My experience: saw the movie in a pretty packed house in Berkeley, California, a place known for its liberal mores. The first fight scene comes on and when the combatants start flying up walls, I’m surprised to hear a good amount of people laughing.
It wasn’t an excited or delighted laughter brought on by the beauty of the action on screen. It seemed like a derisive laughter, based on the observation: “oh, that is so fake!”
This is the way I took it, and it really angered me. I said as loud as I dared, “it’s not meant to be realistic!” It might seem like an overreaction, but my response didn’t arise simply because they were ruining the tension of the scene.
I’m Chinese, and the laughter seemed to me to smack of cultural superiority. The crowd was overwhelmingly white and they were laughing at this amazing piece of art that came out of my culture and traditions. They seemed to be saying, this is childish or amateurish because it’s beyond the realm of possibility. The worst part was that it continued throughout the movie (in lesser amounts), even after it had become completely clear that these characters are endowed with super powers.
I can’t imagine laughing out loud during a Shakespeare play just because some of the action is less than realistic, and I think the people in that crowd feel the same way. But why do they feel free enough to laugh at a Chinese movie? Is it because martial arts movies are considered stupid or campy here in America (it’s not our fault the dubbing has historically been bad)?
So I’m asking, did you laugh during this movie? Could you explain your motives if you did? Was this a widespread reaction to the movie? Am I overreacting? I’ve heard people laugh in brainless American action movies, but not to this extent (usually seemed like wise-ass kids, not the adults who were doing it here). Are works of art produced outside of Western traditions held to different standards or looked down upon as inferior, even by “liberal” people who think they are open-minded?
Don’t know if this is the correct forum, but I’m throwing it out there. Thanks for any input.