Review: “The Paper Tigers” is a must-see martial arts movie

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I’ve waited all year to find a movie that I absolutely adore, an almost perfect movie in my eyes, but it’s quite a challenge because I tend to have eccentric tastes. That being sad, I finally found it – Paper tigers. The film has so many strengths in a variety of ways that it’s hard to categorize. It’s partly a revenge movie, an action movie, a martial arts movie, a comedy, and even a drama.

The first feature film director Quoc Bao Tran was mentored by action legend Corey Yuen (The carrier) and adapted this style of choreography. Tran breathes new life into using action to drive and develop characters. It comes through and shows how much heart was invested in the film.

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Teenagers, Danny (Alain Uy), Hing (Ron Yuan) and Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins) were Kung Fu students of Sifu Cheung (Roger Yuan). The three teenagers not only bonded but became known as The Three Tigers and were all undefeated fighters. Fast forward twenty-five years, and the three friends all moved on, walked away, and gave up martial arts. When Sifu Cheung unexpectedly dies, friends gather to pay homage to him, only to learn that their master may have been killed. They reluctantly decide that they owe it to her memory to uncover the truth of her death, even if it means wringing out painful memories of the past.

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First of all, the main cast of Uy, Yuan and Jenkins are quite believable in their roles, thanks to their chemistry. They not only bring their characters to life, but the film as a whole in a unique way. Of course, on the surface the movie is a martial arts movie, but it’s the heart below that really shines. All three characters have their own arc, demons they must defeat, and their journey is truly based on friendship.

The action scenes vary in degrees of severity. Some are playful, while others show growth, which shows how brilliant Tran is as a filmmaker, using these action scenes to develop his character. When you come back to movies like The Karate Kid or Best of the best, Paper tigers fits perfectly into the same category. You get the same feeling of excitement, drama, a whole slew of laughs, and you feel so much better in life, in the accomplishment, and you are inspired to see if you can take your life to the next level.

DVD and Blu-ray release June 22 from Well Go USA Entertainment, Paper tigers is fun for the whole family and a must see movie in 2021.


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