The master of Kung Fu media took his final bow and left the stage. He was 106 years young. I encountered Run Run Shaw and his martial arts movies when studying in Taiwan in the 1980’s. His movies had a zany acrobatic and zen quality with over the top characters who wore long flowing robes and beat down foreign and domestic villains while preening uncropped, drooping beards. The Run Run Shaw movies were as iconic and unconventional as the life of Run Run Shaw himself.
Born in Ningbo, China, he and his brothers entered into the movie business, producing and exporting low-budget martial arts films. Their business grew and took unexpected turns as they encountered the censorship of war, confiscation of studio equipment and had to relocate headquarters a number of times. Run Run Shaw eventually settled in Hong Kong where he built his multi-billion dollar media empire.
Although his movies were highly scripted and predictable, the genre was amusing to watch and became a Chinese cult phenomenon with watchers laughing and cheering at and imitating characters from the action scenes. The dramatic characters and plots influenced many film directors including Ang Lee, Jackie Chan and Quentin Tarantino and helped launch the careers of Chow Yun-fat and Maggie Cheung.
During my student days, I was invited to one of his movie studios, but after seeing the thrashing and thumping that the walk-ons were taking, I decided to put my movie aspirations on hold. Yet I never forgot the creative energy and imaginative craft of Run Run Shaw movies. Later, when I worked in China, I would sometimes come across one of the Shaw movie institutes and smile as I envisioned scenes from Blade Runner and Clan of the White Lotus.
By the 1990s, Run Run Shaw had built a media empire amounting to millions but was seeking to diversify into different media platforms. As a financial heavyweight, he had financial dealings with Rupert Murdoch, invested in real estate, and became a large shareholder in R.H Macy & Company. He boosted the careers of many fledging artists, even employing Bruce Lee during the early days.
Over the years, he donated more than $750 million to the fields of education, medicine and other charitable causes. For his philanthropy and contributions, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and became Sir Run Run Shaw, a name that is a brand in itself.
During his later years, he made regular appearances on TV and took part in events preceding the Chinese lion dance. According to close friends, Run Run continued his business activities up until 100. When asked what his advice was on staying healthy, he said “keep on working.”
With the death of Run Run Shaw, we’ve lost a creative soul but somewhere in the heavens, there is a celebration as Run Run Shaw jostles in besides the likes of Walt Disney and Akira Kurosawa to entertain the heavenly folk.
World famous star Jackie Chan will guest on KBS’ Happy Together.
A rep from KBS told enews on January 13, “Jackie Chan will appear onHappy Together along with Super Junior’s Choi Siwon, Girl’s Generation’s Jessica and Brown Eyed Girls’ Narsha.”
The theme of the episode will be ‘Jackie Chan and his friends,’ in which the star will appear alongside Choi Siwon, who is known to be good friends with Jackie Chan, as well as Jessica and Narsha.
The episode will be filmed on January 18 and is set to air on January 23.
Via: MWave Photo credit: Hea Jung Min Cr: CJ E&M enewsWorld Choi, EunHwa Translation Credit : Yeawon Jung Header Photo Cr: @siwon407
The international star, Jackie Chan, is going meet his fans in South Korea, and appear on the popular KBS variety show, ‘Happy Together’ !
According to StarNews, the episode will also features Jackie Chan’s closest celebrity friends from South Korea; such as Super Junior’s Siwon, Girls’ Generation’s Jessica, and Brown Eyed Girls’s Narsha. The filming will starts this Saturday.
Siwon and Jackie Chan’s friendship is pretty well-known, since both of them have met on ‘Running Man’. Narsha is known to be close with Jackie Chan’s family, and Jessica is known to have a connection to with the superstar.
What are your expectations for this upcoming episode of ‘Happy Together’ ?
This seems like the logical second franchise for me to feature in this category, after the ROCKY franchise, since it follows the same “underdog defeats the champion” plotline. There’s also the fact that John G. Avildsen, director of Karate Kid 1-3, also directed Rocky 1 and Rocky 5. But, far from just being a teen Rocky series, this franchise definitely stands on its own.
THE KARATE KID
Written by Robert Mark Kamen, directed by John G. Avildsen. June 1984.
Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio) and his single mother,Lucille (Randee Heller), move from New Jersey to Reseda, California, where he has to adjust to a new High School and making new friends. He immediately hits it off with a girl named Ali (Elizabeth Shue), but is uncomfortable with the fact that she comes from a wealthy family. Even worse, Daniel also runs afoul of Ali’s psycho ex-boyfriend, Johnny (William Zabka), a martial arts expert who is trained by a brutal teacher (Martin Kove) who runs a dojo called Cobra Kai. After enduring several vicious assaults from Johnny and his friends, Daniel is saved by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), the handyman at the apartment building Daniel and his mother live at, who proceeds to train Daniel in Karate so that Daniel can face Johnny at an upcoming local Karate tournament which Johnny reigns as champion.
The things that stand out about this film, that have entered the public consciousness, are Mr. Miyagi’s habit of calling Daniel “Daniel-San”, the special Crane maneuver that Daniel uses to win the final fight against Johnny and, of course, Mr. Miyagi’s unorthodox training methods, where he initially has Daniel performing various chores of manual labor, including painting a fence, painting a house, and waxing Mr. Miyagi’s collection of classic cars. “Wax on, wax off.” Plus there’s the song “You’re the Best” by Joe Esposito, which plays during the tournament fight scenes (& was allegedly originally written for Rocky 3, but got rejected in favor of “Eye of The Tiger”
In hindsight, there are a few things that stand out as unresolved questions to me about this film. How did Miyagi afford that house and all those cars? Johnny’s attacks on Daniel, especially when he and his friends ran Daniel off the road in their motorcycles, should qualify as attempted murder. Why didn’t he or his mother just call the police and file charges? And if Ali and Johnny were from these rich families, wouldn’t they be attending elite private schools? But most of those things are staples of 80′s teen movies. Rich kids and poor kids always went to the same public schools, and bullies tended to be rather homicidal, without suffering legal consequences. But none of this detracts from how wonderful this film is. Particularly the father/son relationship that develops between Daniel and Miyagi throughout the film. And Daniel’s triumph at the end, where even Johnny congratulates him, is very uplifting. Macchio shines as the protagonist in this film, engendering the right amount of sympathy from the audience, and Morita’s wry delivery and sense of humor help makes Mr. Miyagi an iconic character.
THE KARATE KID, PART 2
Picking up 6 months after the last film, this one gives a lot more screentime to Pat Morita, as Mr. Miyagi’s background is explored. After getting a letter that his father is sick, Miyagi and Daniel travel to Okinawa to see him. There they run afoul of Sato (Danny Kamekona), Miyagi’s childhood best friend who was also taught Karate by Miyagi’s father (who dies a few days after the return to Okinawa). Miyagi originally left for America after challenging Sato’s intention to marry a girl named Yukie (Nobu McCarthy), who still lives in their town (but never married Sato). All these years later, Sato still hates Miyagi, calls him a coward, and demands that they have a fight to the death, which Miyagi initially refuses. Meanwhile Daniel pursues a romance with Yukie’s niece Kumiko (Tamlyn Tomita), and has several violent encounters with Sato’s brutal nephew, Chozen (Yuji Okumoto). Eventually Sato forces Miyagi to agree to fight him, but on the night of the fight a typhoon hits the village, and Miyagi saves Sato’s life, ending the feud and renewing their friendship. But Chozen still hates Daniel, and during a dance performance later, Chozen attacks Kumiko and forces Daniel to fight him, also a death match. After a vicious fight, where Daniel is almost beaten to death, he uses a new offensive technique (since the “crane” didn’t work), and defeats Chozen, but refuses to kill him.
Apparently, although it was a bigger financial hit, this film wasn’t as critically-acclaimed as the first film, but I like it equally. The opening sequence, which shows what happened right after the tournament, with Mr. Miyagi facing the head of the Cobra Kai, was pretty cool. It sucks that Elizabeth Shue’s Ali was unceremoniously written out of the film so quickly, but I liked the change in local to Okinawa. It’s true that Daniel’s story in this film was pretty similar to the first one, with Kumiko taking the place of Ali and Chozen taking the place of Johnny, but I thought the added focus on Mr. Miyagi and his history and background helped make this film different enough. I liked it.
THE KARATE KID, PART 3
Written by Robert Mark Kamen, directed by John G. Avildsen. June 1989.
Martin Kove returns as John Kreese, the evil leader of the Cobra Kai dojo. It’s a year after the last tournament, and he’s lost all of his students and is going out of business. Thomas Ian Griffith plays Terry Silver, a millionaire who fought alongside Kreese in Vietnam. We learn that he bought the dojo for Kreese to run. When he learns the trouble that Kreese is having and who is to blame, Silver concocts a plane to get revenge for him. He hires another teenage Karate expert, Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan) to challenge Daniel for the championship in the next tournament. But Daniel, who has returned to CA with Mr. Miyagi, only to discover that their apartment building has been torn down, and Daniel’s mother has moved back to New Jersey to care for her sick brother, has moved in with Miyagi and spent his college money on opening a shop that sells Bonsai trees with Mr. Miyagi, and has decided not to join the tournament this year, upon Miyagi’s advice.
So Silver sets up Mike to continually threaten Daniel, and Silver comes to Daniel’s defense, and offers to help Daniel train to face Mike in the tournament, since Miyagi is opposed to it. Eventually, Daniel takes him up on that, and Silver basically trains Daniel to lose, while convincing Daniel that he’s ready to win. While this goes on, it drives a wedge between Daniel and Miyagi, which is only repaired when Silver’s treachery and alliance with Kreese is revealed. So Miyagi resumes training Daniel, and it leads to the showdown at the tournament.
I know this entry in the series was savaged by critics and made the least amount of money. However I checked the box office stats, it cost aroud $13 million and made around $39 million. So that’s a financial success! At least it didn’t LOSE any money. Personally, I mostly liked it. No, it wasn’t perfect. Mike was pretty much just another version of Johnny from the first film. And I never did understand why Miyagi was originally so adamantly opposed to the idea of Daniel fighting in the next tournament. I know that from the first film he wasn’t big on the idea of “belts” and that sort of thing, but after what Daniel went through last time this seemed like it could just be some harmless competition. It’s understandable that Daniel would be proud of what he accomplished before and would want to try again. So why not? And the film threw in another burgeoning romance with Daniel and new girl (played by Robyn Lively), but then wisely puts the breaks on that and has them decide early on to just be friends, she doesn’t even stick around for the final fight, instead of re-hashing the Ali and Kumiko storylines. I like the addition of the Terry Silver character, and his scenes “training” Daniel. And it was good to see a real fight between Miyagi and Kreese.
Really, the biggest problem is I have with the film is the idea that it takes place only a year since the first film (which was released 5 years earlier), and that Daniel, despite graduating High School, is still eligible to compete in the “under 18″ Karate tournament. While Macchio definitely maintained his youthful looks, this was pushing it a bit. Kanan didn’t look like much of a teenager at the time, either. But, frak it, I still liked this film. It did feel like it had brought the story from the first film full circle, and gave it a definitive happy ending.
THE NEXT KARATE KID
Written by Mark Lee, Directed by Christopher Cain. August 1994.
Okay so even though it was a critical and commercial disappoint, as I pointed out, the 3rd Karate Kid film did make a profit. I can only assume that this lead some heads of the movie studio to recognize that the Karate Kid brand had now become engrained in the public conscious and therefor still had some value to it. So they tried to continue the series, in what must have seemed like a bold new direction, but replacing Ralph Macchio’s Daniel Larusso (probably just as well, he was definitely too old to play a teenager now), with a new female teenager for Mr. Miyagi to mentor.
I’m going to cheat here. I watched this film once a long time ago, perhaps seeing bits and parts of it other times when it aired on cable TV over the years. I don’t feel like looking it up and re-reading about it. So I’m just going to say a few things, based on my shoddy memory. The most notable thing about the film is that it stars two-time Academy Award winner Hillary Swank, in her first starring role. And that I doubt that anyone who saw this film when it premiered would have ever guessed that Hillary Swank would go on to win two Academy Awards (so far). She plays the rebellious granddaughter of Miyagi’s commanding officer in World War 2, and Miyagi becomes her temporary guardian for a few months, watching her in Boston. She is harassed at school by a group of teenage school guards, who are lead by Michael Ironside, who takes their training way too seriously. Miyagi ends up training Julie in Karate, including taking her to a Buddhist monk to learn “zen,” or something. And she ends up fighting, and beating, one of the guards, then Miyagi fights and beats Michael Ironside. I believe that was one “wax on, wax off” scene, and I don’t recall any specific mention of what has happened to Daniel since the last film.
Maybe I’m being unfair, perhaps I should look it up and re-watch it again, maybe I’d find out it’s a forgotten gem? Unlikely, but possible, I guess. But since I don’t remember that much of it, and have no interest, I’m going to give it an F.
So it’s a bad ending to the original franchise, but part 4 is easily overlooked. The first 3 still make this a fantastic film franchise. And all four can be purchased as one collection on AMAZON
It’s probably logical to assume that the studio was hoping for The Next Karate Kid to be the first of a whole new trilogy. But instead it just sank the Karate Kid brand, seemingly for good. But 16 years later, Will Smith resurrected The Karate Kid enlisting Christopher Murphey & Harald Zwart to write and direct a remake of the original film as a starring vehicle for his son Jaden. I won’t really review this one her, since it’s not technically part of the “franchise,” but I will say that I mostly liked. Setting it in China was a nice switch to make it different enough to justify a remake, while following most of the original basic plot. Jaden and Jackie Chan, who played Mr. Han, have good chemistry, which helps keep the film running. The biggest weakness of the film was the age of Jackie and the other child characters. I mean, they were all like 12 years old, that seemed a bit too young for some of the storyline, especially the “romance” between Jaden’s character and Wenwen Han’s character, Meiying. They’re just kids, what do they know? Same goes for the bullies, it’s not exactly impressive when Jackie Chan is beating them all at once. I’d like to think I could beat four 12 year olds, too, no matter how much karate they know. Of I guess I should say Kung Fu, because that’s what was repeatedly mentioned in this film, which should have been retitled The Kung Fu Kid, but it wasn’t. Still, this film gets at least a B. And I’m actually surprised that they haven’t made a sequel yet.
Meant to be the third installment in Jackie Chan’s ‘Asian Hawk’ series (following 1986′ Armour of God and 1991′s Operation Condor), touted for an international day-and-date release (which didn’t happen), and heralded as Jackie Chan’s final big action movie (which he later clarified meant “his last movie to feature him performing dangerous stunts”), CZ12 manages to disappoint on all three of these fronts. It is neither a franchise finale, nor an international blockbuster, nor even a worthy bookend to Chan’s “death-defying” career phase. Jackie Chan plays JC, a treasure hunter who leads his team of tech experts (plus a Chinese student and a French heiress) on a search for 12 Zodiac bronze heads, artifacts that were stolen from China in the 19th century looting of the Old Summer Palace by foreigners.
As a producer, writer, director and star (not to mention a host of other credits that earned him a Guinness Book record for most credits on a single film), Jackie Chan pulled all the stops to make CZ12 a resounding finale to his daredevil years. Filmed in China, Australia, France, Vanuatu, Taiwan and Latvia, featuring a cast that is international (Oliver Platt from the United States, Laura Weissbecker from France, Kwon Sang Woo from South Korea, Vincent Sze from Hong Kong, to name a few), cameo-rich (Shu Qi, Daniel Wu, Chan’s wife Joan Lin), and full of martial arts guest stars (martial arts world champions Caitlin Dechelle, Alaa Safi and Zhang Lanxin), and costing a hefty 30m$ (a big deal in China), it’s a major enterprise. And taken in light of these key assets we’ve just enumerated, a major failure.
The international dimension of the film is mangled. Sure the on-location shooting is uniformally impressive (Paris actually looks like Paris, for instance), but most non-Asian characters are either fat and corrupt (Oliver Platt’s conterfeiting baron Lawrence Morgan), shrieky and vapid (Laura Weissbecker’s heiress De Sichel), or prancing puppets (Alla Safi and Caitlin Dechelle’s rival team of ‘unethical’ treasure hunters). The film’s preachy slant, by which not giving back stolen artifacts to a country’s patrimony is gravely unjust, is based on legitimate claims, but Jackie Chan does it a disservice by making the insufferably whiny and self-righteous Chinese student Coco (played by Yao Xingtong with whiny self-righteousness) its mouthpiece. That may go some way towards explaining the film’s triumph in China (it is the all-time third biggest success there), and relative indifference outside of Asia, where it has only scarcely gotten a big screen release. Taking such an biasedly (though legitimately) Asian angle is not a savvy decision if your aim is international success.
But where CZ12 really disappoints is in the action. This is not what an stunt swansong from arguably the biggest action star of the 20th century should look like. Chan’s opening stunt is fun but not exactly thrilling past the relative novelty of wearing a full-body rollerblade suit. Likewise, the film’s finale where JC skydives over a volcano, is entertaining and superbly shot, but is so obviously (and understandably) a green-screen concoction that it’s difficult to be impressed. In between, there’s a frankly hideous jungle escape that is both derivative (a gang of colourful pirates with a Jack Sparrow lookalike) and visually muddled. Only a protracted fight in an undergound counterfeiting warehouse recaptures the old Jackie Chan magic, with a terrific couch-bound mano-a-mano, an great match-up between Caitlin Dechelle and Zhang Lanxin, and a wonderfully inventive fight in a photo studio, a short highlight for an overlong film. Jackie Chan remains as impossibly likeable as ever, and the film has minor surprises, among which the striking Zhang Lanxin, a model and Taekwondo champion who has the grace and presence to get better roles. But while it’s a passably entertaining ride, the film’s positioning as a milestone and the mostly excellent Chinese career Chan has been enjoying lately (barring the heavy-handed 1911), make it a jarring disappointment.
This is such a cool story to hear told by Jackie Chan about how Bruce Lee hit him with a stick while making ‘Enter the Dragon’. You can tell by his face that it’s a story he’ll never forget.
Move over Jackie Chan, I have a new favourite.
Speaking of Jackie, keep an eye out for him.. I missed it (he must have been young) but he has 2 cameo scenes!
I was surprised, In a good way! I love when that happens. I was expecting some stupid storyline like ‘reclaim the stolen holy sword’ or something but instead it was ‘catch the bad guy that is drugging and killing women’. Very impressed with Bruce Lee’s acting skills and English accent. I also don’t think that man has any body fat whatsoever.
The sound effects are definitely worth a mention… They were awesome and quite hilarious, I think we will forever be doing Bruce Lee impersonations now.
The whole movie was filmed without sound, they done it all after apparently. Once you know that you can tell but it’s not that bad while you’re watching it.
I’m going to give it an 8.-31.950325 141.475593
Many of us have grown up watching Kung Fu films churned out from China. Our love for Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan was a result of a cinema movement from Hong Kong, and movie producer Run Run Shaw was one of its leaders.
Shaw, one of the pioneers of the wuxia–the Chinese martial hero–genre of films has died at the age of 107.
The producer of famed movies such as 36th Chamber Of Shaolin and Five Fingers Of Death had influenced a bunch of Hollywood film makers including Quentin Tarantino, whose movies such as Kill Bill have many of the visual elements, sword fights and martial arts action inspired by Shaw’s movies.
Shaw also co-produced Ridley Scott’s cult movie Blade Runner (1982) featuring Harrison Ford.
English Title: As The Light Goes Out
Original Title: Jiuhuo Yingxiong
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Genre: Action, Drama
Director: Derek Kwok
Teddy Robin Kwan
Cinematography: Jason Kwan
Kai Chi Liu
Shaw Yin Yin
My first cinema-going in 2014, Hong Kong director/writer Derek Kowk’s fifth film is another eulogy to gallant firemen after Pang Brothers’ OUT OF INFERNO (2013), which just released in the end of September. The thematic coincidence in such a short span definitely hurts AS THE LIGHT GOES OUT’s box office performance, but the film per se, is a solid action flick hinges on an innovative concept of smoke, both literally and figuratively.
After a prologue manifests three friends’ (Tse, Yue and On, all firefighters) divergence on an accident during their mission, On is the silent but ambitious one, Yue is the insouciant scapegoat, and Tse denies his oath to keep his hands clean, which sets the keynote of their distinctive path in due course, the film concisely concentrates its story on Christmas Eve 2013, one of the hottest winter in Hong Kong history (introduced by a shoddy apocalyptic advertisement for fireman recruitment stars Jackie Chan) and a typhoon is brewing, a fire hazard in a desolate factory nearby a power plant’s gas pipeline and obstinate judgement made by idiotic plant decision-maker precipitates a monstrous conflagration in the plant and complete power blackout in a large portion of Kowloon Peninsula.
The rescue procedure follows a standard yet trite routine, some heroic sacrifice (a hammy Simon Yam is not alone here), some family embroilment (a father must save his son who is entrapped in the plant with his friends on account of the lamest plot arrangement, who invites a gaggle of schoolchildren to visit a power plant on Christmas Eve and unwittingly leaves three of them behind? Come on writers, you can make something less embarrassing!), some casual cannon fodder, some running and jumping stunts, all in all, culminates with a final bravado invoking a (should be) sensational awesomeness to counteract the common happy ending.
Nicholas Tse anchors a more average Joe impersonation into the role (unlike the usual action hero staple, such as in the most recent THE VIRAL FACTOR 2012), battles against the “smoke” – his deep-rooted guilt, whose ultimate detonating slo-motion shots are sublimated with dashing aesthetic impact to swank the glamour of self-sacrifice. As I mentioned earlier, the smoke element penetrates the film relentlessly, its horror-flick intrusion and murky aura should be credited to the CGI teamwork from Post Production Office Limited (which was founded by Tse in 2003).
Meanwhile, the rest of the cast is plain serviceable, an amalgam of actors from both Hong Kong and mainland China doesn’t mirror the awkward incompatibility as in the usual cringeworthy outputs. Derek Kwok did a decent job superintending a sizable production work under his own belt (his previous wondrous dark horse triumph with GALLANTS 2010 is co-directed with Clement Sze-Kit Cheng, which won BEST PICTURE in Hong Kong Film Award in 2011) and he is positively on the horizon in the HK cinema showbiz.
The death of 107-year-old Hong Kong entertainment mogul Run Run Shaw, often credited as the creator of the modern kung fu film genre, is the latest sign of the decline of the city-state’s once vibrant film industry.
Shaw, who died in his home on Jan. 7, was best known for his Shaw Brothers film studio—home to kung fu classics like “Five Fingers of Death,” “The One-Armed Swordsman” and nearly 1,000 others. Shaw’s gritty, low-budget martial arts dramas explored themes of loyalty and sacrifice, inspiring the work of director Quentin Tarantino as well as hip hop group the Wu-Tang Clan.
The kung-fu dramas represented the heyday not just of Shaw’s studio but the entire Hong Kong film industry. A former employee of Shaw Brothers founded Golden Harvest Films and signed Bruce Lee, whose rise to fame further put Hong Kong cinema on the map in the 1970s and 1980s.
By the late 1990s, Hong Kong’s film industry had slowed dramatically and has largely failed to recover. Local film production has fallen from around 200 movies a year in the mid-1990s to 55 in 2005. To survive, most Hong Kong studios collaborate with mainland counterparts and target mainland audiences, who make up the world’s second largest movie market by box office sales. Hong Kong-made movies—once characterized for their populist bent, graphic imagery, and use of Cantonese instead of Mandarin—are now increasingly subject to Chinese censorship.
Thus, while Kung fu films are seeing something of a resurgence, it’s often through kitschy, over-the-top films like “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons,” China’s top grossing film in 2013. The film by Hong Kong directors Stephen Chow and Derek Kwok, is a reinterpretation of a Chinese literary classic that combines martial arts, comedy, and period drama fantasy. That’s a far cry from Shaw’s gritty halcyon days.
I mentioned in an earlier post that one of my favourite ever interviews was with Sammo Hung. It was originally published in Empire and is a few years old now, so I thought I’d get it online. Possibly the jolliest man I ever talked to for any reason, he spoke in exclamation marks and guffawed heartily after every statement. The piece was for a short-lived series on Hong Kong martial arts legends (I interviewed Donnie Yen too) and we asked everyone the same questions, so they’re fairly generic. But I enjoyed the answers…
What are you working on right now?
I’m writing a script… [Silence]. I tell you about it later!
What’s your preferred genre?
I like action comedy. I have a lot of favourites. I like The Prodigal Son (1983) and Wheels On Meals (1984). I like them because I like to make people happy. Whenever I make the action comedies, people are happy! People in the cinema are like Yeah! They really enjoy them!
How would you describe your combat style?
I need very many different kind of styles to be able to use them in the films. Even now I’m still very interested in all different kinds of martial arts. I can do them all! Everything is good for me!
What’s your signature move?
I don’t really have a signature move. My signature is my size. I love to do a lot of things so people will be shocked. Because my body is so big, people don’t believe it! Maybe ten or twenty years ago I didn’t feel so big, but now some actions feel very different to how they felt then. If I try to do those things now I move slower and most probably I get hurt. I’m getting old now – I’m 28! But I’m very lucky. I can still move very fast.
What’s your training regime?
I train with my mouth every day, smoking cigars! Whenever I start a new project, three months before we start shooting I will get in training. The rest of the time I am just smoking and eating and playing golf.
What was your big break?
I think it’s my first movie as director. I don’t know the English name [The Iron Fisted Monk (1977)]. If the first one was no good, I get fired!
What was your proudest moment?
Actually, I don’t really have that kind of feel. Just the audience laughing makes me happy. I love to be actor. I love to be director. I love to be action choreographer. I like every position on the movie. I enjoy the work all the time. Any time I go someplace and work, I am happy. All my career is my proudest moment.
What was your lowest point?
That was in 1992. I went to America because I lost faith in the Chinese industry [Sammo parted company with Hong Kong’s legendary Golden Harvest, after a 21-year relationship, citing lack of studio support]. I decided to try other things, but it was very hard. I wanted to make some movies to show my country, because people don’t know China; they don’t know the difference between Chinese and Japanese! But after 2001 I came back to Hong Kong.
What’s your attitude towards Hollywood?
I liked Hollywood. Western martial artists are very good too, but they don’t last as long as in China. Their fighting life is shorter. Their training is not as good, and their normal life is wrong.
Who would you most like to work with?
I like everybody! Most comfortable is Jackie Chan. When we work together we don’t need to say too much. It’s just eye contact.
What’s your career philosophy?
I want to be a big producer. I want to be a big director. Everything big! I don’t retire. If you stop moving you will die. I will work and keep on fighting for 150 years more!