In the 2010 film The Expendables written by David Callaham and Sylvester Stallone, there is a character named Yin Yang played by Jet Li. The name Yin Yang is definitely no coincidence. I believe that Stallone or Callaham chose this name simply because Jet Li’s character is Asian. It is funny because Yin and Yang are originally a Chinese philosophy/symbol. The character Yin Yang in The Expendables is Vietnamese.
Throughout the film it seems like Yin Yang can’t do much on his own. He would get in a fight and would have all of his flashy kung fu techniques only to be beaten up and thrown around by someone who is taller than him.
The character Yin Yang is based solely on Asian stereotypes. In one scene he even talks to Barney Ross (Stallone) about how small he is and how he works hard and needs money and gets injured easily because he is shorter and weaker than his taller adversaries. These are ALL racist stereotypes associated with Asian people. We all know theses stereotypes they can be found especially in the mass media. There are even a songs about Asian stereotypes. Here are some song that are about Asian stereotypes: Tai Mai Shu, Ching Chang Chong, and I’m a Korean.
You would think that someone who has mastered various styles of kung fu can defend himself. I think that Jet Li deserves more credit and a better role than that. He is an accredited martial artist, in many different styles such as Wushu and various Northern and Southern styles of kung fu, and actor yet is playing the role of a stereotypical Asian male that gets beat up without Ross there to save him.
It is quite interesting because Sylvester Stallone doesn’t know how to fight . Yes Rocky doesn’t know how to really fight! He is an actor. I also find it quite interesting to see that Jet Li will not be making an appearance in The Expendables 2. One can only wonder why..