If you asked me what my Asian heritage has given me, or how it has affected my life, I could reply with a myriad of things that are mostly wonderful: great food, multilingualism, an ability to turn 60 while still physically looking 35; as well as a few negatives: racism, lactose intolerance, and general indigestion. One thing that might surprise people however, is that my Asian-Australian childhood has gifted me with an unparalleled level of knowledge in action movies.
Initially, that doesn’t seem to quite add up, but it actually makes a lot of sense. As a kid, my family and I always struggled watching television or movies together, due to my parents’ limited amount of English. Dramas, comedies, or romance films were almost impossible to enjoy because it would require my older sister to act as a constant translator. Action however, is a genre that transcends linguistic borders. Its recycled one-liners like, ‘This place is gonna blow!’, and ‘It’s quiet. Too quiet’, coupled with uncomplicated plot lines, including: hostages on a bus (Speed), hostages on a plane (Air Force 1), and hostages in a bank (Inside Man), allowed my family and I to actually enjoy a movie together.
As a result, I had a slightly reversed childhood - watching Die Hard instead of Elf for Christmas (it is set during Christmas time though), and seeing a lot of the Disney classics for the first time while in high school, because I had spent all my primary school years watching every action movie from the 80s, 90s, and 00s. It might seem like an inappropriate amount of violence for a kid, but to me, watching those action films with my family are my purest, most cherished memories.