My favorite actor of all time.
The incomparable Jet Li.
I've long been a Martial Arts movie fan. Oh my yes. I took years and years of ballet (obsessively) and then did Martha Graham for three years, so I do believe my appreciation of the Martial Arts stems from knowing just how hard it is to make your body move like that. But there's also the eye candy factor. I know that's so incredibly shallow. I know! And even as I hang my head in shame, I'm peeking. I just love the smoldering heat Jet Li brings to the screen. And when he fights? I'm all squeeee! Look at what he can do, and it's so beautiful! There's really only one reason to watch Lethal Weapon 4. Jet Li steals that film. Steals it right out from under what's his name. Oh, right. Mel Gibson. I almost forgot he was in that movie.
When I write action heroes, I channel Jet Li, Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and others1. Especially Jet Li in Romeo Must Die, Bodyguard from Beijing (aka The Defender) or Contract Killer. The first half of Romeo Must Die is freaking awesome. Awesome! As with most of his films, the Hong Kong versions are better. The US or UK ones have often been poorly dubbed and edited, with whole sequences missing. It's interesting to get your hands on the various versions. Which I have done for many many of his films. Most actually.
Right. So, anyway, before I leave you with one of my all time favorite fight scenes, excluding the bit from Bodyguard From Beijing (aka The Defender) where he disarms a policeman who has just taunted him (ask me how many times I've watched just that scene, go ahead ask!2) I wanted to say that Xia, who is a major secondary character in My Wicked Enemy and the hero of the book the follows, I had the smoldering Jet Li firmly in mind. But that Kick Ass element of the very best Martial Arts movies is present in all my books.
And now, my second favorite (or maybe third, because there's that scene in Contract Killer...) Jet Li Fight scene. It's from the film Kiss of The Dragon, which, in all honesty is mostly mediocre except for this scene, the other fight scenes, and the scene where he almost takes his shirt off for Bridget Fonda. Sometimes I fast forward... OK, anyway, this scene is particularly notable for the end when the bad guys walk in and get a glimpse of what they're up against. (On, gosh, that is so Xia, I swear it!)
1. Except Chuck Norris. I'm sorry.
2. Oh, all right, I'll tell you. At least 20.