Kung fu movies have always been second class citizens in American cinema. There was a brief stint after Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon when it was respected by the art house crowd but pretty much since Kill Bill, it’s been living under the shadow of Quentin Tarantino’s wackiness inspired by old campy kung fu films.
This means that whenever a kung fu movie is released in the U.S. it receives a trailer that tries to play it as wacky as possible regardless of whether or not it fits the tone of the film. The latest victim to this phenomenon is Wong Kar-Wai’s “The Grandmaster” which is presented by Martin Scorsese because the endorsements help the marketing.
I really want to see it and what action they show looks really cool, but I’m going to see it for a Wong Kar-Wai film that happens to have kung fu. If it’s a pure kung fu movie I want to see then I’ll see a movie where the star actor is an actual martial artist. Tony Leung is not playing Ip Man in this film because he’s a great martial artist, it’s because he’s a great actor.
The best thing about kung fu movies not getting much respect is that it means they get pushed to Netflix REALLY FAST. So I’m not really complaining 😛