This Dutch Chinese Feature Film is about Jimmy who gets jealous of Li Jie who is a talented martial artist at his Kung Fu School, his sifu partners them up for a Lion dance routine and Jimmy needs to overcome his jealousy and they become friends during the training. However during Lion dance routine for Li Jie father company, Jimmy slips causing both Jimmy and Li Jie to fall and both get into a fight where Li Jie land in to a hospital. They become friend again and show their routine to their Sifu to show they can work together.
This was a frustrating watch of a movie, as the main conflict of this movie is mostly caused by misunderstanding between the characters, which causes a lot of half bake conflicts and turning the main character Jimmy into the antagonist in this movie because of his unfound jealousy of Li Jie.
Due to likely because this is made as a child friendly movie, the action of the group of bullies are half baked and you just don’t feel much for Jimmy as he just escapes easily and gets out of the situations himself and comes out unharmed out of any of the bullies situations. And also nothing gets a strong resolve. So bullies get away stealing ball and also trashing the Mo Kwoon and setting fire to it and not get into any trouble for what they have done nor punished for it. So yeah kids, become a bully and get away with doing bad things, live less frustrating live than then trying to be the nice protagonist who gets misunderstood by everybody and just have to deal with the punishments, that the hidden message of this movie.
The end of movie is also half baked as everything gets resolve far too easily, especially when the bullies had trashed the Mo Kwoon , Jimmy just befriend them after throwing the main bully on the ground and honestly quite lazy writing for this resolve.
Though having a Dutch Chinese Director / scrip writer. You can see and hear the overly pushing the orientalism down your throat through out the movie. Especially end of movie showing whole group of people doing Tai Chi in park in Rotterdam, like as if its China. But living so many years in Rotterdam, not once seen people regularly practise Tai Chi in public in the Netherlands.
But also the music choice of constantly using some stereotypical oriental soundtrack in so many of the scenes. While movies like Karate kid from 1989 and 2010, but even recent Shang Chi or everything everywhere all at once has very little oriental music. And if you watch actual modern Hong Kong movies you rarely hear those kinds of music, unless for some ancient chinese fantasy movies where modern music does not match. But because this movie is happening in a modern time in a western country. It should just use normal modern music and only reserve the use of such music for only a few moment where it makes most sense.
And it feels like they haven’t learned from the other bad fake Chinese film “Fighting Fish” which also filmed in the same city of Rotterdam, which also has the same issue pushing stereotypical orientalism and also the oriental music.
Though I do give some stars to this movie as they hired a Chinese actor from Hong Kong for the Sifu, but the constant switching between English, Dutch and Chinese also is quite annoying. Also because the Mo Kwoon has images showing this place been teaching Kung Fu for 3 generations and you think if the Sifu was 3rd generation Chinees in the Netherlands he would had learned Dutch well like most 3rd gen Chinese.
There are also some oddities of locations as they walk from Maassilo in Rotterdam the other moment to Aqua Asia which there is quite a long walk between the two locations.
I just wished less movies like these gets made, because it isn’t pushing for more Asian to be inclusion into the Dutch movies industry, but it is just pushing stereotypical orientalism which already happens in a lot of Dutch movies, where we see Chinese or Asian actors playing a stereotypical role instead of playing a normal person like any other race. Because the only Chinese in this movie played a kung fu student, a kung fu sifu, tai chi wife and a chinese restaurant owner.
What I want to see is a Dutch Movie, where we finally see a modern local Dutch Chinese story, that has nothing to do with gangster, martial arts or a Chinese restaurant. Just a person in a proper local story.