Navigation Bar - Text Links at Bottom of Page

THE CORRUPTOR

When the Los Angeles Times proclaimed Chow Yun-Fat ‘The Coolest Actor in the World," they were not only speaking for his fans in Asia, where his films have broken every box-office record

When the Los Angeles Times proclaimed CHOW YUN-FAT 'The Coolest Actor in the World," they were not only speaking for his fans in Asia, where his films have broken every box-office record. "Asia's greatest actor, he has become a hip invocation in Hollywood," the Times noted, "an insider's secret and an outsider's, too."

At that point Chow had not made a single American film, but he was already an icon to fans ranging from street punks to rap stars. Even filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino reportedly dressed like Chow's character in A Better Tomorrow --complete with duster, shades, and toothpick in mouth--for weeks after seeing the film. "More than just a movie star," Variety wrote, "he's a state of mind."

Searching for comparisons to introduce Chow to American audiences when he made his Hollywood debut in the hit actioner The Replacement Killers, the New York Times observed that he combines "the rakish charm of Clark Gable, the sensitivity of Montgomery Clift and the cool destructive power of Clint Eastwood." It is the combination of traits that makes Chow unique. "Chow is the Fred Astaire of action," explains Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino, who co-starred with him in The Replacement killers. "Where Gene Kelly was the macho-type dancer, Fred was just as masculine but elegant. Chow Yun-Fat has that kind of elegance.

A winner of numerous acting awards, Chow is the only Hong Kong star who has made a career of versatility, being equally at home in action thrillers, slapstick comedies and tragic dramas. He is truly "The Hero With A Thousand Faces," whose popularity with his millions of fans worldwide derives from the intensity and inward quality he projects in even his toughest action roles. "Somehow," wrote one critic, "even when he's pinning a victim to the table with a carving knife, he radiates soulful vulnerability."

Despite his protean skills, Chow will forever be identified with the films of John Woo, who was finally able to create the unique mixture of poignant melodrama and brilliantly choreographed mayhem that has made him the world's leading action director. Chow became Woo's on-camera counterpart akin to what Toshiro Mifune was for Akira Kurosawa or what Alain Delon was for French gangster maestro Jean-Pierre Melville.

In Chow's work with Woo and directors like Ringo Lam (City on Fire), Tsui Hark (Love and Death in Saigon) and Wong Jing (The God of Gamblers), he defined Hong Kong noir and created his own version of the Gangster-As-Tragic-Hero, incarnated in America by James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. He also inspired a generation of young men all over the world to imitate his style of unbeatable cool. It was these roles that moved Time's Richard Corliss to proclaim that when it comes to movie heroes, 'There's tough, there's tougher, and there's Chow Yun-Fat."

The son of two farm workers, Chow Yun-Fat grew up in a farming community in a house with no electricity. As a child he was given the nickname Gai Tsai ("Little Dog") by travelers to whom his mother, assisted by her son, sold dim-sum early in the morning before going to work in the fields. When Chow was ten the family moved to Kowloon City, Hong Kong, a crowded city-within-a-city that is connected to the Chinese mainland. His father worked

TOP

Home | Theaters | Video | TV

Your Comments and Suggestions are Always Welcome.
Contact CinemaReview.com

© 2014 New Line Cinema®,  All Rights Reserved.

Google

Find:  HELP!

Google