HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Paper Tigers, The Back In Training
Year: 2020
Director: Quoc Bao Tran
Stars: Alain Uy, Ron Yuan, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Matthew Page, Jae Suh Park, Andy Le, Yuji Okumoto, Roger Yuan, Yoshi Sudarso, Peter Adrian Sudarso, Ken Quitugua, Brian Le, Gui DaSilva-Greene, Raymond Ma, Philip Dang, Mark Poletti, Joziah Lagonoy
Genre: Comedy, Thriller, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Danny (Alain Uy) is a divorced dad of one who feels he should be doing better, but the dreaded description "deadbeat" seems to be creeping up on him. It's his son's birthday today, but he's been so busy with work that he has to pick up a present from a street vendor mere yards away from where he is supposed to pick the boy up from his mother, and then bluffs that he will take him to a theme park when he actually does nothing of the sort when work calls again. But Danny was not always like this: he was motivated, and engaged with life, and that was down to his kung fu lessons which gave him a grounding in his early years. However, his master, or Sifu, has unbeknownst to him been murdered, and this provides a wake-up call...

The one aspect that stood out for The Paper Tigers among its many action flick contemporaries hailing from the lower budget end of the spectrum of North America was that it was not some American Ninja-style effort where they got some white guy to star in the lead role, it was resoundingly the Asian American experience that was being served up here, with some humour and good nature. You imagine if they had cast someone white as Danny, they would have had access to a bit more money, and the lack of funds did tend to show here despite director Quoc Bao Tran doing his best with what he had, but he was inventive enough to justify your time, and though the combat could have been more plentiful, what we were offered was pretty impressive for what it was.

Uy was teamed with his character's best friends from his teen years, the now-tubby Hing (Ron Yuan) and the still in shape Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins), a black gentleman who is briefly on the receiving end of a racist insult that seemed unnecessary and out of place, even if it did get Jim into fighting mood. That aside, though Hing has his knee in a brace they are all up for the challenge of avenging their Sifu (seen training them in flashbacks with well-cast younger versions) and they turn detective to uncover the source of the mystery with the help of old rival Carter (Matthew Page) who also puts them through their martial arts paces in a manner they did not expect (he's much improved). This whole code they must stick to becomes something of a running joke, but with a serious side, as it gives structure and meaning to what could merely have been an excuse to get into beating people up.

Which was basically what martial arts was, when you boiled it down, never mind all the peaceful lifestyle that went with it, movie buffs didn't watch these for the philosophy so much as they watched them to see bad guys get their asses handed to them with a degree of flair and ability. The Paper Tigers was happy to oblige, but the camaraderie was important too, and while it threatened to grow sentimental it managed to stay the right line of mawkish thanks to some nice playing from the three musketeers of kung fu (budget version). If anything, there was too much of the character stuff at the expense of the action, but nicely, nobody draws a gun, and it was all about the mad skillz with the fists and feet flying rather than who can kill the other: aside from the main villain, no one here wanted to murder anyone else, indeed when he claims he wants to throw Danny off the roof they are on at the finale, it's another weirdly jarring moment in a largely easygoing piece. So the tone could have used a little more work, it's light on the action, but it was likeable and obviously a labour of love. Music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell.

[THE PAPER TIGERS will be the opening film at the Fighting Spirit Film Festival on 11th September, at the Stratford Picturehouse, London and be released on altitude.film and other digital platforms from 20 September 2021.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 199 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: