Russell Wong has quite the diverse catalog starring in number of films and shows such as The Joy Luck Club, Romeo Must Die, and The Lost Empire to name a few. He has a certain charisma on screen that cannot be taught. Whether he’s a good guy or bad guy, you cannot help but respect his craft. His training in dance and martial arts gives him a sense of grace in his physical roles. He also does a lot of his own stunts. Let’s take a look at some of these moments on screen:
1. Bar Fight
This is a really great first fight in Romeo Must Die. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s basically a twist on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. I know it’s a bit cliche, but it works. This was the scene that set the tone of the movie. Rival gangs were at war with one another and the son of the leader of the Asian gang was at an African-American nightclub. Kai (Russell Wong) tried to get the son back to prevent any heat from coming down. However, he got into scuffle with some bouncers and other people that led to quite the standoff. Kai ended up killing the son, who later find is Han’s (Jet Li) brother. This was a well placed scene that got you out of your seat within the first 10 minutes of the movie.
2. Last Battle
This was the final major stand-off and arguably one of the best fights of Romeo Must Die. The background was perfect and full of flames. You can never use that too much in a film. Han and Kai go at it in a well matched one on one. There are a lot of nice techniques, choreography and it’s just well-timed. Jet Li gets the upper hand hits some very vital spots to take the victory, but you have to admit that Russell Wong put up a great fight. Also, he made a cool yet threatening bad guy :). I have to say this is one of Russell Wong’s best action scenes in a film. Kudos to the choreographer of this fight.
3. Suit And Tie Fight
This is a pretty great fight because it has the character and smoothness that Russell Wong possesses. Yet it has the tenacity and fighting vigor we love, too. Besides, you always got to give major kudos to those who can hold down a serious fight while wearing a full suit. Great fighting, great choreography in this Thai action thriller. Overall, this is a good scene from The Sanctuary.
4. Vanishing Son
This is a pretty nice fight from the TV series Vanishing Son which has a pretty cool concept. Wong plays a character named Jian-Wa Chang, a musician who escaped China after a demonstration against the government. His brother was apart of crime syndicate and an incident caused him and some federal agents to be killed. Jian-Wa takes the heat for this and flees to America. He goes to track down “The General” who’s leader of the Vietnamese mafia and behind the murders. This scene has great fighting especially for a 90s TV show. It’s great to see an Asian American in a lead role on primetime TV as well.
5. Deadly Surprise
Got to have a nice gunfight in movie. In this scene, Wong actually double crosses a mafia boss by placing a bomb in a vase. The result is pretty action packed shootout in a Thai bar. A lot of refugees and military get involved in this skirmish. You don’t really see Wong in too many gunfights but this is a pretty solid scene from The Sanctuary.
6. Black Sash
This was actually a short lived series on The WB (CW) where Wong plays a former cop who inherits his sifu’s school. I wish this series lasted a few more seasons because it had great principles and was ahead of its time. Often times when we think of a martial arts school, it’s pristine, the perfect match between teacher and pupil, and just a sort of sanctuary that’s a bit unreal. It never gets into the problem one faces and brings to the dojo. Also, the teacher has to be a confidant and role model to all of the pupils which definitely creates added responsibility and even stress. Black Sash had some cool action scenes and messages. It was also quite nice to see Wong play a totally different role. He was a good guy but a mentor to others and he realized he had to set an example.
7. Fists of Rage
This was a DVD release back in 2011 that’s an MMA based action drama. It focuses on a few fighters that realize there’s much more than fighting for money. This is especially the case when Raymond (Wong) is sent to prison. He’s released and seeks his own form of justice and honor. This trailer in Fists of Rage shows a more raw and brutal combat style that is a step away from the usual refined martial arts of Wong. He’s played a bad guy before with a certain edge, but this role a few steps above his cool demeanor even if he is a good guy in the movie.
Russell Wong is a top notch leading man in Hollywood with a great set of roles you can see in his nearly 30 year resume. To this day, he still has a great career in movies and guest starring in some of your favorite shows. I’m curious to see what’s next for this guy. I’m sure he has another 20 years left in his acting profile. What are some of your favorite action scenes that stand out for Wong? Leave a bit of love below!