Jet Li is awesome, but most of his potential has yet to
    be tapped.  Too often his films rely on special effects and editing to enhance
    his moves, even though he doesn’t need it.  Haven’t these directors ever heard
    of Jackie Chan?  The biggest reason Jackie is so popular, is that he performs
    incredible feats on film, without the aid of special effects and without manic
    editing.  Watching Jackie is like watching the super-human boxer, Roy Jones
    Jr.—both can do things that you previously thought impossible.  Because so many
    of his stunts are fake, watching Jet Li is more like watching someone from the
    WWF–both pretend to do things that you know are impossible.

    That brings me to the greatest virtue of Kiss of the
    , which is that it lets Jet cut loose a bit, without the editing or
    special effects.  It doesn’t do so nearly often enough, but you get a real taste
    of what could be, especially in the final fight, in which we are treated to
    blinding sequences of punches with whole punches, sometimes even whole combos
    being presented without all the cutting.  The majority of the time, however, the
    effects are in the way.

    The film itself gets of to a brisk, nicely edited
    start.  It has that slick Luc Besson style, and for a while, I thought I was in
    for a real treat.  See, I think Jet is not utilized properly in another way.  He
    exudes a kind of sophistication that would allow him to flourish in higher brow
    action films.  I think he’s closer to a kung-fu Connery than a Steven Segal, or
    Schwarzenegger.  So it’s unfortunate that this film degenerates into a fairly
    cookie-cutter action film.  It’s not unusually bad in that respect, but not all
    that good either.  On the commentary, Jet points out that the entire Paris
    police department are “bad guys” in the film.  Actually, they are an overt,
    ruthless, organized crime outfit.  He thought that might piss off French fans,
    but someone should have been concerned about plausibility.  The villain is so
    evil that he should be twisting a handlebar mustache and the film never misses
    an opportunity to demonstrate it. It even hints that he might be involved with
    child prostitution.  So this isn’t the most sophisticated film.

    It is a pretty good action flick.  Even without Jet’s
    dazzling kung-fu, the photography and acting are well above typical Arnold
    fare.  It also has a lot of cool little touches, like how Jet’s character uses
    acupuncture, both medicinally and to fuck people up.

    This is Jet’s second big American film (I haven’t seen
    The One yet), and the second time he plays opposite a hot chick and the
    second time he never really touches her.  What’s going on here?  Is it a race

    Here’s something to be really excited about: Jet Li’s
    next film is being directed by Zhang Yimou (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live).


    commentary is from Jet, Fonda and Nahon is pretty standard fair about how good
    everyone else in the film is, why I was attracted to this movie, etc.  I stopped
    paying attention after a while.  Probably the best features are the behind the
    scenes bits about the action.  One is on Jet Li and his fighting philosophy
    and it probably has the best scenes on the entire disc, as far as Jet strutting
    his stuff.  Another is about the choreographer and another shows how a
    particular scene was choreographed.  There is also one of those
    storyboard/film comparisons, which is pretty cool.

    • Film Overall 6

    • Direction 5.5

    • Acting 7

    • Story 5

    • DVD Goodies 7.5