East Meets West

Remember when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a phenomenon in the States? In the town where I grew up, people lined up around the block to see it. I still adore the movie, but I have to say, now that we’re getting a lot more martial-arts imports in multiplexes, I am vastly more likely to see one if it’s somehow mashed up with a Western. That’s why I’ll probably see The Warrior’s Way:

And why I liked Kung Fu Hustle so much:

I’m not sure I can explain why the combination works so well. I think it’s partially that the long alleys of Western-style main streets give the action sequences different and more expansive space to unfold than when they take place in courtyards, where the only options are around and up. And it’s also just fun to juxtapose two seemingly disparate setting and to realize they’re essentially the same. On every frontier, men and women need sex, and chance, and trade.