Knocking off Beverly Hills Cop while showcasing Gary Daniels as a cheaper JCVD but forgetting that he can't act past his gob being open, White Tiger can't figure out what it is or what it should be so it just manages to be mid-90s karate mush.
Why doesn't the movie work or why did I absolutely wish I'd watched something else? Well I'll tell you who's fault it is. It isn't Cary Tagawa. He's fantastic, of course. And he's allowed to go to 11 so it's not director Richard Martin's fault either. It's not even Gary Daniels fault despite his lack of acting, as the big draw is the fight sequences which he co-choreographed with prolific stunt-man Lauro Chartrand. So whose fault is it that White Tiger is a total boring slog of a film?
Well, I'm blaming the 90's. See all the big stinker makers were out of the biz or out of their prime by 1996. Cannon was done and Carolco was on its way. DTV was on the rise as you could crap out a turd on a budget and distribute globally for a song. So the studios just wanted to start turning fast bucks and having passion for your project wasn't a benefit, it was a hinderance. What business did Richard Martin even have directing a film? Well, he said he could do it and do it fast. That's all it took for it to get a green light.
The problem with it and say the same film made 5-10 years prior, is there was a hope that if you did a good enough job, if you worked hard enough, if you believed it what you were doing enough the execs in their ties would see you and give you a Brandon Lee shot. Its the American Dream right? Well sorry, but that doesn't exist. So instead you've got no one giving a crap in the writing ("just redo Beverly Hills Cop, again") and no one behind the camera caring either. It's not that anyone screwed up, it just is that no one had the opportunity to screw up either. Which sorry, makes for boring film for our niche AND the big films that go on to win Oscar gold. You must have some spark of passion and care for art. Otherwise, its just a toaster or a '15 Toyota Camry. Your film is now an appliance.
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