A 1992 action film directed by Dwight H. Little and starring Brandon Lee as Jake Lo, a Chinese art student scarred by witnessing the killing of his father in the Tiananmen Square massacre who wants nothing do with politics while he's living and studying the US. But he's brought to a party by pro-Chinese democracy activists... where he witnesses a Mafioso drug dealer killing the holding the party. Fisticuffs ensue. And Jake has to go into protective custody...
Tropes found in this work:
- Action Survivor: Jake is a badass martial artist, but outside of that he's a perfectly ordinary guy who's clearly shaken up by all the violence around him.
- Actor Allusion:
- Corrupt Cop: The agents at Jake's safe house.
- Cowboy Cop: Ryan is not afraid to throw the book out the window if it means getting Tao. He comes to regret it eventually, after it almost gets Jake killed in the big restaurant shootout.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jake mouths off to just about everybody. Ryan has more than a few moments as well, especially towards Jake.
- Fair Cop: Karla Withers, our hero's Love Interest (played by Kate Hodge so ensuring Allison Pregler will have seen this).
- It Gets Easier: actually quite well done without saying it in as many words. At first, Jake goes into a full-blown Heroic BSoD every time he has to kill a bad guy, with Brandon Lee doing a fine job of conveying the My God, What Have I Done? reaction with nothing but his eyes and face; as the movie goes on, and the violence escalates, those moments of remorse become fewer and fewer. Nonetheless, Jake remains sympathetic because a) all his kills are in self-defense and b) he asked for precisely none of the crap that's happened to him.
- Mr. Fanservice: Brandon Lee spends a lot of time in a tank top and even gets a whole fight scene without a shirt on, showing off his excellent physique.
- Parental Substitute: Ryan subtly becomes one to Jake.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Minh, played by 5'6 Al Leong who is half a foot shorter than six foot tall Brandon Lee, is the only character to match Jake evenly in a fight and comes very close to killing him.
- Shout-Out: Brandon Lee was a Jackie Chan fan, so he pays homage by incorporating key moves from Police Story and Dragons Forever in the final fight scenes.
- Tagline: "The only way to fight fire...is with fire!"