...and Hollywood conveniently has a movie to back it up

Those of you who camp out on our Facebook are well aware of Rick Yune's new movie, Olympus Has Fallen (2013).  Here's the trailer in case you haven't seen it already:

Blogger Angry Asian Man writes:
Oh hell no. So you couldn't get enough of those villainous North Korean invaders in Red Dawn? Well, I have just the movie for you. In the newly released trailer for Olympus Has Fallen, evil North Korean terrorists infiltrate the White House and capture the President. Think Die Hard in the White House, but not to be confused with that the other upcoming Die-Hard-in-the-White-House movie White House Down.

In Olympus Has Fallen...Good ol' Rick Yune plays Kang, the North Korean terrorist who disguises himself as a South Korean ministerial aide. Those sneaky Korean bastards!

...If you ask me, this movie's premise is even worse than Red Dawn. At least in that movie, the bad guys just launched a direct, full-scale invasion. In Olympus Has Fallen, the plot hangs on the fact that the inscrutable villains disguise themselves as Good Asian Allies -- but surprise! Of course, evil all along.

...Olympus Has Fallen opens in theaters on March 22. Expect a few reactions like this. You were warned.
To which actor Edward Hong remarks:
I see this and although I'm scratching my head at the hilarious premise, I also see a WHOLE lot of Asians being employed from this film. Would I turn a film like this down if I got a part in it? No, I wouldn't. Do I blame Rick Yune for playing the head bad guy? No. As long as he plays the role with some BALLS, then I am happy for him.

...it's so easy to judge from the outside world, but as an asian/asian american actor, while opportunities are CERTAINLY growing, turning down a STUDIO film would be a bad move for most folks. There is a severe rarity of established Asian American actors that can actually turn down a role like this but ultimately, it is up to the actor to determine whether or not this is crossing the line for them. Personally, this looks a LOT better than the Red Dawn remake.

American films need some sort of foreign baddies. It used to be the Soviets. Then it was the extremist Taliban/Al Qaeda. Now it's the North Koreans. (While Middle Easterners are still villains every now and then, it is not as touchy as using North Koreans).

... also when was the last time Rick Yune played a main role in a studio film? The last time I can remember was Die Another Day.
Just to give you guys some background, I must point out that this is the second time Yune has done a studio film since Die Another Day (2002) - a whopping eleven years ago.  And in that film, he played a North Korean villain as well.

Now, Olympus Has Fallen comes fresh off the heels of Red Dawn (2012), which starred Will Yun Lee as a North Korean villain.  Lee was also in Die Another Day with Yune (for about five minutes), where he also played a North Korean villain. You following so far?

'Cause now...there's this:
North Korea vowed on Thursday to launch more long-range rockets and conduct its third nuclear test, saying that it would build up its capability of striking the United States after the United Nations’s expansion of sanctions against North Korea.

The North’s threat was the boldest challenge its new, untested leader, Kim Jong-un, has posed at his country’s longtime foe, the United States, and its last remaining major ally, China, and rattled governments in Northeast Asia that are undergoing sensitive transitions of power.

In a statement issued through state-run media, the National Defense Commission, the North’s highest governing agency, headed by Mr. Kim, said that “a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the D.P.R.K. one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it” will be “targeted” at “the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.”

The statement, which used the acronym for the North’s official name, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, did not clarify when it would conduct such a test, which would be the first since Mr. Kim came to power after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, in December 2011.

~ Choe Sang-Hun, The NY Times, 1/24/13
Coincidence? I think not.


  1. I'd go see it on principle. Rick is the father of two of my children and we are madly in love. I support my man.

    Do I blame Rick Yune for playing the head bad guy? No. As long as he plays the role with some BALLS, then I am happy for him.

    That's the point. If he's going to play a badass, then play the hell out of it. Go HAM or don't do it at all.

    1. I tend to see where both men are coming from.

      Like AAA, I'm a paying viewer, an audience member, yes...I want to see Rick Yune. I'm willing to watch him in anything. But after a while, it's not enough just to see him in something; I want to see him in an awesome role. This movie, however, is bullshit. I don't want to sit in a theater while the hyped up future mass shooters and serial killers of America cheer on Gerard Butler as he mows down POC.

      ...So I'll have to wait until it's on Netflix.

      As someone who's toiling away in the industry, Edward makes a great point (as always). A lot of actors of color are just doing the best they can with the very little that they're given. So here's hoping Rick Yune will do what I've officially dubbed the Jeremy Lin: make sure yo' check is at least seven figures. If the pay ain't in the millions, tell 'em to go fuck themselves.

    2. Bad news Amaya..... your children have siblings!

    3. Hmmm...I don't know if I want to see this movie.I hate movies that comes close in reminding me of the end of the world.

      Likewise about the AAM and! Edward Hong perspectives the movie. With Ed,it gives Asian actors like him to be put in roles that don't make them look like jokes or just be stuck in anime fiction flicks,but I also get AAMs point also. Yes,it does gives Rick Yune a chance to present Asian actors in roles to be seriously in..and in our case..show off their sexiness.However,the thing that bothers me about the role is how the Asian male actor stereotype will gradually change from being a non serious sexless character into terrorists. Now that the world knows who Kim Jong-un is and the things his father stood for, it seems that movie have found another slick way of keeping stereotypes on Asian male actors.,by playing North Korean terrorists.To me, I see this as keeping them type casted.

    4. I'm with Ankhesen, I don't want to support movies that attack people of color however I will support Rick Yune so I will wait til its on netflix. I really hope they stop with all these hate movies. After all this bad media they wonder why there are so many hate crimes! Movies like that really brainwash people. I still remember my Muslim friend being bullied because people thought she was a "terrorist"

    5. "I don't want to sit in a theater while the hyped up future mass shooters and serial killers of America cheer on Gerard Butler as he mows down POC."


    6. Was wondering when you'd show up.

  2. Yeah, they tend to release media of this nature during wartime. So I guess this is one way to prep the US public for it or at least to maintain some nationalistic/racist sentiment.

  3. You know, let this be a testament to the magnetism of Rick Yune. You know they chose him deliberately. I already hate this movie, but I can't wait to see Yune...and the rest of you are right there with me.

  4. I'll watch it...its like die hard...2013 edition

  5. Actually, Rick's last feature film was Ninja Assassin (2009), he played Takeshi "older brother" to Kpop megastar Rain's character Raizo who wiped the whole Ozunu clan. Great movie if you haven't seen it check it out. Netflix!

    1. Feature film, yes, but as Hong points out, I don't believe it was a studio film. Wholly different caliber.

      And we've been obsessed with Ninja Assassin here at the Narrative for three years now, come to think of it.

  6. America in a nutshell:

    Asian men don't exist unless (1) whites want to mock and humiliate us or (2) they want to watch us get murdered.

    Meanwhile whites are losing their shit over one movie where a black slave kills white slaveowners. Fucking hypocrits.

  7. So not here for the "yellow peril" propaganda films. *gag* I want actors of color to work but not in projects that carry over negatively into real life. :(

    I find it telling ... NO Asian actors with talent can be found when they need an Asian person for a lead role (so they opt for yellowface) BUT as soon as they're casting the bad guy they can magically come up with a talented Asian actor.

  8. I would see it just for Angela Bassett being a kick butt sistha and I'm jumping on the Rick Yune train

  9. Wasn't Rick also the villian in Fast and Furious?? I'm not too familiar with him but I think I distinctly remember seeing him die already (as most Asian villians do). I could be mixing it up with Ninja Assassin. Anyway. Anyone see this article? Posted by Racebending.com http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/04/olympus-has-fallen-anti-asian-slurs/63742/

  10. Having seen the original Red Dawn and not the remake or this Olympus movie, I have a bit of bias. The premise, at least of the original Red Dawn, is hardly offensive given context of the time. Any time a threat comes along, movies like that are bound to come up. But the fact that Asian actors/actresses are rarely found in positive roles does just suck. I can imagine Olympus is another prime example like Westerns always portraying Native Americans as savage enemies, save the token..

    Olympus seems like such a stupid movie.


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