A Reminder of Beauty in Romeo Must Die

I saw Romeo Must Die (2000) starring Chinese actor and martial artist Jet Li and singer Aaliyah recently. It’s still terrible. But seeing Jet Li act (the last scene between father and son is the only one worth watching) and do rope dart (when he used the fire hose as a weapon) reminded me of the admiration I felt for Chinese movies in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Firehose fight/rope dart fight scene from Romeo Must Die

No, Romeo Must Die is not a Chinese film. It did star Chinese action phenom Jet Li, whose talents shine in Hero (2002), a Chinese film loosely based on the Qin emperor uniting various kingdoms to make a united China.

Hong Kong was making cinematic miracles full of depth, emotion, majesty, and storytelling every year. They were so good I felt like I was blind before becoming a Chinese movie fan. The colorful costumes, cinematography, and nuanced acting were amazing.

Other stellar Hong Kong action/drama films include House of Flying Daggers (2004), Infernal Affairs (2002), and Kung Fu Hustle (2004). Each is a treat for the senses.

screenshot from House of Flying Daggers

You must see Hero for its combination of color, mournful cello soundtrack, story, and movement. If you enjoyed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), you have a sense of what I mean.

Learning about China’s atrocities, deceptive business practices, and the CCP Virus pandemic caused me to forget my admiration for the work that went into these films. Seeing Jet Li again in Romeo Must Die was a good reminder that the Chinese Communist Party is not the Chinese people.

It was nice to feel good about something Chinese again.

Somewhere, beneath all the communism, China’s soul struggles.

Featured image is a screenshot from the Chinese film Hero (2002).

2 thoughts on “A Reminder of Beauty in Romeo Must Die”

  1. Thanks Wendi. So, some great, contemporary Chinese films like, “Hero”, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “House of Flying Daggers”, were made in Hong Kong? HK where CCP efforts are underway to enact national security legislation to ban “treason, secession, sedition and subversion”, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo claims such legislation would be HK’s “death knell” and impact its economic relationship with the U.S.? Let’s see.


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