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Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Sammo Kam-Bo Hung,
Stanley Sui-Fan Fung
In late 19th Century Hong Kong the British may rule the land, but the pirates rule the waters. Reluctantly, the Coast Guard is given money to fight these pirates, but the pirates themselves have many contacts (that is, bribed officials) in the government, and seek to thwart the Coast Guard's efforts to eliminate them. One Coast Guard officer is Dragon Ma, who is determined that his beloved Coast Guard will not be made fools of. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
Two thumbs up, and making you walk the plank, like a pirate...
Okay, let's judge this film overall, and not just by the fighting, which is obviously the best thing about this film.
The sets are very good, and you can tell that this was a big-budget film for the time. You get the feel of being in colonial turn-of-the-century Hong Kong. The costumes add to this feel too, not to mention the fact that a lot of the buildings used actually ARE Hong Kong landmarks from all those years ago. On top of this, there's the fact that the film ages less because it is a period piece. Police Story might as well be called, "Eighties Story." Acting - well, although I watched this movie in Chinese with English subtitles, and with English dubbing, I cannot find anything wrong with the acting. It's all done pretty well, with the obvious quirks that make Hong Kong movie acting what it is: strained facial expressions, a lot of pointing, and a lot of laughing that is laughable itself.
Sound - not very good, but when you consider that all the sound had to be re-dubbed, it makes sense, and allow for more leniency.
The plot is not wafer-thin, as has happened in earlier Chan movies, but this isn't Pi. To be honest, it's about as complicated as a Jackie Chan movie is ever going to get, and if the only reason for watching a kung-fu movie is plot, you're an idiot, anyway.
Right, then - action - and boy oh boy, this film is full of incredible action. I have over sixty Jackie Chan films in my collection, so I know what I'm talking about when analysing his films. Project A ranks among the best of his films, when looking at the action. There are so many fights staged, and so many pay-offs. You get to see Jackie, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biu fighting each other, and the bad guys in such a fast, furious, and creative way that this is an action movie you'll never forget. Dick Wei is muscular and mean as the head of the pirates, and is a formidable foe, who forces the three brothers to come together to dispose of him.
As usual, the stunts would not have been allowed in Britain or America, but hey, this is Kong Kong, so let's blow these guys up, and watch them flip and fly across the set for our own satisfaction.
Overall, this is a top notch film, with wonderfully edited fights, excellent creativity, and superb Chanesque humour along the way. It's a showpiece of the efforts of the three special ones of Hong Kong cinema in the eighties, and any fan of Hong Kong cinema should only miss this at their peril.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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