Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Received his training with the Beijing Wu Shu team, he won the Chinese Wushu national championship five times, which eventually led to a career as a martial arts movie star, first in mainland China, then in Hong Kong and now in Hollywood. He has made many movies in Hong Kong over the years. His début in Hollywood was in Lethal Weapon 4 as a villain. His first leading role in a Hollywood movie was in Romeo Must Die. After that came Kiss of the Dragon, The One premièred in North America on November 2, 2001, and Cradle 2 the Grave premièred in North America on February 28, 2003. His latest movie to premiere in North America is Hero (August 20, 2004 -- Chinese title: Ying Xiong, originally released in Asia in 2002).
Some of the more famous of his Chinese language films include: the Shaolin Temple series (1, 2 and 3) - the films that introduced him; the Once Upon a Time in China series (Chinese title: Wong Fei Hung), about the semi-legendary Chinese folk hero; Fist of Legend , which, contrary to popular belief, was not a remake of Bruce Lee's The Big Boss (a.k.a. Fists of Fury), but rather of Bruce Lee's Chinese Connection (Fist of Fury in Chinese); and the Fong Sai Yuk films, about another Chinese folk hero. As one might expect from a martial artist of his calibre, he performs most of his own stunts.
Jet Li starred in 1995's 鼠膽龍威 (Shǔdǎn Lóngwèi, literally, "Courage of a Mouse and Power of a Dragon"). The movie, known in the US as either High Risk or Meltdown, portrays Jet Li as a cop who becomes disillusioned after his son is murdered by crimelords. Along the way, he pairs up with wacky sell-out actor Frankie (played by Jacky Cheung), and proceeds to engage in massively violent battles in a high-rise building. Note the fact that such a "no-talent" kung-fu actor was played by a man whose name rings close to that of Jackie Chan's was entirely intentional. While the movie was a stunning action comedic success, Jackie Chan remains angered to this day about what he considers to be a "parody" of his talents.
In July of 2001, Jet Li and Jackie Chan agreed to produce and star in an action movie that was to be released in 2002 or 2003, but no news has come since of their collaboration.
Reportedly, Jet Li was in the Maldives when the tsunami hit during the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. He was reported safe, suffering only a minor foot injury while guiding himself and his daughter to safety. He is said to have injured his foot on floating furniture.
Filmography as actor includes
- Unleashed (2005)
- Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)
- Hero (2002)
- The One (2001)
- Kiss of the Dragon (2001)
- Romeo Must Die (2000)
- Lethal Weapon 4 (1998)
- Hitman (1998)
- Black Mask (1996)
- Dr. Wai and the Scripture with No Words (1996)
- High Risk (1995)
- My Father is a Hero (1995)
- Bodyguard from Beijing (1994)
- Fist of Legend (1994)
- The New Legend of Shaolin (aka Hung Hei-Koon)(1994)
- Fong Sai Yuk (1993)
- Fong Sai Yuk II (1993)
- The Kung Fu Cult Master (1993)
- Last Hero in China (1993)
- The Tai Chi Master (1993)
- Once Upon a Time in China and America (1993)
- Once Upon a Time in China III (1993)
- Once Upon a Time in China II (1992)
- Once Upon a Time in China (1991)
- Swordsman II (1991)
- The Master (1989)
- Dragon Fight (1988)
- Born to Defense (1986)
- Martial Arts of Shaolin (1986)
- Kids from Shaolin (1983)
- Shaolin Temple (1979)
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