Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Working Class - Al Leong

One particular role that I will never stop giving credit to are the characters in the background. The ones who don't play a large role but always get your attention. There is no better place to do this than in an action movie, where every character and their associated attributes are ratcheted up to 11 and there are plenty of ways to get noticed. Movie henchmen are the unsung anti-heroes of the action genre, and in this edition of The Working Class we are going to look at one their patriarchs...

Let's face it, if you were a villain in a 80's or early 90's movie and Al Leong wasn't one of your henchmen then it is time to just give up the whole routine already. Sure, he didn't have the greatest win/loss percentage, but what henchman does? When you hire Al Leong you know you're getting the real deal with tons of experience to boot. We'll start off with probably the straight-up best action movie of all-time: Die Hard. Willis and Rickman steal the show but admit that you had a pretty good chuckle when Al started hoarding candy bars right before a SWAT team was about to storm the Nakatomi lobby. I guess you could say that is a little irresponsible on his part, but he got the job done so back off. The SWAT members didn't stand a chance anyways once they saw his wicked goatee. They were done for.

Now we have to move on to another Al role, one that holds a special place in my heart because it is among my favorite films of all-time. I am, of course, talking about Big Trouble in Little China and that role being the Wing Kong guy with the huge cleaver that incites the big brawl as Kurt Burton and Wang Chi are sitting in the truck.  He's yet another guy without a name who is a total badass. Seriously, people that don't get names are the coolest. Anyways, I would never fight a guy with a huge cleaver even if I had a gun. Where do you even get a cleaver like that? He plays a pretty prominent role until he gets beat up by Wang Chi when Wang finally has that epiphany and realizes that he is the best martial artist in the history of everything.

Al showed up in so many movies and I've only mentioned 2 of them. Yeesh. Well, he was also goddamn Genghis mothafuckin' Khan in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. He tortured Mel Gibson with an electrice sponge in Lethal Weapon. And he was in I Come In Peace, which is totally awesome despite stupid Brian Benben being in it. I didn't want to have to pull this one out, but the dude was in Action Jackson. That's the top of Mount Olympus right there as far as I'm concerned.

I can't keep going. There's just too much. Al, you are the man, and I know you get beat up quite a bit but always know in your heart that you do it for the sake of we who believe in you.

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