“I’m a bigger fan of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung,” Adkins tells Inverse, “But my favorite fight ever is in Fist of Legend.
Scott Adkins is still hyped for the 1994 Jet Li movie, Fist of Legend.
The film’s final fight — where Jet Li squares up to Billy Chow in a Japanese dojo — is one Adkins often revisits on YouTube. “I’m a bigger fan of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung,” Adkins tells Inverse, “But my favorite fight ever is in Fist of Legend. The end fight is a perfect fight.”
Whereas mainstream action is full of masks and green screen, Adkins likes to do things on camera. The old way. The Jackie Chan and Jet Li way.
“There’s nothing better than action done on camera. Nothing can beat that,” Adkins says. “You know it’s real.”
With the release of his latest film, the espionage thriller Legacy of Lies, the martial arts actor is now trying to shift gears. He’s not turning away from action entirely — Legacy still has Adkins doing what he does best, which is to kick butt — but he is being more prudent about the projects that come his way.
“The days of doing films full of action for the sake of action are behind me,” Adkins tells Inverse. “I want a good character and a good story I can get behind. That’s what I’m looking for. You can’t be doing somersaults forever. You do get older.”
It’s not just semblance of prestige that the direct-to-DVD veteran is trying to achieve. It’s also a survival strategy. Adkins is the last action hero of his kind, and he knows it.
“The days of the action star are finished,” he says. “The comic books came along and CGI made it possible to replace someone’s face. They get a stunt guy to take off the hood and it’s an Oscar winner. People don’t care, I suppose. But I care.”