In light of all the Dogs of Chinatown commenting, I decided to write a post on “that Asian action film bad guy”. You know “that guy”. It took me awhile to find him. But I did. I searched for every single word I could think of on Google. The word string that finally led to the 15th hit that was his wiki profile? “long haired chinese bad guy movie”. And BAM. I found Al Leong:
He is a legendary Hollywood actor. Really. You may or may not recognize him. If you were like me, though, sneaking up late at night to watch sh!tty action flicks on KBHK or renting Steven Seagal films, then you definitely know Al. What movies has he been in? Well, some of the greatest of all time:
Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Big Trouble in Little China, The Scorpion King, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Godzilla, The Replacement Killers, Escape from L.A, Beverly Hills Cop III, Double Dragon, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Last Action Hero, Showdown in Little Tokyo, Black Rain, and Action Jackson.
And some of the best TV shows of all time:
Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., The Twilight Zone, T.J. Hooker, MacGyver, That 70’s Show, Deadwood, and 24.
What? You don’t recognize him? He played such legendary roles as:
Asian training master, nameless monk, shadow warrior, villain’s right-hand man, thug, Chinese gunman #9, henchman, Minh, guard #2, luggage salesman, chauffeur, resistance member, villainous torturer, and Wing Kong hatchet man.
And to you, Al Leong, for all your hard work from the early 1980’s until now, I salute you. Hollywood definitely typecasted you as “Asian bad guy”. Cause, well, you look damn evil:
Your career spans several decades, and the roles you played are a commentary on what its like to be an Asian American actor in Hollywood. You’re not a warm and cuddly Jackie Chan with a cute accent. Or a badass kung fu machine like Jet Li. Or the suave and charming Chow Yun Fat. You’re the “Chinese dude with the long hair, receding hairline and creepy goatee” that the good guy needs to kill prior to getting to the real bad guy. Al “Ka Bong”, thanks for the memories and you are second on my list of favorite “Asian dude, you know, that one, from Big Trouble Little China” right alongside the equally as talented, James Hong: