I Know Kung Fu

There's all these ads on TV right now for the latest wire-fu import, Fearless...or perhaps, as they're calling it, Jet Li's Fearless, I guess. The ads are calling it "Jet Li's final martial arts epic." I realize he's over 40 and all...but what's he going to do now? Shakespeare?

Jet Li is probably the best kung fu star going these days (I know all the in-the-know nerds are calling it "wushu" these days, but that just ain't how I roll). Jackie Chan is pretty cool, but not what he once was in a variety of ways, and was kind of slapsticky at his best. Jet Li's got the total-badass-beat-the-shit-out-of-you-before-you-can-blink thing going on. The spiritual heir to Bruce Lee.* Jet Li beating the shit out of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover was the only thing that made Lethal Weapon 4 even remotely watchable. But he doesn't strike me as much of a Thespian. Maybe I'm wrong - maybe he's going to begin starring in subdues Kaige Chen dramas. But somehow I suspect that "Jet Li's final martial arts epic" is going to be sort of like The Who's 1989 Farewell Tour.

*And by the way, no matter what anyone tells you, no one was ever better than Bruce Lee. I mean, yeah, Game of Death was overall pretty lame, slapped together after Lee died from old footage...but it features the single coolest scene in any kung fu movie ever, in which Bruce Lee figthts Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And his other movies are just pure, solid, 100% kung fu gold.