I can’t tell if either the headline or the review itself over-emphasizes the connection between Bao Tran’s The Paper Tigers and Stephen Chow’s kung-fu movies, but I do not exaggerate when I tell you, readers, that I couldn’t help feel a sense of kinship between them. There is no magical flying stuff in The Paper Tigers; it’s grounded and real. But all the same, these are all movies about martial artists in hiding, coming out of retirement to use their skills for good and also to remake themselves in their sad adulthoods.
It’s a great movie. It’s a 2021 favorite of mine. I wouldn’t say 2021’s action cinema has disappointed me, per se, with obvious exceptions, but none of it has truly wowed me. The Paper Tigers wowed me. I love it. You will too.
You can read my full review over at Paste Magazine.