THE AV INTERVIEW: JINO KANG (FIST 2 FIST 2: WEAPON OF CHOICE)

ANDERSONVISION

As someone who had never seen the first Fist 2 Fist, I appreciated it being able to watch the sequel without the baggage. Was that intentional?

JINO KANG

Absolutely not.  It was a totally a different film.  After much success of Fist 2 Fist, the distributor thought it would have a token followers and that it could have better showings.

ANDERSONVISION

How does your background in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu inform your onscreen fighting style?

JINO KANG

I believe Gracie Jiu-Jitsu added great value and increased my repertoire tremendously.  My primary style is Hapkido, which is 90% stand up with strikes, kicks and Aikido and Judo throws and joint locks.  So when you add ground game it adds that necessary visual excitement.  If you look at typical martial arts films, you’ll most likely see repetitive Kung Fu style strikes and acrobatic kicks and not much else.  Back in the eighties and nineties, when Steven Seagal came out, all films were copying Aikido techniques, but nowadays, I see a huge influence of Judo techniques of John Wick and hand trapping techniques of Wing Chun (movie) style.  I think it’s all good but depends on your cinematic taste, I guess.

ANDERSONVISION

This has to be the first action film in ages with a believable romantic subplot. How did you pull that off?

JINO KANG

Thank you for saying that.  I was going for an unlikely partnership that forms between a retired hitman gone straight and a cop that has to go rogue in order for this reverse role relationship to work.  Like true human relationships, it’s very tough to do it alone, you need that extra support to make things work.  In Weapon of Choice, it was a daunting task for one man to fight for his daughter and his life by himself.  I believe he would have failed without the doggone determination of Ash, the cop.  Some critics thought it slowed down the film, but I thought it was worth it to develop that relationship to make it work.  So, thanks for recognizing that aspect.

ANDERSONVISION

What films influenced you?

JINO KANG

All Bruce Lee films.  All Samurai films, and particularly Yojimbo and Sanjuro.  The reluctant anti-hero that gets pulled into corruption and injustice.  That’s how I envisioned Jack character and tone of the film.

ANDERSONVISION

What brought Douglas Olsson onto the film? The guy feels like he stepped out of an old Charles Bronson movie.

JINO KANG

Yeah, me too.  I thought he was a dead ringer for Ben Gazzara.  I met him when I was helping out on a short.  Doug wanted to get involved in filmmaking process and the whole nine yards.  So, when I was writing all the characters, Doug fit the bill perfectly for cunning Banducci character.  I believe he was perfect for the part and did a great job.

ANDERSONVISION

Will there be a Fist 3 Fist?

JINO KANG

No!  Never!  Well, never say never.  But interestingly, we are following up on Weapon of Choice 2:  Blade Fury.  Almost done with the script but written for much bigger budget and will be shopping around for financing.

ANDERSONVISION

What was the hardest shot to nail down?

JINO KANG

It was during the opening scene in a Chinese restaurant hit.  We mixed the practical gags and cgi blood.  But there was a shot when I enter the restaurant and shoot at the table, the special effects guys rigged an air tank with a tube filled with blood hidden behind the actors head and blood spray had too much gas and it exploded all the way to the high ceiling and made a mess.  The down time was miserable since time was money.  It also happened “SPOILER ALERT!” with Banducci’ arm getting chopped off, but this time it didn’t have enough gas and blood just drizzled and dripped.  After many takes, we got it right.  Poor doug, he had his arm taped back for hours to get that shot right.  The practicals are great, but takes hell of time since it can go awry really fast.

ANDERSONVISION

The film feels insanely tight. Was a lot of the movie edited down to get that speed?

JINO KANG

I thought it was just right.  The dramatic scenes were directed and edited by my co-director/writer, Tony Urgo and I directed all the action/fight scenes.  I believe creating the right tempo is essential for action films.  Also, I don’t believe in speeding up any fight scenes, which you can see in almost all Kung Fu movies, it’s so obvious.  I believe the audience deserves the real thing.

ANDERSONVISION

What are you working on next?

JINO KANG

So going back to Blade Fury, Jack reprises his role as a retired hitman who’s hiding out in a sleepy little town.  However, he’s cover get’s blown when Jack thwarts a bank robbery.  A vengeful Yakuza mom boss, Toshiro, whom we had an introduction in Weapon of Choice unleashes an army of Ninja’s to get to Jack.  Almost done with the script and will be seeking financing.

Then, We are working on a actual follow up to Fist 2 Fist, called Wages of Sin and reprise the role of Ken Min.  This will be a spec TV/Pilot.  A martial arts master and his proteges’s are pulled into the underworld of crime when Ken rescues a young child from kidnapping.  We will go in to pre production this mid-summer.

Also, trying to finish my Hapkido instructional book, “SECRETS OF HAPKIDO.”  AAlmost done with this as well.  Expecting a fall release.

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