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11.13.2018

When You Gotta Avenge Your Master, But You've Got Day Jobs

Bao Tran's indie feature 'The Paper Tigers' is an underdog story about three out-of-shape kung fu fighters.



This one's for the underdogs. The Paper Tigers is an upcoming martial arts action movie about three out-of-shape kung fu fighters who have to avenge their master... except they've got day jobs and kids to feed. The debut feature from writer/director Bao Tran, this cool-looking indie project is currently raising production funds.

A dead-beat dad, an insurance scammer, and an MMA coach find themselves in the middle of a gang war when they must avenge their kung fu master's death. But first... they need to call in sick at their 9-to-5 jobs. This is a story about family, both born into and adopted, and what you owe to keep those families together.

"Imagine Bruce Lee in his 40s, out of shape and divorced, estranged from his kids, trying to figure out his place in the world," Tran says. "Then imagine that same Bruce Lee's comeback. Family, career, and life might have consumed us, but there will always be a part of us that is dying to do a few spin kicks in the backyard. This movie is dedicated to those who are one kick away from pulling their hamstrings... one lap away from a smoke break."

Here's Bao and producer Al'n Duong with the more information about the film::



And here's a preview:


Inspired by Hong Kong cinema, The Paper Tigers promises to feature old school, down-and-dirty kung fu fight action. A couple of years ago, the team behind The Paper Tigers shot a prequel proof-of-concept short, The Challenger, which demonstrates that Hong Kong-style action aesthetic.

Check it out:


Cool, right? The Paper Tigers aims to go grittier. While The Challenger imagines what the main character, Danny, would have fought like in the prime of his youth, at his best, The Paper Tiger will find Danny at his worst.

"He's now a shell of his former self, an athlete beyond his time," Tran explains. "His fighting is sloppy, uncoordinated, and rusty. The Challenger is a composition of classical keys and chords, The Paper Tigers is bebop jazz."

Sounds pretty awesome. I'm in.

They've assembled a pretty great group of talent to make this thing happen, with a cast that includes Roger Yuan (Mulan, John Wick 3, Shanghai Noon), Yoshi Sudarso (Buffalo Boys, Power Rangers), Peter Sudarso (Power Rangers), Gui Da Silva-Greene (Captain America: Civil War, Pacific Rim: Uprising), Kieran Tamondong (Justin Lin's upcoming Warrior), Mark Poletti, Bryan Kinder, and Malakai James. And stunts and fight choroegraphy by Ken Quitugua and Kerry Wong of ZeroGravity Stunts.

The goal is to raise $110,000 by December 4. That may seem like a lot of money, but it's actually really slim for a feature film -- especially an action movie. But The Paper Tigers team is determined to make this small sum go a long way. Having seen Bao Tran's previous work, I'm confident they can do it.

For further information about The Paper Tigers, and to make a pledge to the project, head over to Kickstarter.