Saturday, November 27, 2010

REVIEW: Agents of Secret Stuff by Ryan Higa and WongFu Productions

Ryan Higa Agents of Secret Stuff
written by: Mr. APA

So people are probably wondering, wtf?  You're reviewing a YOUTUBE video!?!?!?  You going to start reviewing WongFu Weekend videos too?

Arden Cho Agents Of Secret Stuff
I too would kill for her
Here's why we're doing this, this narrative film may arguably become the most watched Asian American Narrative film of all time.  Think about it, Ryan Higa has 2 million subscribers and his videos easily break 3.5 million views if not 4 million views.  If we look at that as "box office" that would be (12 dollars x 4 million views) a 50 million dollar grossing film. 

Wait, 50 million dollar film?  What the hell are you talking about? (as KassemG would probably say)  If you combined the grosses of every important/major Asian American Film, we're talking Better Luck Tomorrow, Saving Face, The Motel, West 32nd, Red Doors, Finishing the Game, the total box office grosses would probably break 5 million dollars meaning that ten times as many people will see "Agents of Secret Stuff" than every other major Asian American production ever created.  The future of Asian American media is going to happen online where the competition is actually equal and the winners are determined by the audiences, not hollywood executives.

REVIEW: [TONS OF SPOILERS, watch it here first]

Ryan Higa Agents of Secret Stuff
Ryan Higa plays Aden, a top secret agent trainee for the Agents of Secret Stuff (basically a good reason to do some A.S.S. jokes without getting flagged) who having spent his life as an A.S.S agent, must complete one final mission before he can become an official Agent of Secret Stuff.  He must protect a nice piece of A.S.S (see what I did there? - i warned you about spoilers) in Taylor (played by the lovely Arden Cho in what feels like her coming out party to the world.. and a great one at that)  from the Society of Not So Good Stuff (S.I.N.S). 

Ryan infiltrates a high school and in a great fish out of water set up, must learn how to adjust to normal high school life while protecting Taylor.  In a almost tragic way, Aden completely missed out on any childhood or social development and must live in endless paranoia that everybody is out to get him or Taylor.  This leads to some great cameos by SMOSH and especially KassemG (who kills it in a role he was born to play, complete a.s.s.hole).

I actually thought the chemistry was so good between Ryan and KassemG that they really needed their own little web series together.  What do you guys think?
D-Trix Quest
Damn he's handsome... no homo

Things get interesting, Ryan reveals his true identity to Taylor and connects with her (over a great montage with the lovely voices of Kina Grannis and David Choi) but loses her when the S.I.N.S. kidnap her and when Aden is unable to defeat the S.I.N.S. agent (Quest Crew's D-Trix), Taylor's inner "A.S.S." agent powers come out and she kicks some real ass.  The D-Trix thing was actually the one thing that was bothering me the whole time.  Until this point, I kept saying to myself, D-Trix is way too damn good looking to be a nerd so I was quite happy when it was revealed he was a S.I.N.S. agent.

Romeo Must Die
How about we just shake hands?

Aden and Taylor run back to try to make the homecoming dance but it's too late.  However, it's not too late for what is arguably, the most important part of this film.  Aden and Taylor KISS!  Can you believe it, an Asian American male in a film actually gets the girl!  That never happens!  Do you guys remember Romeo Must Die?  In the 2000 film starring Jet Li and Aaliyah, Jet Li has to kill like fifty million gangstas to save Aaliyah and does he get a kiss in the end?  Hell no!  He gets nothing!  Because Hollywood doesn't think Asian guys like women.  Well Hollywood, here's your proof!  We are not all effeminate, we do like women!

Arden Cho Ryan Higa
Now that's what I call progress!!
I actually wasn't sure Ryan and Wong Fu had the guts to pull this off, but they did it and Asian American men all across the world are forever faithful.  If one more Asian guy gets laid because of this, then it was all well worth it.

Overall, Ryan Higa is consistent in his hilarious YouTube tone.  The film is funny, paced excellently, well edited, perfectly produced, (great music as well), well acted and a just an overall enjoyable film.  This will be controversial to say but I truely feel that had Ryan Higa been white, and this film got over 4 million hits, I'm almost sure the Wong Fu/HigaTV phone would be ringing off the hook but sadly, I'm almost sure it isn't.  I guess you have to be like Fred and get less viewers, subscribers and have more poorly produced videos to get a deal at Disney.

But I digress.  Watching this video is the exact reason this blog exists.  If Asian Americans are going to ever have a chance, it's going to be because of filmmakers like Ryan and Wong Fu who went and made it themselves.  One day, when Ryan Higa is a leading man in multiplexes all across the world, we'll look back at Agents of Secret Stuff and realize, this is the moment when these things went from fun YouTube skits to real films.

Grade: A

Stray Observations: (random funny lines or things i enjoyed)

" I got you, Jose B "

"Good work today guys.  I was kidding..."

Taylor is a Wong Fu fan, she throws all the Wong Fu awkward animal toys at Ryan.

"What?  Unicorns don't even exist... in North America... probably"

"I'm not really mexican"

"Your face is going to be so ugly when I'm done with your face because... it's kind of handsome right now but..."

Something about the word shuttlecock is really funny.

"Probalby didn't see the... Piso Mojado sign"

"I know she can only read from left to right"

"Hah, don't you mean, Home-no-one's-coming-dance?"

Vinram's faces are awesome.

"Taylor, have you ever wondered why your parents are black?"


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have been thinking that in Americas, there are movies and TV series where all main actors are white and where all actors are black, but I have yet to seen a movie or TV series where the main actors are all Asians given that there is a large Asian American population there. Great work to Ryan and Wong Fu. Hopefully, this is the start of greater things to come. No... It is not hopefully... it is definitely!!!

  3. excellent review, however i would like to point out Jet Li does not kiss any girls in any of his films not because the directors dont want him to or its not written for him to, but because Jet Li loves his wife very much and considers even the act of kissing another woman on screen as cheating. he said so in an interview, and i am too lazy to look up the sources for you.

  4. Great review, I loved everything you loved which is..everything in the movie :'D

    Awesome (:

  5. haha i cant believed i watched the whole thing!! but it was amazing and freaking hilarious so it was totally worth it :D

  6. @ kevin, Romeo Must Die originally had an ending where Jet Li kisses Aaliyah, but they ran it through some focus groups who didn't like it, so they cut it out.

  7. First off, I agree with the D-trix comment-- what a babe!
    This short film I have watched twice already, and I'm sure I'll watch it again when I have time.
    I love the actors, the humor, and well the whole darn thing.
    I hope there are more short films to come!
    Here's to hoping a ton of asians got laid.

  8. ahaha the black parents one..

    actually, i think the storyline was a bit too fast-paced .. some parts unreal (besides the stuff that are obviously unreal..) but of course it's just a 30 min. video but anyways

    imagine if they did make a movie? i swear, with only wong fu, ryan and the cast, they can totally sell at the box office.. wait i realize you said something similar to that.. in which i agree 10000%.

  9. this was an awesome (and quite touching, really) review. you make me feel the future of asians in mainstream entertainment is a bright one. :)

  10. Awesome movie and everything else you guys are doing! I`ve watched the movie twice in one day, it is just the most hilarious thing ever! Now you have a Russian American fan ;) And it’s a female!

  11. Totally agree with the box office comment. I mean seriously if WFP made an actually movie, it do amazingly well not just domestically, but internationally as well with their current fan base and if you add Ryan Higa and the other actors, A-plus movie right there. I'm sure many agree with your review as well as many who hope for the day that these talents save the media industry

  12. awesome movie! I couldn't take my eyes off of it! Not even the bloopers!