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Quentin Tarantino is as much of a critic and film historian as he is a filmmaker. The Pulp Fiction director is often as candid as any other reviewer when it comes to sharing his opinion on cinema.

This was the case when he discussed the kung-fu film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. An avid fan of the film, Tarantino couldn’t believe it was being compared to another action flick in The Matrix.

Quentin Tarantino grew up on kung-fu movies

Quentin Tarantino posing while wearing a black jacket.
Quentin Tarantino | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Tarantino has been a fan of the kung-fu genre ever since childhood. He credits his martial arts fanaticism to the fact that audiences truly embraced the genre during the Oscar winner’s formative years.

“I’m very fortunate in being part of the childhood generation that was growing up in the 1970s, when the first big kung fu explosion happened in America,” he once said according to UPI. “You know, when David Carradine’s show Kung Fu and Bruce Lee and Five Fingers Of Death, the whole big explosion that happened in like 1972 and 1973, and then started to taper off in 1975. So, I was alive, I was conscious during all this time.”

But even after the genre began to decline in popularity, Tarantino’s fascination with the genre remained.

“And, then what happened is after that, from 1976 on, the genre really died in mainstream America, but was kept alive by the black community,” he continued. “So then all the films were like opening up in South Central L.A. And the same thing everywhere else, in Detroit and D.C. So they kept ’em alive. I still went and saw them all, I grew up with them. I mean, martial arts films to me are one of the sub-genres of my life. To me, that is like one of the greatest staples in cinema.”

Quentin Tarantino didn’t like critics comparing ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ to ‘The Matrix’

Given his interests in the martial arts genre, it’s easy to see why Tarantino would be a fan of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The 2000 martial arts adventure was a global commercial hit that enjoyed much critical acclaim. But the Django Unchained filmmaker felt that even critics who complimented the movie made a mistake comparing it to another action hit.

“The most depressed, pissed off or disappointed, whatever you want to say, I ever got of film critics, is when Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon came out,” Tarantino said. “And the only analogies they could make to it was The Matrix. We’re talking about one of the most popular genres of cinema as far as the planet Earth is concerned, and (the critics) have so little knowledge of it, that they have to bring up The Matrix as the only example they can come up with.”

This apparent popular comparison made Tarantino question the legitimacy and integrity of certain film reviewers.

“I mean, critics are supposed to be film historians. They’re supposed to be our film professors for average American Joes out there. So, I think they all accept money under false pretenses when they got paid money for writing those reviews! Because they weren’t doing their job, at all. It just shows how ignorant they were,” he continued.

Quentin Tarantino was planning on doing another kung fu movie after ‘Kill Bill’


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After filming the kung fu epic Kill Bill, Tarantino was strongly considering doing another film in the genre. Only this film would be spoken entirely in Mandarin.

“I enjoyed shooting all the Japanese stuff in Kill Bill so much that this whole film will be entirely in Mandarin,” he once told Total Film (via Movie Web) in 2004. “If you’re not up to watching it with subtitles, I really want to do a full-on dubbed version.”

The film was supposed to come out before Inglourious Basterds. But the actor never seemed to get around to tackling the project. Instead, the film he made after Kill Bill ended up being Death Proof.