bao phi's ideas for racist hollywood 5

Aw yeah, he's back! It's time for another edition of Bao Phi's Ideas for Racist Hollywood, in which the poet/writer offers a fake movie pitch, so bad it could actually be true. This one, "Immortal Kickboxer," was written in honor of Jet Li/Jackie Chan's The Forbidden Kingdom, with yet another jab at 21, and some Iron Man kicked in for good measure. Check it:

Tagline: When you know your fate, high kick. When you don't... high kick anyway.

THE PITCH: Spencer Whidmore is just your average middle-class white Blockbuster clerk with an affinity for anime, Johnny To films, and pad thai from that greasy spoon around the block. But when a mysterious stranger returns a damaged copy of Tony Jaa’s Ong Bak late and forgets to pay the $1.50 re-stocking fee, Spencer chases him down the block, tugs on his shoulder… and is knocked out when the stranger (cameo by Chuck Norris) mistakes him for a mugger and spin-kicks him in the head.

Spencer wakes up to find that he has magically been transported back in time to Thailand, where a cruel warlord named Jo Jafar is oppressing the good, hardworking, pious, humble, communal, defenseless Thai peasants in the kingdom. Spencer is shocked to learn that, at this point in time in Thailand's history, kickboxing has not yet been invented--but the Thai shamans and holy men whisper of a prophecy: a savior will come deliver the good people of Thailand from their oppressors and teach them the martial arts. Conveniently, an emasculinated Asian male buddy named Toofo befriends Spencer for no reason--and as they are cornered in the jungle by Thai ruffians, in a flurry of martial arts mayhem Spencer discovers that HE is the storied hero that the Thai people have been waiting for, that he is the great teacher who brought Thai kickboxing to the Thai people: he is no longer Spencer Whidmore, he is the IMMORTAL KICKBOXER. At first, Spencer revels in his new and wholly un-earned skill in kickboxing, showing off for the locals and enjoying his white saviour celebrity status. But then, when his emasculinated sidekick Toofo returns home to his village without Spencer and is killed in an ambush by thugs, Spencer throws his arms to the heavens over the body of his humble brown friend and screams "WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY!" He has paid a terrible price to learn that brown men must die so that great white men can learn responsibility.

ABOUT THE FILM: The producer of the film claims that there were no qualified Asian actors to be in this film, so they picked a random white guy with no experience for the role and asked Josh Whedon to write in the time traveling plot. When asked about whether or not people would be offended by the issue of appropriation, the producer replied, "well, my best friend is Thai and he took some kickboxing lessons, and he loved the idea and says race is not an issue, so I don't think anyone will have a problem with it."
Ah, once again, why must the Asian man die in order for the white hero to grow a conscience and embrace his destiny? Poor Toofu.

By the way, if you're in Minnesota, you should check out Bao Phi in a new play called Q & A, running three weekends, May 22 through June 8 at Mixed Blood Theater in Minneapolis. Bao's been busting his ass off to help put this thing together, and it sounds like a really cool, groundbreaking, provocative piece of local Asian American theater. Here's a description of the production:
Q & A
by Juliana Hu Pegues
Mixed Blood Theater
Directed by David Mura

Three Asian Americans: a wanna-be rapper, a pothead, and an intellectual are thrown into a world of speed dating and interrogations. Known only by their numbers, 187, 1/2, and 9066 must answer questions about their racial and sexual identity, moving from the current moment to a future world where government repression spawns an underground resistance. In an unsure time and place where each is suspect, they will have to ask what they are ultimately guilty of, and choose or betray an alliance. Q & A is a funny, fanciful, and frightening journey into the heart of who we are and how we define ourselves in America.
Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sunday at 2:00 pm, May 22-June 8 (Previews on May 20 and 21). For more information on Q & A, go here. Also head over to Bao's website to read an impassioned plea where he gives numerous reasons why you should go see Q & A. Good times.

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