With “The Deathly Kiss of the Dragon”, Jet Li continued his international career in the early 2000s. A feature film for which the actor gave particular importance to the fighting, sensitive to the criticisms of his fans about his previous film.
Deathly Kiss of the Dragon : rififi in Paname
After giving Mel Gibson and Danny Glover a hard time in Lethal Weapon 4, Jet Li continued his international career in 2001 with Deathly Kiss of the Dragon. In this film by Chris Nahon (Empire of wolves) produced and co-scripted by Luc Besson, the actor lends his features to Liu Jian. This Hong Kong secret service officer arrives in Paris to lend a hand to policeman Jean-Pierre Richard (Tchéky Karyo).
Responsible for arresting a high Chinese dignitary involved in a dark affair, Liu Jian quickly discovers that his French colleague is corrupt. Trapped and accused of a murder he did not commit, the agent will do everything to prove his innocence, while Richard deploys his men to the four corners of the capital to find and kill him.
Isolated in an unknown city, Liu Jian can count on the support of Jessica (Bridget Fonda), an American prostitute present during the assassination of the high dignitary. In exchange for her testimony, he promises to protect her and help her find her daughter.
Jet Li’s promise
For more than a decade, Jet Li connects international productions after Lethal Weapon 4. Before joining the mercenary team led by Sylvester Stallone in The Expendables: Special Unit, the actor fights himself in The One, plays a henchman considered a dog by a mafia boss in Danny the dog and plays a formidable killer tracked down by Jason Statham in Snape: The Final Clash.
It also turns in Romeo must die, whose plot is (very) vaguely inspired by Romeo and Juliet. Released a year before Deathly Kiss of the Dragon, this feature film by Andrzej Batkowiak with the late Aaliyah deeply disappoints the fans from the first hour of Jet Li. In addition to criticizing him for his bad script, they feel that the film lacks fights. These latter excessive use of cable hopping a tad exaggerated in a “realistic” environment, trying to profit from the success of a certain Matrix released a year earlier, also produced by Joel Silver.
Criticisms that Jet Li hears. The star ofOnce upon a time in china and of Tai-Chi Master so promise drier clashes. Asked by Hollywood.com during the promotion, he explains on this subject:
They have seen all of my previous films. They said they didn’t like the action scenes in Romeo must die because they are too choppy and not as good as my previous films.
This return to “hardcore” fights supervised by Corey Yuen (Special agent, The carrier) is characterized in particular by a muscular duel with Cyril Raffaelli (District 13). With the two martial arts professionals moving too fast, director Chris Nahon reportedly asked them to fight more slowly so that their movements were clearly visible in the image. Something to reassure fans about the brutality of the choreography.