April 10, 2005|Between the time that John Woo and Chow Yun Fat spawned a hipster fad on this island Hong Kong with 1986's A Better Tomorrow and the moment about a decade later when poor Jackie Chan starred with Chris Tucker in Rush Hour, a picture directed by solid gold jackass Brett Ratner (who still refers to Chan as "that Jap," possibly the worst thing you can call a Chinese man--worse than "that Chinaman," something Ratner also enjoys calling Chan), the HK film industry was the most vibrant and exciting in the world. It redefined action cinema by itself, pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in motion pictures, and valorized the "heroic bloodshed" genre by elevating old Chinese dictums of honour and brotherhood into ballets of romanticized violence. "One Cop, One Killer, 10,000 Bullets" became the byline for not only Woo's classic The Killer, but also an industry that made the Western world supple and accommodating to films like The Matrix, Reservoir Dogs, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Unfortunately, as Hollywood's siren call lulled away talents as diverse and incandescent as Ringo Lam, Jet Li, John Woo, Chow Yun Fat, Tsui Hark, and, finally, Jackie Chan, from Hong Kong (in Chan's case, for the second time), so, too, did the handover from British colony to Communist show pony take hold, rendering a film like Full Contact (where a bite-wound subbed for a wedding ring) impossible under the stringent censorship policies of Mainland China. The Hong Kong film industry has fallen, and hard. Almost as hard as its roster of superstars, finding themselves ethnic sidekicks and starfuckers in American dreck.