Category Archives: tcheky karyo
ALMOST JAMES BOND
A Video Review of Kiss of the Dragon
Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker
With its smooth hero, vicious villain, exotic location and cool action scenes Kiss of the Dragon could have easily been a James Bond movie, an old school James Bond movie from the pen of Ian Fleming.
Kiss of the Dragon is based on a short story by star Jet Li, directed by first timer Chris Nahon with screenplay by producer Luc Besson, who also directed other great action flicks like La Femme Nikita and The Fifth Element.
A Chinese police officer is betrayed by corrupt French police while trying to capture a Chinese drug lord in France and then finds himself on the run. It’s a simple plot but chockfull of very old school James Bond elements and sensibilities just without the snappy banter.
It of course could have had the snappy banter though. Of all the Asian stars that have come to our shores recently like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun Fat only Jet Li actually seems to have a grasp of the English language enough to be as good an actor here as there. The highlights of the flick are his as well with his amazing martial arts skills that like those of the legendary Bruce Lee had too be slowed down for the camera. The ‘lights out’ scene in the orphanage is brilliantly done.
Bridget Fonda is no Bond girl but she turns in an admirable performance as a prostitute forced into the life by the manipulations of the corrupt French police inspector played by Tcheky Karyo to the hilt as a typical but inept Bond-style villain.
While in the current political environment I don’t mind seeing Jet Li kicking the asses of evil French police but it would have been cooler to see old Jet taking on foes that were worthy of his delicate attention.
Very old school James Bond, don’t miss it.