True story. I own Shanghai Noon because in the late 90s and early 00s I was obsessed with Lucy Liu. She plays a princess. She’s in the movie for half a second. When she didn’t reprise her role for the second film I refused to see it and all I know till this day is that it is in England and it isn’t Rush Hour 2. So I could be biased here. I did, after all, sit through Ecks vs Sever. My devotion to Our Lady Liu could, perhaps, be a bit blind. But I’m going to go ahead and say it, the woman needs her own film franchise. Her Lady Blossom in The Man With The Iron Fist is little more than a tweaked version of O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill. It doesn’t matter. After she gives a riveting speech about the beauties of misandry I could not care less. She clicks her little wooden blocks together and sashays through her bordello and all I want is to watch a whole series about how this badass madame came to own the best little whorehouse in China. The movie she’s in? Stylish as all hell and also pretty terrible. This is not high art. See the title. This is B-movie blackploitation Hong Kong fu. These people all exist to appear in fight after fight in cool outfit after cool outfit. Do not get attached to them. They will die. If they are a woman or a poignant lover their death will be bittersweet and you will once again wonder why only misogynists and lead characters ever get to survive this modern trend of ironic exploitation films. The deaths may or may not be cool. Part of that is RZA’s fault. His fight scenes are competent enough but often hidden by a twirling camera too caught up in the fabrics and exploding lumber to catch the physicality of the actors beneath it all. You cannot be disappointed with RZA though. This is his directorial debut and all the good outweighs the bad. Like the soundtrack. And the stable of actors he’s employed. And oh heavens the costume and prop design. They’re stunning work–some of the best this year. But mainly. Mainly Lucy Liu. I need a sequel or prequel of her in the American West in an Iron Girdle building her sexy sex worker ninja empire. Having heard that you need it too. Until then let us all be content with her work on Elementary. And let us all remember that she and Idris Elba are in a band together and that they need to already get with the making of an adaptation of Carousel staring Elba and Lucy Liu. (I am obsessed with this idea guys.) This was a very brief review but that’s because it is the inverse of my boundless affection for any film that has Lucy Liu raging at people before unleashing hell on earth with a sword, bladed fan, or little block thingys. Shh. Our queen is clicking. Dylan Ray I like her too. She, Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeo are the reasons why I’m proud to be chinese. She is in Elementary too. So awesome.