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Hollywood's failure to use international action stars

Hollywood's failure to use international action stars
Hollywood's failure to use international action stars


While there are inevitably exceptions to the rule, there is enough evidence to suggest that Hollywood has never been able to capture or replicate what made international action stars successful when they first attracted attention for their on-screen exploits of borderline superheroism.

Before anyone wants to play the Arnold Schwarzenegger card and suggest that one of the genre's most iconic figures is clearly a beefy Austrian, this will be quickly countered by the fact that he hasn't made a single non-American film before 2019 , when he flew away. in China to share the screen with Jackie Chan in the bizarre Iron Mask.

Jason Statham doesn't count either, because he was Guy Ritchie's favorite guy who had never directed an action film in his life until he left for the United States, and the impact of Jean-Claude Van Damme is negligible given that he quickly slid down into the chasm on the straight. -to video mediocrity after its first breakthrough in the 1980s.

Jackie Chan enjoyed a solid career after his influential blend of slapstick and martial arts created plenty of crossover appeal, but he's now 70 and it's been a long time since he played a major role in a film American action film that marked a wide theatrical release, and the same can be said of Jet Li.

Another problem is that these types have been around for decades, but it's not really new. After all, Chow Yun-fat is one of the legendary heroes of action cinema having headlined many classics including A better tomorrow, City on fire, The killer, Hard boiledAnd Full contactbut his stay in Hollywood was a disaster.

None of his strenuous efforts on the other side of the world were memorable, with no one about to get the most out of an actor who had already made it clear he was among the best to ever act to the race on screen. and shooting. Even more recently, the most impressive action stars have been sullied by Hollywood's mishandling of their obvious abilities.

No offense to him, but Donnie Yen is Steven Seagal's favorite modern-day ass-kicker, even though John Wick: Chapter 4 It was the first time he was allowed to lash out in a way that Hong Kong audiences have witnessed in decades, and even then it only came at his own suggestion. However, he wasn't the leading man, so he's still looking for an American film that puts him front and center but doesn't conspire to disappoint.

Tony Jaa literally exploded on stage by setting himself on fire and kicking someone in the head in 2003. Ong-Bakbut beyond being a faceless moron in the seventh Fast Furious film, lurking in the background of Vin Diesels xXx: The Return of Alex Cagealongside Milla Jovovich in the dismal Monster Hunterand supporting the even more laughable fourth quarter. Consumablesit was not sniffed.

On the subject of Sylvester Stallones' miserable fourth installment, Iko Uwais was wasted as the villain. Lowering heralded the arrival of a powerful and incredibly gifted martial artist capable of real action and emotion, something that was hardly apparent in Mark Wahlberg's mediocrity. Mile 22gloomy comedy between friends Stuberor the stupid G.I. Joe spin off Snake-eyes.

That's not to say Hollywood should go out of its way to accommodate them, but there is a happy medium to be found. All of the names mentioned above have become international stars in the action field due to their very specific skills, but for whatever reason, as soon as they make the jump to the world's biggest studio system industry, they find their edges sanded down to an indistinguishable core.

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