Jimmy Lui’s Blog

Jackie Chan: Action Auteur

This is an article I wrote about the Jackie Chan films Police Story and Police Story II for an unfortunately now defunct site:

Jackie Chan: Action Auteur

Tons of ink and digital pixels have been spilled talking about how Jackie Chan risks his life to please his audiences, and for good reason. Are his stunts amazing? Yes. Without question. But whenever anyone talks or write about Jackie, all they focus on is the action. This is a huge disservice to the man. What is missing in the conversation is Jackie Chanʼs immense talent and ability as a filmmaker, a director, an auteur. Thatʼs right. Auteur. The snooty French auteur theory talks about how even in a collaborative medium such as film, a singular voice can influence and imprint a movie with their vision and style. In Police Story & Police Story II, Jackie Chan was the director, co-writer, star and stunt coordinator.

How better to define singular vision and influence on a picture?

Prior to Police Story, cop movies had degenerated from intense thrillers and dramas such as The French Connection and Serpico into hackneyed procedurals that resembled something on television, only with bigger budgets, movie stars and excessive macho posturing. The genre had become so worn out that the only way to make a cop film stand out was to combine it with another genre like comedy (e.g., Beverly Hills Cop). Enter Jackie Chan.

Continue reading “Jackie Chan: Action Auteur”

Complicated ‘Corruptor’: Shades of Gray in a Complex World

This is an article I wrote about the Chow Yun-fat film The Corruptor for an unfortunately now defunct site:

Complicated ‘Corruptor’: Shades of Gray in a Complex World

Morality is complicated. Unlike what our “betters” tell us, the world is not black and white. One transgression or thought crime does not make you a bad person. Who you were or what you said or thought years or decades earlier does not represent who you are now. People are complex. The best stories and movies reflect this reality and provide not answers, but questions that help us explore the  complicated nature of our humanity. One such movie is James Foley’s fantastic 1999 film The Corruptor, starring The King of Cool, aka Chow Yun-Fat, and a young Mark Wahlberg.

“You don’t change Chinatown, it changes you.” – Nick Chen (Chow Yun-Fat) Continue reading “Complicated ‘Corruptor’: Shades of Gray in a Complex World”

The Difference Between Drama and Non-Drama

Too many times, writers mistake information for drama. The need to make sure that the audience understands everything, that nothing is left out, overcomes our better judgement and as a result we write undramatic drivel that serves no purpose except to inform. Continue reading “The Difference Between Drama and Non-Drama”