Posted by Jonny in / June 24, 2010
As dull as it’s title, Wushu Warrior falls flat on many levels. It’s not so much how horrible it is, in as much as it’s how it fails to excel on any level. The lead white guy hero looks like Steve Oedekerk from Kung Pow: Enter the Fist but without any of the jokes. And how many times will the Chinese have to watch a movie steeped in their culture but with a white lead who’s shown being just as good if not better than his Chinese counterparts in their own martial arts. The white master-of-things-Asian has reared his ugly head time and time again. American Ninja, Last Samurai, the Forbidden Kingdom, the Hunted, etc. Tangentially, it’s worth mentioning that North American cinema goers seem to love Kung Fu and yet are still so subconsciously bigoted that they don’t want to watch actual Asian people doing these roles. Now whether it is the audience or the producers who make the film that drive these decisions forth is uncertain, but what is certain is the lack of authenticity in this movie. Although the production quality seems high enough and the cinematographer capable, this ends up being little more than a new American Ninja in terms of quality.
The stunts and choreography are pretty weak and uninteresting to go along with the flat performances and dull dialogue. And the plot of the white kid whose parents are killed and gets raised in the temple where he learns Kung Fu and one day avenges his parents’ death is an old chestnut, not made any better in this production. On the good side, this is one of those rare and truly international productions; a Canadian/Chinese joint that brings its share of multinational characters and elements. There are more Chinese actors in the movie than white (even if the leads are almost all white) and many of the Chinese actors who couldn’t speak English were dubbed while others fluent in English simply speak clearly. It’s nice to see a familiar face like Matt Frewer, but like Jim Carrey, it’s hard to take him seriously when he’s not in a comedy. There are no special features to speak of. Skip it.