“First level is the physical contact. Use your physical skill against your enemy. That’s most action films doing this kind of genre. The second level is use your knowledge, languages, strategy, everything you could before physical contact to stop your enemy. Third, use your honor, belief, your love, show to your enemy. Turn your enemy into your friend. I tried to share those three levels in the movie.” —Jet Li on FEARLESS
After the success of FREDDY VS. JASON, it seemed like Yu might continue his relationship with New Line Cinema, making the sort of slick studio b-movies both parties were pretty good at in those days. As I mentioned in my review of THE 51ST STATE, Samuel L. Jackson tried to reteam with the director for the company’s weirdly anticipated goof SNAKES ON A PLANE. But Yu believed Jackson’s star power would outshine the snakes, so he wanted his character to be swallowed by a python in the middle of the movie.
“Now the audience is intrigued. Now everyone on the plane will group together and kill the snakes,” he later told Blackfilm. “That’s the way I thought it would be interesting. Of course, they said ‘Take a walk!’”
So walk he did – all the way to Shanghai, China. And there he met up with Jet Li, a fellow Hong Kong cinema export who’d made even more of a go of it in Hollywood than Yu had. Since the handover Li had been the villain in LETHAL WEAPON 4 and then starred in the English language films ROMEO MUST DIE, KISS OF THE DRAGON, THE ONE, CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE and UNLEASHED. (He had also made 2002’s HERO in China, so this was not his official return to Asia like it was for Yu.) (read the rest of this shit…)