‘Kung Fu Yoga’ failed because of the abundant use of cultural stereotypes

Kung Fu Yoga can be best summarized by the Indian saying ‘Khoda pahar nikla chuha’ (meaning ‘Much ado about nothing’). Jackie Chan and Sonu Sood spent a lot of time promoting their film, generated a lot of hype (at least in India), but that’s all about it. The film is just an average fare.

The much awaited India-China co-production – Jackie Chan’s Kung-Fu Yoga – failed to impress the Indian audience. Although the movie collected decent money at the box office in China, the same could not be seen in India.

And the top reason why Indians didn’t like the Jackie Chan’s Kung-Fu Yoga is because of the abundant use of cultural stereotypes in the movie (perhaps not enough research on the part of the filmmakers).

The movie could have been a fun mash-up of Chinese martial arts and Indian yoga or acrobatics but the script seemed misplaced. Even though the title says ‘Kung-Fu Yoga’, the movie doesn’t have anything to do with yoga. Even the kung fu fights were jaded.

“Tong and his crew, from the film, look like the kind of people who come to India, pay for a ‘slum tour,’ go back to their countries, patting themselves on the back, claiming to have understood an entire country. Or the kinds who failed cultural studies class in college,” reported the Wire.

Although the movie didn’t do well in India, Indians still love Jackie Chan. He was amazing (superb expressions) in the Bollywood dance sequence (choreographed by choreographer Farah Khan) which comes up with the end-credits.


I guess this was a good lesson learnt by the Chinese. Hope they learn from their mistakes and hope the upcoming ‘Indo-Chinese’ productions (many more to follow) do really well in India.

‘Kung Fu Yoga’ Movie Review

Kung Fu Yoga starring Jackie Chan & Sonu Sood‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is Jackie Chan’s most expensive action film till date, and although he may have aged and his popularity in US and India may have diminished, he still remains the biggest star in China. And this movie also features Indian actor ‘Sonu Sood’, who had shared screen space with SRK in ‘Happy New Year’.

Director: Stanley Tong
Producer: Ritesh Sidhwani, Farhan Akhtar ,Gauri Khan, Red Chillies
Cast: Jackie Chan, Aarif Rahman, Zhang Yixing, Sonu Sood, Miya Muqi, Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur
Run Time: 2 hours and 20 Minutes
The movie has been shot in Rajasthan (Jaipur & Jodhpur), and the movie also has a song sequence choreographed by Farah Khan (choreographer turned director).

Kung Fu Yoga Story
Jack, an archaeology professor, is on a quest to locate a lost ancient Indian treasure when they are ambushed by a team of mercenaries and left for dead. Using his vast knowledge of history and kung fu, Jack leads his team on a race around the world to beat the mercenaries to the treasure and save an ancient culture in this breakneck action-comedy that reunites Chan with acclaimed director Stanley Tong.

Here are some reviews of Kung Fu Yoga by top critics.

Ratings:1.5/5 Review By: Rajeev Masand Site: News18
There’s no word better than lazy to accurately describe Jackie Chan’s new film Kung Fu Yoga, in which the Hong Kong action star plays an Indiana Jones-like figure on a quest to unearth long-buried treasure of an ancient Indian kingdom. The only time I had a good laugh was watching his expressions fly as he sportingly shook a leg in the film’s big Bollywood-style dance number. Kung Fu Yoga is a disappointment for Jackie Chan fans. The actor deserves better, and so do we. I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five.

Ratings:1.5/5 Review By: Shubhra Gupta Site: Indian Express
At one point in the film, Sonu Sood’s character asks: are you guys having fun? At which you shake yourself awake to respond with a resounding ‘no’.And that’s such a pity because Jackie Chan is an experienced jokester, and this film which seeks to meld Kung Fu and Yoga, two great civilisations, two great traditions, Hindi-China-bhai-bhai, yada yada, should rightly have been a barrel of laughs. But Kung Fu Yoga, which is a cheat title, because it has barely any yoga and a lot of jaded Kung Fu moves, does nothing but put you to sleep.

Ratings:2/5 Review By:Nihit Bhave Site:Times Of India
There’s some elementary-level Kung Fu and absolutely no yoga (but how else would India be represented in the title?); the English dubbing makes for awkward viewing and many lines seem to be lost in translation; there is altogether too much CGI work and to top it all, the movie sticks to a Western view of India (Elephants! Princesses clad in jewels! Temples! Snake Charmers!). It also has a strong Raiders Of The Lost Ark-meets-Temple Of Doom vibe.

Ratings:1.5/5 Review By:Madhusree Ghosh Site:Hindustan Times
Is there anything sadder than watching an ageing superstar’s desperate attempts to keep himself afloat? If you have grown up watching Jackie Chan movies and loved him more for his comic timing and endearing goofiness or his expert kung fu, Kung Fu Yoga will leave you with a feeling of sadness.If only the film were equipped with anything resembling a coherent plot. There are no thrills, or spills. None of the joyous laughter we have come to expect from a Jackie Chan.

Ratings:2/5 Review By:Saibal Site:NDTV
Kung Fu Yoga has the looks of a rather ill-advised rehash of The Myth, a box office bomb that the same actor-director firm had delivered over a decade ago.Apart from the giddy fight sequences and car chases staged in different locations, Kung Fu Yoga pits the characters against sundry computer-generated animals.Imagine yourself in the place of the lion. If you don’t find your innards in a knot by the end of the film, your head will certainly be in a spin. You won’t, for sure, be breaking into dance.

Jackie Chan’s Bollywood Dance

Apparently, it was Sonu Sood who persuaded Jackie Chan to introduce a song in the film. The Naach-Gaana scenes of Jackie Chan were shot in Beijing.

Watch: Goosebump from Kung Fu Yoga | Jackie Chan, Sonu Sood. The best part about the song is Jackie Chan, he seems to be thoroughly enjoying (looking at his expressions) his Bollywood style steps.

The crew of ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ shot at Mansingh Palace, Amber Fort, and at the City Palace in Jaipur. The crew also filmed a dance sequence at Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur. The final scenes of the Bollywood style song-and-dance sequence were shot in Beijing.

But do we really need a Bollywood style song in a Jackie Chan film?

Well, die-hard Jackie Chan fans in India may probably not be convinced with the idea. But even if Jackie does introduce a song in his film, we just hope he makes it funny (like most of his films).

Watch: Kung Fu Yoga Thriller

Kung Fu Yoga Completes Dubai Shoot

The Kung Fu Yoga recently wrapped up the Dubai shoot and are headed to Beijing next.

Sonu sood, who’s working alongside Jackie Chan, recently tweeted “N the Dubai schedule of #kungfuyoga ends. Whole unit in the final shot. Will meet every1 in Beijing. Miss u all.” Here’s the screen shot from Sonu Sood’s Twitter.

sonu sood in kung fu yoga, in Dubai

As a parting gift, Jackie Chan gifted a kandura (signed by Chan himself) to Dubai Film & TV commission (DFTC).

The movie was shot at various locations in Dubai, including the Marina Walk and Atlantis the Palm, and there’s a car chase which was shot in Business Bay.

Jackie Chan’s Most Expensive Action Film ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ Co-Stars Sonu Sood

Sonu Sood is starring alongside Jackie Chan in Hollywood flick ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ under the direction of Stanley Tong. His role will be a parallel lead alongside Jackie Chan. The film, directed by Stanley Tong, is currently being shot in Dubai. The crew will then travel to Beijing and also to India for the remaining shoot.

Some time back, buzz was that India’s perfectionist ‘Aamir Khan’ was going to play that role opposite Jackie Chan, but now, it seems things didn’t work out between the two superstars.

Its good to hear that Bollywood (and Indian) actors are thinking big, and are prepared to wait it out, rather than do some insignificant roles.

Priyanka Chopra is already making big news in North America, and now another Bollywood actor intends to do the same, this time in the east. Sonu, we wish you all the best.

Also Read: Hollywood stars willing to act in a Hindi film