Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Lone: M.I.A.?

That's Jason Stratham (left), Mathew St. Patrick (center) -- and John Lone (right) in War

The lovely and talented Nikki Finke says we can expect another weekend at No. 1 for Superbad -- and a debut "in the high teens" for War, good enough for the No. 2 spot. But here's the odd part: I didn't realize until just a couple hours ago that John Lone -- yes, that John Lone, star of The Last Emperor (1987) -- plays a supporting role in the latter film. Prior to War, he last appeared on U.S. screens in Rush Hour 2 (2001) -- and that was his first major movie gig since The Hunted (1995). Now, I know he pops up in Asian movies now and then -- but even those credits are few and far between. And War looks like it could be major-league kick-ass fun, but still...

I guess what I'm asking is: Jeez, happened to that career? In movies as diverse as Year of the Dragon (1985), The Moderns (1988) and, of course, Last Emperor, Lone had screen presence potent enough to power a mid-size city. Did he just piss off the wrong people, or what?


Anonymous said...

I've often wondered about Lone myself. Such a terrific actor and also seemingly a natural movie star in all three of the movies you mentioned.

Like you, I have absolutely no clue why we haven't seen more of him. But I wonder if perhaps he's perceived as too "American" for the Asian market. With regards to U.S. films, Asian male actors always have a hard time in Hollywood if they aren't great martial artists (and especially if they piss off the wrong people!).

Today, John Cho is an outstanding, charismatic young actor and I'm starting to wonder if we'll be seeing as much of him as we should, "Harold and Kumar" notwithstanding.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have a huge admiration and respect for John Lone as an artist.

His earlier previous films (Iceman, The Last Emperor, M. Butterfly) had really showcased his performance as a crafted, skilled actor apart from Hollywood’s typical typecast roles. I agree that after Rush Hour 2 and so on, he had acted in less significant roles. John alone hasn’t appeared on screen since 2007.

My guess is that he hasn’t appeared in films because of his own choices as an artist. Of course Hollywood is a big business and lately have been crazy about money (ex. Superheroes, general comedy movies) instead of the actual quality of the film. 80’s/ 90’s films actually had intricate stories that told and raised questions/ conversations.

Anyways, I really miss John Lone. I hope he is doing well and is happy. Although he isn’t active recently, he will be remembered for his work.