Kong Skull Island Review – How to include Chinese cast for no reason other than to appeal to the masses.

Hi Tian Jing – why are you in this movie?

If there’s one thing that’s really starting to piss me off in modern movies it’s this new trend of Chinese funded movies that are inserting Chinese cast into the movies for literally NO  REASON other than to have a Chinese name on the cast list.

It’s offensively stupid.

In the two cases I’ve seen it, there’s been two female Chinese characters inserted for what is obviously to market the movie to Chinese audiences on the Mainland. In both instances, the characters themselves were pathetic and really had no business being in the movies, period. I could simply just ignore them, but the blatant insertion for localisation irks me and it’s a trend that I hope dies, asap.

In the first instance, we have Angela Baby in Independence Day Resurgence. Now don’t get me wrong, this was a shit movie whichever way you looked at it, but Angel Baby’s presence was nothing short of laughable.

Early into the movie she appears as one of a squadron of pilots, and that’s basically about it. She disembarks from a fighter plane, removes her helmet and  tosses her long hair about her shoulders, looking all doe-eyed and beautiful. From this moment forward she barely said two words, and laughably, becomes the automatic, unspeaking, love-interest of the nerdy pilot of whom there’s no on-screen chemistry whatsoever.

Case number # 2 is Tian Jing in Kong: Skull island. I heard good things about Tian Jing in the recent Great Wall movie, another movie I thought was poor. I was unimpressed with her there as along with the white-washed cast, she was clearly only included due to her limited English ability. Her actual acting ability left a LOT to be desired.

In Kong, I don’t think they even said her name. In addition to John Goodman and his African-american counterpart, she randomly showed up as the third member of their team en route to the island. I laughed when I saw her as the moment I noticed Tencent Media in the opening credits, I was betting money there’d be a Chinese actor/actress in the movie and boom – Tian Jing.

The thing here is – practically every other character, even the minor ones, were there for a reason and had lines. Tian Jing had barely 5, and they consisted of poignant things such as, “How big?” “He said we should leave at dawn. It’s dawn.” And that’s about it.

You just know that in China, her name will be prominent on the billboards – as if they’re stupid and this kind of bait and switch works on them. The sad thing is, it probably does.

I have no issues with Chinese cast. As someone who watches a lot of Chinese movies, I welcome it. But these inclusions as a human version of product placement can GET FUCKED. Seriously. #endrant

On the good side, I skimmed the cast for Wonder Woman – Tencent Media’s second movie endeavour and by the looks of it there’s no product placement Chinese.


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