Time can either heal all wounds, or just make it seem as though they are. In writer and director Bao Tran’s first feature film The Paper Tigers, three childhood friends reconnect after years apart when Sifu Cheung (Roger Yuan), their Kung Fu master suddenly dies from what they believe are unnatural causes.
Much older with aches, pains and faulty memories, Danny (Alain Uy), Jim (Mykel Shannon Jenkins), and Hing (Ron Yuan) reminisce about their days as Kung Fu prodigies, try to understand why and how they lost touch with each other and their Sifu, while uncovering the truth about his death and avenge him. With impressive, funny and realistic fight sequences designed by actor and fight choreographer Ken Quitugua, that reminded me of old school Hong Kong actions films, The Paper Tigers is a hilarious and endearing film about the special bond between friends, fathers, sons and mentors, and artist to martial arts.
In this special episode of “Carolyn Talks…” I’m joined by ButWhyThoPodcast host and EIC Kate Sanchez, to speak with Tran about his determination to make the film, and combining action with comedy.
You can read Kate’s review here. The Paper Tigers premiered at Fantasia Fest, Sunday August 30, 2020 on their digital platform.
TRAN Quoc Bao was mentored by master action director Corey Yuen, Bao’s approach draws on spectacle through story and character. Screen Anarchy praised his written-and-directed short Bookie for its “flawlessly realized world driven by a compelling narrative and brought to sumptuous life.” His editing credits include Cho Lon, one of Southeast Asia’s highest-budgeted action blockbusters, and Jackpot, a heartfelt comedy selected as Vietnam’s official entry to the 2016 Oscars for Best Foreign Film. The Paper Tigers will be his first feature film as director. Ain’t It Cool News enthusiastically declared Bao as “a director I expect to see big things from.”
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.