Friday, 22 October 2010

Fearless (5 Stars)

Let me state for the record that I don't consider Jet Li to be a good actor. I rate him on a level with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Keanu Reeves, and slightly better than Kyle MacLachlan. But the old proverb says that every dog has its day. Arnold had his "Terminator", Keanu had his "Matrix", and even Kyle had his "Twin Peaks". Jet Li, on the other hand, has made a few good films, such as "Hero", "Fist of Legend" and "Fearless". So what sets him apart from other second rate actors? Why does he star in good films more often than the others?

I see two reasons. First, he can fight. If it's possible to call what he does fighting. When he battles he's as graceful as a ballet dancer. He's amazing to watch. Second, he's given the chance to star in large budget, well written, lusciously produced Chinese films. The smorgasboard of colours is breathtaking. This lifts all of his Chinese films into a class of their own. His American films, on the other hand, are embarrassing.

To briefly summarise the film... "Fearless" is the true story of Huo Yuanjia, who restored Chinese national pride by defeating a series of foreign opponents in combat. The film shows his development from his early years of selfishness to his final years as a true Chinese patriot. This is a film worth watching.


  1. Aside but, Parenthood was one of Keanu's best acting, in my opinion!

  2. That's another film I've never seen. In general I avoid films with Keanu's name in them, unless I have a very good reason. I also avoid films with Tom Cruise and John Travolta, although I make exceptions. "Far and away" is a good film, even though Tom's accent is embarrassingly unrealistic. Couldn't they have hired a real Irish actor for the role?

  3. I tend to avoid movies with Tom Cruise in them as well. For years I didn't see Top Gun even, and I still haven't seen Born on the Fourth of July.

    Personally, I don't think he is a good actor. I think he plays great assholes, perhaps because that is in part his own personality in real life. So there are some roles that I have thought he's done well in, the movie One for instance. But as a rule... There has to be something exceptional about the movie for me to watch it if he is in it.

  4. I haven't watched "Top Gun" either, and probably never will. Something about Tom Cruise's smug grin just rubs me the wrong way. It's a look about him that's his trademark (like Ray Winstone's walk). Some people might like it, but I don't.


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