American Born Chinese is a 2023 American action comedy television series created by Kelvin Yu for Disney+. It follows tenth-grader Jin Wang (Ben Wang), who is struggling to fit in with his peers. When he is tasked with showing new exchange student Wei-Chen (Jimmy Liu) around, he is unexpectedly thrust into a battle between mythical Chinese gods, including Sun Wukong (Daniel Wu) and Guanyin (Michelle Yeoh).
The series was a critical and commercial failure. It was praised for its visuals and action sequences, but criticized for its writing, pacing, and characters. Most of the “homage” used and utilized came out as parodies and jokes with paltry execution as well as feeling rushed.
The series was reportedly made on a budget of $100 million; which was wasted on a poorly-written and executed series. Packed with clichés and stereotypes, and the characters were one-dimensional and underdeveloped.
The stars of Everything Everywhere All at Once were wasted on this regurgitated aim at the Chinese audience.
It’s clear that Disney still doesn’t understand how to tell stories of and about Asians specially a demographic of those American Born Chinese. Even to go as far as whitewashing the Peach Banquet to look like the Oscars.
The cinematography felt forced which was obviously trying to emanate a certain feel to the pace of the series but fell short in its execution and editing where the stories didn’t come together. An attempt at parallelism was also apparent where nothing lined up with the stories.
Wire Fu was employed but it obviously failed to capture the grace and elegance of the practice. The actors may have just as well done regular kung fu the way it was shown in the series.
Just skip American Born Chinese altogether. Waste of time.