Yeah, Brandon. I have to agree with you. Jet has had less than stellar movies during his US career. I’ve already crapped all over “Black Mask,” but there have been some other (lesser) disappointments. For example, “Romeo Must Die.” I pretty much put “R.M.D.” in the same category as “The Replacement Killers,” i.e., a showy, action-driven vehicle for bringing a foreign talent to US movie screens.
I remember how excited I was to catch Chow Yun Fat in that movie, but the film just lacked something that John Woo captured so perfectly in classics like “Hard Boiled” and “The Killer.” I think that the US versions are too stylized and wind up looking more like a music video than a movie. Not a big leap because the “The Replacement Killers” was the first movie directed by Antoine Fuqua, who was otherwise known for producing rap videos. (BTW: it isn’t just Hong Kong action stars that get these guys. “Charlie’s Angels” was also directed by a music video graduate- the oddly named “McG“.)
We all breathed a sigh of relief that Jet wasn’t treated too badly in “Lethal Weapon 4,” but sadly, things haven’t really improved for him since then. Part of the problem is that the movie houses think they need to team him (or other guys like Chow and Jackie Chan) up with some big name US star: Mira Sorvino, Mark Wahlberg, Jodie Foster, Aaliyah, Owen Wilson, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mel Gibson, DMX, etc.
Instead, they should look to find a script and storyline that fits the skills and talents of the actor. I thought that the studios would have learned more from the success of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” One can only hope…