Alan Ng on Stunt Choreography

ComingSoon’s Jonathan Sim interviewed Expendables 4 stunt coordinator Alan Ng (The Karate Kid, The Spy Next Door, Hidden Strike) about the fight choreography, working with Jackie Chan, and movie franchises he would like to join.

“A new generation of stars join the world’s top action stars for an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Expend4bles,” reads the official synopsis. “Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone are joined for the first time by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia.”

“Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on and the skills to use them, The Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. But new team members with new styles and tactics are going to give “new blood” a whole new meaning.”

Jonathan Sim: With The Expendables 4, the cast is filled with many action heroes. How did you make each actor’s stunts specific to their strengths?

Alan Ng: I wanted to incorporate each actor’s own style into their fight. For instance, Iko Uwais’s choice of weapons is very unique, so we used that. We tried some new and fresh moves with Jason Statham’s fighting style, so it is different to the previous expendables. We were given a lot of freedom from Scott to create something very different and unique.

Out of everyone in The Expendables 4, which actor surprised you the most with their stunt work?

It would definitely have to be Jason. The way he picks up fight choreography straight away, his timing and movement is perfect. He is always willing to do the fights himself along with some hits and bumps too. He is like the old school Hong Kong action stars.

What was the most challenging stunt in The Expendables 4 to pull off?

I would say Jason and Iko’s fight scene. We filmed that fight scene in 1 day and half due to scheduling, so we didn’t have time for previz or footage. Scott, Jason, and Iko trusted us to turn up on the day, rehearse it a few times, make a few minor tweaks then we filmed the fight. It was just incredible how we managed to pull it off.

You’ve worked with Jackie Chan many times over the years. What is the most memorable experience you’ve had working with him?

There are so many. I would say being with Jackie and learning from him all the time it is really a dream come true and an amazing experience. Even now, I’m still learning from Jackie.

In your opinion, what separates a good action scene from a bad action scene?

I would say it really comes down to the rhythm of the fight scene. It needs to flow instead of having one flat beat like a dance. It is also important to pick the right angles to showcase certain movements.

You’ve ventured into American cinema before, with Expend4bles being an example of your talent. Are there any particular movie franchises that you would want to work on next?

I would love to work on John Wick, Mission: Impossible, or James Bond.