jet Li wants to earn an honest living washing dishes(conveniently within a restaurant where heroic rebels work) Could these two end up at odds with each other? Hmmmmm...
Without skipping a beat, Jet Li's childhood friend double-crosses him and the rest of the rebels. The Chinese albino emporer of the corrupt army promotes him for his delightfully evil ways. You can see the guy mouthing the theme song to the Jeffersons, even though that didn't make it in the English version.
They should've known that only one army isn't gonna stop Jet Li. Not before he starts breaking arms as if they were mere bricks. The average rebel could only slay 10 generic soldiers at a time, so they were eventually out-numbered. Most of the men died, the women were captured, and Jet Li escaped when a rebel on horseback lassoed him and dragged him to safety. This rebel could've saved a woman, but he lassoed Jet Li instead. If these guys go to such extreme lengths to avoid vagina, then why are there 5 billion people in China?
The shock of his best friend betraying him temporarily turned Jet Li into Ronald Reagon. He thought a wooden post was his master, and that he himself was a duck. This must be what comic relief is in Hong Kong. On the other hand, I'm afraid to ask what Hong Kongians think of Adam Sandler. After reading a scroll on Tae-Bo with some ducks, Jet Li gets his act together for the inevitable final confrontation with that other guy.
In order to prove how much of a tyrant he is, the other guy makes his own men throw themselves down a rocky cliff in a training exercise. Remember when Homer didn't make the jump across the canyon on Bart's skateboard? This is that scene if you replace Homer with 100 Asians. They all roll down the hill going, "Doh! Doh! Doh!"
In case the audience missed the plot twist (it was more of a plot tumble) the evil employee-of-the-month karate chops a rebel girl to death.
And to make matters worse, he puts Jet Li's potential mate on a cross, who happens to be the ninja Bond girl from Tomorrow Never Dies. Could you imagine if Jet Li and this woman had children? There'd definitely be some kicking in that womb. These two could make billions selling their children to goverments as super-weapons of destruction, or to Hong Kong movie studios.
Jet Li comes to the rescue after his nervous breakdown. Well, maybe he didn't completely recover. He swordfights with his feet at one point.
This movie has the feel of a low budget Matrix, which is because the same guy choreographed the fight scenes in both films. The only difference is that the crazy action scenes in the Matrix had an explanation for it. The world in that one was a simulation and stuff. This movie had people jumping ten stories high just because they felt like it. If they were vampire monks or X-Men monks, then it would've been believable. And you can't see the support cables connected to the leaping characters in the Matrix either.
The final showdown between the Twin Warriors takes place. The other guy is getting his ass handed to him by Jet Li, and is forced to resort to heaving members of his own army at Li. This is what you call assisted kamikaze. That guy is the Dr. Kevorkian of ninja tyrants.
I guess in the heat of the battle, he overlooked the 100's of spears in the immediate area. Fortunately, Jet Li's extensive training allowed him to counter the goon toss. I don't want to give away the ending but the following picture pretty much sums up the success of the other guy's epic battle against Jet Li.
In porno terms, this is the money shot. You will never see two men oversell a punch more than this one. The power in Jet Li's punch catapults his childhood friend into the horizon. At this point, Jet is extremely confident that he has this win in the bag, and rightfully so.
If you like the Matrix, Mr. Miagi, creating completely retarded fight scenes with your action figures, porno movies, consumation of rice, and unintentially funny english translations, then you will apreciate this movie. It was definitely worth every one of the 99 cents I paid to rent it.