Misadventures in Hollywood: How Hong Kong’s Stars Lost Their Way in Hollywood

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THEY KNOW KUNG FU

Remember the first time you saw “The Matrix”? Maybe you giggled a bit when Neo opened his eyes and said, “I know kung fu,” but when Morpheus replied, “Show me,” you knew it was on. Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne were a little stiff, but the one-on-one duel that followed the “kung fu” exchange between the two men served as a nice little tease, not just for the fight scenes to come, but also for what lay ahead once the one-two punch of “The Matrix” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” landed and Hollywood decided that, yes, it did know kung-fu.

First, let’s back up.

It’s been about ten years since Hollywood started dealing from the Hong Kong deck, and with a few notable exceptions, they’ve screwed it up big time. For many fans, the idea of Hong Kong-style kung fu and gunplay mixed with the higher budgets and prep times allotted to American films was a long time coming. The problem is, that potential hasn’t been fulfilled, at least not to the satisfaction of most fans, and it’s looking doubtful that it ever will.

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