Festivals - Fantasia 2020: The paper tigers in World Premiere

By Mulder, 15 august 2020

As teenagers, friends Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan, MULAN) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Undisputed III) were inseparable. Loyal disciples of their Sifu, Master Cheung (Roger Yuan), they trained and fought together, aspiring to become the greatest experts in martial arts. Life and plans change, and when Dany travels alone to Japan to take part in a competition, the three companions lose sight of each other. Thirty years later, drama reunites them again, Sifu having been killed. The three friends, now almost foreigners, unite to fulfill their promise to Sifu and capture his killer. They are older, not necessarily wiser, far from being in the same physical condition as before, but they will realize that they still have a lot to learn about martial arts - and friendship.

Comforting is not a frequently used adjective to describe martial arts movies, with the exception of The Karate Kid, but that's what The Paper tigers is. Of course, there is an abundance of great fighting scenes, but also a lot of fun, easily recognizable characters and introspection into the art of living with one's own weaknesses and imperfections, something that most action films tend to set aside. Writer and director Quoc Bao Tran didn't want to make just another martial arts film, but a film about martial arts, their philosophy and the life lessons you learn from them even in old age. Based on the chemistry between actors Alain Uy, Ron Yuan and Mykel Shannon Jenkins and their immensely engaging performances, The paper tigers contains all the fight you expect from a good martial arts film, but Tran wants to offer much more, a story about the importance of friendship and staying true to yourself.

Synopsis :
Three childhood Kung Fu prodigies have grown into washed-up, middle-aged men, now one kick away from pulling their hamstrings. But when their master is murdered, they must juggle their dead-end jobs, dad duties, and overcome old grudges to avenge his death.

The paper tigers
Written and Directed by Bao Tran
Produced by Al'n Duon, Daniel Gildark, Yuji Okumoto, Michael Velasquez
Starring Joziah Lagonoy, Matthew Page, Jae Suh Park, Mykel Shannon Jenkins, Alain Uy, Ron Yuan
Cinematography : Shaun Mayor
Edited by Kris Kristensen
Running time : 108mns

(Source : Fantasia 2020 official website)