This one was for Mrs. Spenser: Forbidden Warrior. An American-made kung-fu costumer, it had one attraction - Sung Kang, the Korean actor who played Han in F&F: Tokyo Drift (and the beginning of Fast and Furious). She thinks he's cute and who am I to argue?
Forbidden Warrior is set in an ancient land (Griffith Park, Bronson Canyon and similar locations) with warlords, monks and pirates, about 75% Asian ancestry, 25% whatever. An ancient prophecy foretold the birth of a boy who could read the book of magic called "Gaia Za" - yeah, right. Anyway, turns out it's a girl (Mari Matiko), who is raised by a mystical monk, while the warlord's two sons try to kill her. One is evil (Ron Yuan) and the other is good (Sung Kang). Guess which one the girl falls for?
Really, the movie isn't that bad. Sung Kang gets a bunch of comic relief followers - Mouse, a hunchbacked bucktoothed traitor, Jibberish, Jon-Lovitz-looking guy who speaks great wisdom that nobody can understand, except Tall-Tall, a giant idiot who can translate for Jibberish. Not bad comic relief, in other words. Likewise, there's some good scenery to chew, a story that is no more pointless than most martial arts films, decent costumes, etc. If the action scenes were better, this wouldn't be half-bad.
The action scenes are not good. I'm sorry, Ron Yuan - you did a fine job as the bad guy, but as fight director, you were mediocre at best. By the way, we loved you as David Park in Fast & Furious.
So, not a bad film overall. It would have been good with better action scenes. But that's true of about any movie you could name. Put about 30 minutes of Jet Li or Jackie Chan action into Titanic, say, and I'd watch it.
Oh well, Sung Kang is coming up in Ninja Assassin, with Korean pretty boy popstar Rain. Mrs. Spenser should be pleased.