By R. Paul Dhillon
Founder-Publisher – DESIBUZZbc/DESIBUZZCanada
Last week turned out to be an unplanned Asian cinema watching binge where I watched four Asian films – three Chinese and one Korean.
I love Asian films as some of them have action and special effects that are better than Hollywood even if they lack in the story-plot sometimes but over all they are spectacular visual feasts.
First up was the Super hit special-effects laden Journey To The West – Demons Attack, an action packed road movie with four characters – a Monk, powerful monkey king, a pig man and a devilish looking beast. It had out of this world fights and action even if the story was a bit off.
Next up was Korean cop buddy picture Confidential Assignment with a terrific pairing of top Korean actors who play two very different North and South Korean cops, forcefully teamed to catch a rogue North Korean general who took off with valuable US currency printing plates. It was a fun ride of comedy and action and beautifully crafted with a tight story and characters easily identifiable and likeable.
Next up was Jackie Chan's Kung Fu Yoga, a silly action adventure with top of the line production design and chop-socky action which only Jackie can execute. Even at his 60 plus age, Jackie can kick ass like a young stud. Kung Fu Yoga also features Indian characters and storyline about lost treasures from the ancient civilisations of Indo-Chinese descents. It features the beautiful Disha Patani playing an Indian Princess and Bollywood villain Sonu Sood as you guessed it as a villain seeking to inherit or steal the riches found by Jackie and his archaeological team. Not a lot of meaningful story-plot but a lot of fun and crazy action featuring car stunts, animals and of course the classic hand to hand Kung Fu speciality of the one and only Jackie Chan.
The fourth film in my Asian cinema consumption was The Great Wall, which opened in North America recently after making more than $250 million in China and abroad. The film featuring Hollywood star Matt Damon and top Chinese stars is masterfully crafted by ace Chinese filmmaker Zhang Zimou. The alien-sci-fi drama is a beautifully made action film with good performances and dazzling special effects. For me it had the beautiful mix of western and Chinese big tent pole action film elements with a tight story and dramatic elements that lift it above average action-sci-fi films.
The Great Wall was the best among the four Asian films I saw in my Asian Cinema Week and I'm glad it came at the end of my viewing pleasure as it will remain with me for a while.
My company MMM Films is also planning our own action film in Punjabi-English called Kotaapa King but on a much smaller scale than these Asian Delights but it will be fun to execute the ACTION!
R. Paul Dhillon is an award-winning journalist and editor of the South Asian LINK Newspaper, the oldest English language newspaper in Canada. He is also the founder-publisher of Desibuzzbc, a respected online news-magazine. Aside from his journalistic endeavours, Dhillon is a prominent filmmaker with feature film credits including Sweet Amerika, a 9/11 story about a Sikh grocery store owner who is mistaken for a Muslim by American patriots looking to avenge the terror attacks in America, and documentaries on Moe Sihota, the first Sikh-Indo-Canadian cabinet minister in North America, and Canadian Olympian Arjan Bhullar (Gold Medalist at Commonwealth Games in Heavyweight Wrestling). His newest feature The Fusion Generation starring Canadian film-television star Sitara Hewitt (Littl Mosque on the Prairies) and Bollywood legend Gulshan Grover is currently in post-production.