The Paper Tigers (2020) – Review

This fun, American made action drama concerns three middle-aged men who when younger were known as the 3 Tigers, but have let their martial arts skills wane as life takes over. But when there old sifu (master) dies they get back together to see if his death was not accidental but find out that he was murdered.

The stars of the film Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) have great chemistry together, always bickering about the past but slowly getting together again to find out who was responsible for the masters’ death. They all have problems such as divorce and injury, but still possess the skills needed when pushed to fight for the truth. Another stand out performance is from their childhood rival Carter, played by  Matthew Page, who seems to have made a whole career out of caricaturing that white guy who turns Asian cultural appropriation into a lifestyle. His hilarious fortune cookie sayings, spoken mainly in Cantonese, are a highlight of the comedy, which really makes this film stand out from many of the low budget martial arts movies you may have seen.

There is action and when it comes it is very well choreographed, look out for the fight in an abandoned pool with 3 young punks who all get to show their skills, two of these are from the group Martial Club, and it was great to see them in this (check out there YouTube channel here…

This is a very enjoyable feel-good action comedy with a heart and full credit to the cast, crew and director Tran Quoc Bao for putting together such a great film on such a modest budget.  “Kung fu without honour is just fighting”…..

The film is available on VOD in various countries also on DVD / Blu ray in the USA by WellGo and is well worth checking out….

8 OUT OF 10

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