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.
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.
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).