There have been a number of Asian action stars who made it big in Hollywood and among those that I’ve watched are Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee and of course, Jet Li. Jet Li has been known to be a great martial artist and is definitely among the flashiest ones because of his style and speed. Back in 2001, together with Bridget Fonda, he appeared in the Hollywood film Kiss of the Dragon which was directed by Chris Nahon.
In the film, Jet Li played the role of a Chinese inspector who came to France to help out the French police on a case about a Chinese syndicate. However, things turned bad for Liu (Jet Li) when the French police used him as a scapegoat. As he tried to reveal what happened, in a twist of fate he met Jessica (Bridget Fonda) and promised to help her with her ordeal. At the end, through his cunning martial arts and tactics, he delivers the Kiss of the Dragon.
Let’s talk about the stars. Jet Li was astoundingly excellent when it comes to his martial arts skills. The choreographer must have had a tough job trying to keep up. He needed a little work on his English but was still very much understandable. He played his character well and you can easily distinguish his description as one who’s love is all for his job. As for Bridget Fonda, for me the way she acted was a bit bland. I mean she played her role well but she could have done a better job. She was quite awkward in delivering her lines.
We could also note the great performance of Tcheky Karyo. He really seemed to be a heartless French policeman. The emotions he put out especially the ruthlessness and unforgiving qualities of the character was outstanding. I actually wanted to beat his character up after the movie.
The storyline is quite interesting though and who knows? That kind of story can be really happening in real life. But the main focus of the movie was Jet Li’s flashy skills which reflected in his role as the top Chinese detective. Again, I just want to commend the choreography for the great action scenes.
There were actually a few special effects needed. The filming location is appropriate for the story since it’s in France and thus, there’s isn’t really a need to focus on lighting and sound effects. Jet Li’s movements alone can be enough to astound the viewers. Being able to fend off a huge number of opponents is usually appealing especially if you’re into action/martial arts movies.
Kiss of Dragon is definitely one of the greatest action movies. It has what most of us action fans would want, a lot of martial arts action. It could also appeal to those who are not fans of action movies. However, the story can be all too obvious for those wanting suspense. Nonetheless, it’s still worth to watch it. It’s still available on DVD.
IMDB – Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
IMDB – Jet Li