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The One Review


OK
Jet Li has joined the dubious ranks of those martial arts stars playing opposite themselves in a film -- including Jackie Chan and Jean Claude Van Damme. But instead of playing a long-lost twin brother to himself as in the other films, Li's actually himself squared -- another version of Jet from a different parallel "universe." That's right: Only Jet Li can kick Jet Li's ass.

James Wong and Glen Morgan, the guys who brought us the cheesy but mildly entertaining Final Destination (as well as the wonderfully gruesome X-Files episode "Home"), flex their sci-fi/kung fu action muscles with The One. With Jet Li on board, the action side is in great shape. Unfortunately, they come up pretty emaciated on the sci-fi front.

Continue reading: The One Review

Unleashed Review


Very Good
There is nothing that happens in Unleashed that cannot more or less be surmised from the film's trailer, yet the entertainment value of the film's 100 minutes is scarcely diminished. It is a high concept, yes (Jet Li as human attack dog), but Unleashed turns the simplicity and single-mindedness of such a concept into an asset; it is lean, exciting, and sweet, too, rivaling the better Jackie Chan pictures (both stateside and abroad).

It's about time; Jet Li has not had much luck in his American movies. He functioned all too easily as a simple variable in the formulas that were Romeo Must Die and Cradle 2 the Grave; he was the innocent, honorable, kung fu master, mostly at the service of rappers. But his damaged character in Unleashed provides workable context for both Li's boyish reserve and his furious fists.

Continue reading: Unleashed Review

Cradle 2 The Grave Review


Terrible
DMX is a hip-hop legend. With his growling, almost metallic, voice, hyped beats, and rugged hardcore lyrics, he transcends the energy and edginess of urban street culture with a unique hybrid style of rapping, singing, and even barking into the mike. Until now, he's successfully crossed over into film, portraying ruthlessly savage characters in Belly and Exit Wounds that seem to suit his thuggish gangster persona. But, unfortunately for director Andrzej Bartkoiak, he's not nearly as comical as Chris Tucker. And Jet Li lacks the personality of Jackie Chan. And thus Cradle 2 the Grave bombs in its attempt to recapture the charisma between foreign martial-artist cop paired with smooth-talking, tough-guy counterpart of Rush Hour and its kin.

Poor acting combined with the plausibility level of a G.I. Joe cartoon haunts Cradle 2 the Grave from the start. Bartkowiak (Romeo Must Die) presents the audience with two highly specialized entertainers unable to break out of their typecast niches. For Jet Li, whose English is barely comprehendible, he cannot bond with X unless its through the universal language of fighting, and for X, while he can flex his tattooed body and be intimidating as anyone, his "tough guy" persona is limiting. So we have two Alphas with no sense of humor, facing a noticeable language barrier and an inhibiting script. No doubt the film would have been better if the villain Ling, played by Mark Dacascos (The Brotherhood of the Wolf), were to have switched roles with Li. Then at least he and X could have had at least one much-needed bonding moment. Instead, our heroes are left simply staring at one another in awkward downtime as they wait for the action to arrive.

Continue reading: Cradle 2 The Grave Review

The Legend Of The Swordsman Review


Good
A decade before Crouching Tiger, Jet Li was flying and spinning impossibly in this ninja/kung fu/sorcerer kinda story. Although it has none of the production values of the movies it inspired, The Legend of the Swordsman (actually a sequel to an earlier film, made with an entirely different cast) is often entertaining, though equally often is tiresome.

Li stars as Ling Wei, a member of a religious sect trying to get out of the world of violence. Of course, the sect stumbles upon a war and find themselves embroiled in it, replete with supernatural battles and high-flying choreography.

Continue reading: The Legend Of The Swordsman Review

Once Upon A Time In China And America Review


OK
Tubby action star Sammo Hung steps behind the camera for this, the sixth entry into the Once Upon a Time in China series, with decidedly mixed results. Hung doesn't have much grasp of cinematic technique, and even his action scenes are hard to follow, as they're invariably filmed from too close to the action. Jerky editing and bad framing makes matters worse. The story -- about Chinese immigrants in the Old West getting in trouble with the nascent mafia -- is nothing to write home about either.

Continue reading: Once Upon A Time In China And America Review

The Master Review


Bad
Is Jet Li "the master?" The master of really bad kung fu movies, if this 1989 outing is any indication, bringing the flying fists of Li to Los Angeles to face a blonde nemesis who looks like Sledge Hammer!'s David Rasche.

Notable mainly for its overuse of slow motion, its unbearably bad dubbing, and Li's fascination-du-jour with putting people into arm locks, there's absolutely nothing here to make the movie worth watching. Li, early in his career, spends most of the running time gawking at the scenery while he struggles to remember his lines. Cheaply produced and shot with a minimum of effort, this is one archival 'fu film that should have remained on ice.

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Romeo Must Die Review


Terrible
Romeo Must Die is a jetliner of a film headed straight for black ice. Namely, it subsists on ridiculous action sequences meshed together by predictable plot points and truly horrible acting. Fueled by the "Monopoly Money" pockets of Joel Silver - the guy responsible for such titles as The Matrix, the Lethal Weapon series, and Richie Rich - this movie is bad. Really bad.

It's such a damn shame when such a talent and versatile actors like Jet Li and Delroy Lindo re subjected to portray such stereotypical, mundane, pointless characters. To all those who are unaware of Jet Li, stop reading right now and run down to your local video story and ask for Once Upon a Time in China, Bodyguard from Beijing, and Hitman. You might have seen him in that techno-redubbed version of Black Mask or as the evil Chinese bad guy in Lethal Weapon 4 that had be shot and stabbed before Mel Gibson could save face and not get his ass kicked again. But Jet Li's character in Romeo Must Die reminds me of the circus clown hired to keep the kiddies smiling in the film.

Continue reading: Romeo Must Die Review

Fist Of Legend Review


Very Good
A precursor to Crouching Tiger, Jet Li's Fist of Legend is a high-flying, hidden-wire kick-and-punch-fest, set against a historical, epic backdrop. In this installment of flying fists, Li returns his old school in Shanghai, only to find his teacher assassinated and the Japanese ready to invade (before WWII). Complete with love story and vengeance plots, it's a masterful blend of action and plot. The typically bad dubbing gets in the way, but frankly the story is better than that of Tiger. Too bad the stunts are not quite up to par -- too few and far between -- though when it's on, the fighting is impressive.

A remake of Bruce Lee's Fists of Fury and based on actual events.

Continue reading: Fist Of Legend Review

Lethal Weapon 4 Review


Bad
Pretty hideous entry into the Lethal Weapon oeuvre, with Gibson and Glover as even older nogoodnik coppers on the trail of some Chinese slave traders. Uh huh. They really are getting too old for this shit after all.

Kiss Of The Dragon Review


Excellent
Wham, bam, thank you ma'am! Jet Li has finally returned to prime ass-kicking form in his latest kung fu extravaganza Kiss of the Dragon.

Jet Li -- one of the most popular stars in Asia rivaling Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-Fat -- has had an impressive string of over 25 films under his belt in his two decades of kung fu prowess and strong acting turns. But after two dismal attempts at winning over American audiences with a small villain role in Lethal Weapon 4 and the horrendous Joel Silver monstrosity Romeo Must Die, it was looking pretty grim for this mighty warrior. So, Li read the e-mails from his fans, taking their compliments and complaints via his web site.

Continue reading: Kiss Of The Dragon Review

Black Mask Review


Bad
Awful kung fu flick, with Jet Li prancing about as a bio-engineered superhero (mild-mannered by day, of course), who beats the crap out of 50 guys en route to busting up a gang. Despite some Jackie Chan-like moments, this is -- at best -- mindless violence. Emphasis on mindless.

Continue reading: Black Mask Review

The Legend 2 Review


Good
This early Jet Li pic (from 1993) is getting the DVD treatment, though fans of the modern-day Li may not recognize him with the half-shaved head popular with 17th century Ching dynasty fighters.

In this film, the sequel to Hong Kong classic The Legend, the further adventures of Fong Sai Yuk (a real Chinese historical figure) are outlined as he fights to overthrow an evil empire. Along the way, two young ladies fight (literally) for his romantic affections, and he has to save his mother from the hands of the bad guys! Much of this plays for comedy, which helps elevate the flick above most Z-grade chopsockers. The fight scenes are fair but, with a couple of exceptions (both of which perplexingly involve climbing things), they are rather staid.

Continue reading: The Legend 2 Review

Unleashed Review


Good
Giving his first English-language performance to show any range of actingability, martial-arts superstar Jet Li is inspired in "Unleashed"as a man-child raised in a cage by a minor-league Glasgow loan shark andtrained for one Pavlovian purpose: To instinctively attack like a dog whenhis master (Bob Hoskins) snaps off the collar kept around his neck.

The threat of "you don't pay, the collar comes off"is often all the vicious Hoskins needs to scare every penny due out oftardy debtors -- but not so often that Li doesn't get a good workout throughoutthe film. Director Louis Leterrier ("TheTransporter"), master fight choreographerYuen Wo-Ping ("KungFu Hustle," "TheMatrix," "KillBill") and the ever-limber Li unleash severalraucously raw and instinctive fight scenes when Hoskins lets his animalloose.

But "Unleashed" is ultimately a character-drivenstory, and Li rises to the occasion when a twist of fate, machine-gun fireand car-wreck carnage set him free with no skills for coping in the realworld. Scared and confused, he's taken in by a blind piano tuner (MorganFreeman) and his sweetly gawky 18-year-old stepdaughter (Kerry Condon),who are similarly out of their element as Americans living in Scotland(where, curiously, no one speaks with a Scottish accent). Through thissurrogate family, his humanity begins to emerge in a series of well-writtenscenes in which Li perfectly balances his character's wide-eyed innocenceand newfound joy with the violent impulses that lurk uncomfortably in thedark recesses of his battered psyche.

Written by Luc Besson ("The Professional," "TheFifth Element"), who has a gift for creativeaction-movie concepts but a bad habit of dumbing them down, "Unleashed"has its clumsy moments, especially when it comes to the folksy wisdom andaltruism thrust upon Freeman (who nonetheless makes his role believable).But the movie is balanced out with more interesting characters in the girl(who in this kind of movie would normally be a babe), the gangster (Hoskinsturns him into an extremely twisted father figure), and Li's hero, whosenew life (and new respect for life) is threatened when Hoskins returnsfrom near-death to hunt him down.

Continue reading: Unleashed Review

The One Review


Good

If popcorn-picture auteur John Carpenter made martial arts flicks, they'd be just like "The One" -- an unabashedly cheesy, B-grade sci-fi amusement park ride with half-price special effects, action movie in-jokes, and Jet Li, a star with more charisma and cheap one-liners than acting ability.

As intentionally serio-comical as Carpenter's "They Live" (Rowdy Roddy Piper vs. aliens that walk among us) or his "Escape from..." pictures (leather-clad bad-ass Kurt Russell chewing scenery in post-apocalyptic New York and L.A.), "The One" is a parallel universe yarn in which an evil Jet Li goes dimension-hopping to kill his doppelgangers counterparts.

He's already killed "himself" in 122 out of 123 known realities, absorbing their life force to become super-human along the way. If he kills the last one, he'll become all-powerful -- or possibly make all reality implode, who's to say?

Continue reading: The One Review

Kiss Of The Dragon Review


Zero

Ten years ago, before Hollywood accepted Asian heroes in its martial arts movies, a kung-fu flick as pea-brained and badly acted as "Kiss of the Dragon" would most certainly have starred Jean-Claude Van Damme. But nowadays Hong Kong staple Jet Li ("Romeo Must Die") does the embarrassing honors himself.

Its plot -- virtuous visiting Chinese cop (Li) versus flagrantly crooked, preposterously evil Paris police inspector (Tcheky Karyo) -- is so inept that the movie never once even alludes to the rogue cop's motives. He kills a Chinese businessman and frames Li to get the ball rolling. He sends a handful of super-buff henchmen (who clearly aren't cops but come and go as they please from police HQ) to kill Li when he escapes. He runs a heroin ring and has apparently kidnapped -- I'm not making this up -- a "farmer's daughter from North Dakota" (Bridget Fonda in a career nadir) and forced her to become a back alley hooker by threatening to kill her daughter.

But why is he doing all this? What's his goal? Who, for example, was the Chinese businessman and what does killing him do for the cop?

Continue reading: Kiss Of The Dragon Review

Cradle 2 The Grave Review


Weak

By pairing rappers-turned-actors with martial-arts action stars, director Andrzej Bartkowiak has carved out his own private genre of hip-hop-kung-fu pictures -- and entrenched himself in a flashy but fruitless rut.

After the misfiring with 2000's overproduced "Romeo Must Die" and miscasting the over-the-hill Steven Seagal in 2001's "Exit Wounds," he's assembled many of the same actors (minus Seagal) for "Cradle 2 the Grave." This time it seems Bartkowiak's formula might finally work -- right up to the point where the diamond-heist-and-kidnapping plot is jettisoned in favor of an imbecilic nuclear weapons twist that turns the film into radioactive waste.

Hip-hop star DMX displays a natural toughness and affection as a top-notch vault-buster whose 9-year-old daughter is abducted by smugglers bent on obtaining the rare black diamonds he snatched in the film's opening action set-piece -- a stylish and exciting, if far-fetched, safe-deposit box heist and subway tunnel getaway.

Continue reading: Cradle 2 The Grave Review

HERO Review


Excellent

The most expensive and highest grossing film in Chinese history, Zhang Yimou's "Hero" went on to snag one of 2002's Oscar nominations for Best Foreign Film. Unfortunately, the notorious Miramax snapped it up and sat on it for two years, as if somehow ashamed of their newest acquisition. Indeed, naysayers quickly dismissed the film as a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon knockoff.

Earlier this year, Miramax very cautiously allowed "Hero" to open the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, and now they've suspiciously dumped it at the end of August, where unwanted films usually go to die.

Despite all this, when Hero finally exploded on the big screen it quickly and effortlessly established itself as one of the two or three most exceptional, spectacular and beautiful martial arts movies ever made.

Continue reading: HERO Review

Jet Li

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Jet Li

Date of birth

26th April, 1963

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.68




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Jet Li Movies

The Expendables 3 Movie Review

The Expendables 3 Movie Review

Striking a tone somewhere between the po-faced original and the silly Part 2, this rampaging...

The Expendables 3 Trailer

The Expendables 3 Trailer

The cast of 'The Expendables 3' discuss the upcoming action film in a short featurette....

The Expendables 3 Trailer

The Expendables 3 Trailer

Barney Ross is the fearless leader of elite New Orleans mercenary team The Expendables who...

The Expendables 3 Trailer

The Expendables 3 Trailer

A formidable group of New Orleans mercenaries led by the no-nonsense Barney Ross are starting...

The Expendables 2 Movie Review

The Expendables 2 Movie Review

Although there's been no attempt to tone down the first film's bloodthirsty hyperviolence or dim-witted...

The Expendables 2 Trailer

The Expendables 2 Trailer

Mr Church reunites the Expendables: Barney Ross; Lee Christmas; Yin Yang; Gunnar Jensen; Toll Road...

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The Expendables Movie Review

The Expendables Movie Review

Relentlessly loud and bombastic, this old-school thriller is clearly trying to exceed the 1980s action...

The Expendables Trailer

The Expendables Trailer

Barney Ross is the leader of a group of mercenary fighters, his team is made...

The Warlords Trailer

The Warlords Trailer

Watch the trailer for The WarlordsIn the mid-1800s China was at unrest, the Quing dynasty...

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Review

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor Movie Review

In the classic movie monster hierarchy, the cloth-clad Mummy really scrapes the bottom of the...

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor Trailer

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor Trailer

The Mummy: Tomb Of The Dragon EmperorTrailerWatch the trailer for 'The Mummy: Tomb of the...

War Movie Review

War Movie Review

The problem with being a connoisseur of B-grade action movies is that eventually you start...

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Get Ready For War, Trailer Trailer

Get Ready For War, Trailer Trailer

Get Ready For War Trailer After his partner Tom Lone (Terry Chen) and family are...

War - starring Jason Statham and Jet Li Trailer

War - starring Jason Statham and Jet Li Trailer

War Trailer War, stars Jet Li and Jason Statham. After his partner Tom Lone (Terry...

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