“Haha! They have accents, and I’m so original for commenting on it!! Aren’t I funny?!?”

I am sick and tired of critics thinking they’re the cleverest thing in the world when they comment on a foreign star’s ability to speak on an English language film. Here are a two excerpts from reviews of The Forbidden Kingdom, a movie that I loved and the review of which will be published on Wednesday in The Falcon. Anyways, moving along:

“…from a local pawn shop run by Old Hop, played by Jackie Chan in old-age prosthetics (apparently Hop is a third-generation American who still struggles with English).”
-Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

“…English line readings: 75 percent intelligible…”
-Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice

It’s sickening. And it’s always uttered with most glib self-assured tone, as if they’re the smartest person in the world and they’re smirking at themselves for how smart they are for having noticed Li’s or Chan’s broken English. I saw the same problem with Rush Hour 3 reviews, where a LOT more critics talked about it because they didn’t have the legendary Chan/Li team-up to focus on.  If you’re going to write a review of the film, don’t act all cocky just because you can speak perfect English because you’ve grown up with it. Chan has made very few American movies compared with the wide array of Asian films he’s made, so there’s not real reason his accent should have improved, and when you learn English after a certain age, accents don’t really leave without intensive training to make them leave. Stop bitching about something that doesn’t really matter.

In addition to that, I’m sick and tired of how they always reference “wire-fu” and think they’re being incredibly sophisticated or something. Wire-Fu is an art, just as much as normal kung fu is an art. Okay, maybe not just as much, but still. Everyone always acts like it’s a sub-par form of filmmaking, but it’s been part of the martial arts tradition for well over ten years now. They also talk about Yuen Wo-Ping as if he’s merely a “wire-fu” artist, which pisses me off, because they obviously have never seen Young Master, Drunken Master, Drunken Master II, Black Dragon, and dozens of Chan and Li’s old movies to show little to no wire-fu was ever used in those scenes.

It just makes me mad when critics diss something or babble on like they have a clue in the world what they’re talking about, when they really don’t. It only makes them seem more stupid. There was even one reviewer who dissed the idea of the “Monkey King” as some idiotic American fantasy invention, obviously not even having done a morsel of research to realize that this so-called idiotic Monkey King is a long-standing tradition of Hong Kong lore. On top of that, many reviews talk of the Forbidden Kingdom like its storyline is some of travesty to the genre, when anyone who knows the genre well at all knows that it’s a loving homage, through and through, and Rob Minkoff’s direction is outstanding considering he’s never worked on a film like this before.

Anyways, that’s about it for my rant. Moving along.


One Response to ““Haha! They have accents, and I’m so original for commenting on it!! Aren’t I funny?!?””

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