I have spent a lot of time thinking about who I should present to you, dear readers, as my first foray into the Pajiba 10. Because inevitably, these sorts of nominations reflect back on the writer. Do I want to impress you? Intimidate you? Pander, please, suck up? Do I go obscure, or pick a zeitgeisty fave of the now? Do I throw up my hands, say “fuck it,” and nominate a cartoon character?
(I couldn’t decide if I’m more attracted to Rick Sanchez or One-Punch Man, so that idea was out.)
In the end, I opted for honesty. And I know it’s not particularly progressive of me as a modern woman, but I have to say it: I love a man who kicks some ass. That’s not to say that I don’t also love a man who speaks eloquently, helps children, saves puppies, cooks and reads a nice thick book on the subway. I love a man in glasses. Heck, my husband rocks a man-bun. My libido is all over the place (read: easy).
And when I say I love a man who kicks ass, I don’t even really mean “man” — I mean anyone who looks like they could protect me in a dark alley. Spending my formative years watching Buffy has ruined me, and now it takes more than a little flash of protein-shake-and-CrossFit muscle to turn me on. It’s not what the body looks like, but how the body is used. I want people who really learned their fight choreography, or better, people who choreographed their own fights. I want long takes with little editing, so I can see that the actors really know what they are doing. I want danger and creativity. I want to be in awe of just how much the human body is capable of. I want the polar opposite of whatever the fights in Netflix’s Iron Fist were supposed to be.
I want me some Donnie Fucking Yen.
And as you all analyze your options for this year’s Pajiba 10, I would humbly ask that you consider just how much you probably want some Donnie Yen yourself.
Since this is a thinker’s guide to hotties, I suppose I should come up with some timely justification for my pick. This past year has been good to Mr. Yen, to be sure — his blind warrior monk Chirrut Îmwe stole Rogue One out from under from that little rolling BB-8 bastard, and I have already rhapsodized at length about Yen’s palpable sexual tension with Vin Diesel in xXx: The Return of Xander Cage elsewhere on this site.
But the thing is, Donnie Yen is basically timeless. This year is the right time to vote for him, because EVERY YEAR is the right time to vote for him. The guy is in his mid-50s and has acted in 70+ films. He directs, he produces, and yes — he choreographs his own fights. He brings the emotion, even when his fists are down. He has been in some great movies, and he has single-handedly redeemed some terrible movies. When the Weinstein Company set out to make a (pointless) sequel to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, they needed someone to fill the Chow Yun Fat-shaped hole in the story as a new love interest for Michelle Yeoh. Naturally, they went straight to Donnie Yen. Sure, the movie was sort of an unnecessary mess, but it was almost worth it to see Yeoh and Yen together on screen.
But enough of this jibber-jabber. Let’s appreciate the fine form of the man in question! Obviously you can never go wrong with some Ip Man Yen:
Then there is almost-but-not-quite Jedi Yen:
And here is uncomfortably attractive Monkey King Yen:
I’d show you how good he looks in a suit but I don’t have the rights to any of the red carpet shots, so do me a favor and go google “Donnie Yen Suit” and look at the images. I’ll wait.
Wasn’t it worth it? The man knows how to fill out a jacket and tie!
Want to see Donnie Yen fight with himself in a fat suit?
I don’t know what they’re selling but I’ll take it!
There is even the basket of craziness that is 2014’s Iceman, where Donnie Yen is frozen for a few hundred years, then wakes up and has to pee:
Basically, no matter what mood you’re in, there will be some sort of Donnie Yen to match it. He is a man for all seasons. He is a man for all Netflix queues. And this year, I hope he’ll be a man in the Pajiba 10. Thank you for your consideration. I’ll leave you with this clip of Yen fighting Mike Tyson, just because.