I’ve spent the better part of the last three years contributing to a massive book celebrating the action star. Guys and gals who have spent their careers fighting in front of the camera. Many of these amazing and underappreciated people will fall under the radar and this book (which you can pre-order here) belongs to them just as much as it does Sly or Van Damme. One such performer is the amazing Jino Kang. He’s only appeared in a few films but this guy is out of this world, a complete badass. The film I saw that would bring him to my attention was a low-budget indie actioner called FIST 2 FIST which he also wrote and directed.
Ken Min (Jino Kang) runs a youth center, he’s constantly trying to help teenagers get off the streets and gives them work, a place to live, and teaches them mixed martial arts. When a grant doesn’t come in, he will not have the money to keep the center open. His past is about to catch up with him when his old buddy Joe (Bill Duff) is released from prison and is still holding a grudge. The young couple that had been murdered by Joe just so happen to have been the parents of the young man Ken has taken under his wing. Redemption is the key to allowing Ken to go on with his life and he’s willing to give his own life in order to set things right when Joe puts Ken and his students in an underground fighting tournament.
The movie starts out with a bang so you get a sense of Jino’s style, but it’s only a glimpse. The movie then moves along at a slow to moderate pace, building some tension and exploring Jino’s character and the tragedy that’s haunted him for many years. When the action does kick in, it blows you away. Jino Kang practices Hapkido and it’s pretty amazing how he uses it within the film. His fighting style is unique and deadly. I love how he carries himself onscreen, he has that every-man quality that’s easy to identify with. So when he does begin to kick ass, it feels like he’s one of us. He’s someone we can root for and you believe he’s that guy. Jino Kang is an action hero like no other and we need to see more of him. The script (which he wrote) is just as much thought-provoking as it is a generic action film. Kang is a badass, and he will make you see it whether you want to or not. He’s not going to go down quietly, he’s going to fight every step of the way and you all should take notice of Jino Kang.