Martial arts comedies had a great run in the late ’90s and early ’00s, but have been woefully absent from American cinema in recent years. That’s all set to change with The Paper Tigers, a feel-good crowd pleaser chock full of laughs and kung fu action that dazzled audiences on the festival circuit last year but will only be available to the rest of us in May, when it finally releases in theaters and on demand.
The story follows three former kung fu prodigies who were known as the Three Tigers in their heyday, but have fallen apart (physically and otherwise) as middle age set in. But when they find out their mentor was murdered, the three reunite to find out what happened to their Sifu and bring justice to whoever did him dirty.
It’s a pretty basic set up for a movie like this, but the joy is in the heartwarming execution, which blends big laughs with stellar stunts to create a movie that will work on just about anyone.