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I read somewher that Jackie was still recovering from injuries during this
film's shooting, and it's blatantly obvious he is doubled extensively in the
fight scenes--the great garage fight features a closeup of this guy's face!
You can tell it's not quite him in the pachinko parlor sequence, too. Also,
not much chemistry in my opinion between Jackie and Anita Yuen. Fortunately
this doesn't hurt too much.
Now the good: Doubled or not, the fight scenes are absolutely great! I almost prefer the earlier garage fight though. They're serious and pretty tough, with the great choreography you'd expect. The serious tone of the film is great, too, you can see Jackie act, and do something different, and I think he pulls it off very well, as usual in his less comedic films. And Michael Wong is just the coolest! I love this guy, he's suave, funny, and good with the action scenes. Always a pleasure to see him, even in trash like "Knock off." I like the villain, too though he's unintentionally funny from time to time. This one's got a darker edge, and a good pace, with the fight scenes i mentioned. One of my favorites, actually.
Jackie Loh Chan is a motor mechanic whose father helps the police identify
illegally modified vehicles to confiscate them from boy racers plaguing the
area. During one such confiscation Chan witnesses a car evade capture and
almost kill a policeman. The police are after this car as the driver is
suspected to be criminal and speed freak Cougar wanted across the world by
several different Governments. Chan gets involved in a high-speed chase
that results in the capture of Cougar but when he escapes he targets Chan
for a violent second race.
Jackie Chan movies are never the best place to look if you're after strong plotting and well written dialogue and this is no different. The plot itself is very basic and quite full of holes it's even pretty thin in explaining how Chan gets mixed up in the police business originally. But like I said plotting is never his main thin and only occasionally does the weakness of the plot become annoying mainly when the drama is played out in words exchanged.
At these points the weaknesses of the script are exposed the dialogue is unconvincing and, sadly, totally lacking in humour, preferring a more hard edged approach. It's a shame cause Chan's better films mix his trademark humour and his amazing stunt work this has him at his toughest and, while the stunts etc are all great, it's not a good look for him.
While the fighting and driving are all very enjoyable the director occasionally works hard to spoil them he doesn't do a good job here. Basically all I wanted him to do was set up two cameras and point them at the action. However instead he uses far too many edits and fast cuts to make some fight scenes almost unwatchable. I think specifically to the great scene in the games place. It starts as a tough scene with great martial arts action but the director first edits too quickly and then slows it down in some weird slowmo that blurs everything badly.
The action is all good though the main car chase on Hong Kong streets is good and most of the fight scenes show off Chan's ability and not just his willingness to put himself at risk. Chan is OK as an actor but the intense emotion required by his hard boiled character is not really him. He seems different without his usual comedy material and is at a stretch several times. Nickel is god-awful as Cougar he looks like an 80's throwback (think Airwolf with long hair!) and delivers every line with all the character of a stapler. Yuen is better as Amy Yip and is good-looking and natural despite not having a lot in the way of lines. I was pleased to see Wong in the cast and he gets a chance to show off his John Woo credentials in a few scenes. A cheeky bit of casting has Chris Patten (not really him of course) getting blasted by Jackie's car he was Governor of Hong Kong at the time.
Overall this has sufficient good action to justify watching. However the direction is iffy and it lacks the trademark Chan humour. Still enjoyable to watch for the action but this isn't one of Chan's better efforts.
One of the most important things in a Jackie Chan movie is the direction.
is important for us, the viewer, to be able to clearly see what's going on.
If we can't then we might've just rented a generic Steven Seagal-type
martial arts movie because the fights in those movies are completely
incomprehensible as well.
So then. This movie has some great car-chases and relevant crashes, it has some amazing fight-scenes and a few really cool stunts. Most of it is completely lost due to crap direction. We get slow-motion photography at totally inappropriate moments (in one case even during the middle of a fight) and occasionally we even get an effect that shows 6 frames per second instead of 24. The fact that the camera is always about 5 inches away from the action doesn't help matters.
All in all, it would've been a great movie if it was possible to figure out what was happening on-screen. Pity.
Don't get me wrong I enjoyed it, but I'd much rather watch a better Chan film, such as "Police Story" or "Legend of Drunken master." The Story was good, and the racing was an interesting Idea, but I don't think there were enough fights, and even when there were fights, bad camera work made it impossible to see what was going on. one good thing about the movie, there was one shootout scene, and it was awesome! This one is a good "Renter" but not a "Buyer." If your a fan of Jackie Chan, you need to see this movie, but don't buy it without seeing it first. This is one of the only Jackie Chan films I won't buy, unless I have a lot of money to spare, and i'm in a store with the DVD in front of me.
I saw a very brief summary of this in the paper and wasn't going to watch
because I assumed it was some crummy US tv movie. When I saw it was
a subtitled hong kong actioner I perked up no end. All kinds of bizarre
visions await you in this film including a pachinko parlour fight
twenty semi-naked tattooed men which ends with the place filling with
pachinko balls, and Jackie Chan being beaten up by his
This is slick, expensive-looking stuff, especially the early street-racing scenes which are much more interesting than the standard track racing that dominates the rest of the film. I don't know if it was the effect of the subtitles, but it seemed as though all the english dialogue was really really badly acted, but all the chinese (and japanese?) dialogue was convincing.
However, the main reason for seeing this film must surely be that it's the only kung fu film featuring (former UK Conservative Party Chairman) Chris Patten's haircut.
Jackie Chan goes back to his roots in this exciting, martial arts, car
racing drama. I was kept interested by the film throughout and I rarely
bored due to the adrenaline pumping fight scenes and fairly captivating
Jackie Foh's (Jackie Chan) sister's are kidnapped by a criminal racing driver and Jackie must beat him in a race to get them back. What the plot lacks is intelligence and justification of the ideas. Why did the racing driver kidnap the sister's in the first place? Why does he want to race Jackie? These are things that are never really developed and don't really make much sense. However, what the plot lacks in intricacies it makes up for in intensity and entices the audiences with 'Rocky-esque', uplifting scenes where we see Jackie train to become the best racer there is. It is done in a typical, feel-good way and gets the viewer behind Jackie throughout.
The acting is actually very good and Jackie Chan, Michael Wong and Kar Lok Chin are particularly impressive in their roles as Jackie Foh, Steve Cannon the attorney, and Jackie's racing trainer respectively. However, as usual in Hong Kong films, the Western actors are pretty poor, most notably Cougar (the kidnapper) played by Thorsten Nickel.
As far as the action goes, we see a familiar style reminiscent of Jackie's 'Police Story' days, with some of the best fight scenes you are ever likely to witness, especially a scene where Jackie uses a sledgehammer to fend off his adversaries. The action is presented in such a way where the viewer can actually 'see' what is happening, as a result of clever camera-work, so it is made that more exciting because we know it is real. This is where Chan films always excel; we feel the danger for the character, because we know the stunts are real and not computer generated effects; this adds so much to the exhilaration.
There is not much character development, plot depth or originality, but it achieves to entertain the audience and even at times 'move' them. Definitely a 'must-see' for all Jackie Chan fans and worth taking a look at for those even slightly interested.
A good, exciting, film.
This moving picture deals with Chan Foh To (Jackie Chan) who runs a
small garage in Hong Kong along with his father and two sisters who are
abducted and the only way Foh can get his sisters back is by racing
cougar in Japan. Foh is an expert mechanic an in his spare time, he
also helps the police out by checking vehicles that have been illegally
upgraded. One night, heinous street racing driver named Warner
Krugerman or Cougar (Nickel), speeds past Foh and the patrolmen . Foh
gets into a car and stops Cougar heroically but later takes place the
kidnapping his sisters by the psychotic nasty. In order to release his
kidnapped sisters , sports car mechanic Jackie Chan has to beat a
super-criminal street racer . He now must retrain himself in race car
driving so he can be at his best to race Cougar .
Exciting film plenty of thrills , over-the-top action with impressive and interminable fights including Chan dangling and downing, ingenious stunts and stirring music . This thrilling movie is packed with adventure , intrigue , unstopped action , overwhelming stunt-work and lots of fights but with humor . Jackie Chan is top notch as one army man fighting a group of heinous hoodlums and as always he makes his own stunts like is well showed at the final stock-shots . Awesome , incredible stunts and brief comic touches , as usual ; the picture is well constructed as well as Chan's ulterior films . The lighting-paced storyline slows down at times , but frantic action sequences make up for it . Spotlights of the movie hold several spectacular races , Jackie jumping down and fighting ; including when the nasty Cougar lands in jail, but breaks out eventually on some breathtaking scenes . Furthermore , when Cougar gets revenge on Foh by trashing his garage , a breathtaking final race and other extraordinary action sequences in overwhelming style . This is an acceptable action movie distinguished by nicely cinematography of the spectacular sequences , and contains agreeable sense of humor such as previous entries . Jackie Chan usually forms couple to notorious actress as Maggie Chung and Michelle Yeoh . However in this outing Jackie teams up again to Chinese actress , Anita Yeun , Miss Hong Kong 1990 . This is a passable action movie distinguished by ferocious sequences , and packs silly sense of humor as well as Jackie's subsequent entries . The motion picture is professionally directed by Gordon Chan who filmed various Jackie Chan and Jet Li vehicles and several art-martial movies such as ¨Fist the legend¨, ¨Kung Fu master¨, ¨The king of fighters¨and ¨The medallion¨
The picture achieved success in China and around the world . However , Jackie Chan's failed at Box-office in his American debut ,¨Battle creek brawl¨ . Chan is a fine action star in their own right , he is a hard-working actor and director throughout his long and varied career . Chan usually pays overt homage to two of his greatest influences as Charles Chaplin and Harold Lloyd . He went on playing ¨Cannoball¨ , ¨The protector¨ and "Rumble in the Bronx", until getting all American success with ¨Shangai Knights¨ , ¨The tuxedo¨ , ¨Around the world in 80 days¨ and ¨Rush hour¨ trilogy , and the recent ¨Karate kid¨. Of course , his biggest hits were ¨The Police story¨ series that won the Golden Horse Award, a Chinese version of the Oscar , the first was titled ¨Police story(1985)¨ directed by the same Chan , it was a perfect action film for enthusiastic of the genre ; the following was ¨Police story 2(1988)¨also pretty violent and with abundant humor touches. It's followed by ¨Supercop¨ or ¨Police story 3¨ and finally, ¨Police story IV : Crime story . Rating : Acceptable and passable , the picture has its sensational moments here and there , but also with abundant humor touches mostly provided by its agile star , the super Jackie . It's a perfect action film for enthusiast of the genre though only for Jackie fans .
An odd choice it may be, but in many ways Thunderbolt is my favorite Jackie Chan film (but not his by a very long shot) even though it's far from his best. It's a very slow starter but once it gets going has some of his best stunts, not least because this time it's not played for laughs and when the punches land, people really get hurt. The step-printing in some scenes is a bit irritating and there is one obvious bit of doubling (the fight in the Pachinko parlour is partially shot with a double when Chan was in hospital: the style of fighting and movement is noticeably different), but it's a satisfyingly down and dirty car-chases-and-fights number thanks to the Sammo Hung choreographed fights and Frankie Chan's car stunts. Indeed, there's one amazing car stunt in the final race that has to be seen to be disbelieved, with car flipping over midair and landing upside down on top of another car as it races by: how the hell they shot that for real is beyond me.
First off, I found the plot a bit problematic at times. Not atypical
for a Chinese movie, no offense to the Chinese movie makers intended.
As a race fan, the auto racing scene did not look realistic to me much of the time. I read that they drove at slower speeds and sped up the film, which is exactly what it looks like. They are going way too fast for sports cars in some scenes.
Besides the excess speed, the cars are not smooth. Skilled race drivers are not driving all over the track - that would obviously cause you to lose time, and probably control :) Not a big deal maybe to a general audience, but people familiar with racing will notice it.
Some of the fighting scenes were pretty good, as expected. I did not feel my time was wasted. I just wish they had done the racing in a more realistic way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I normally love Jackie Chan movies but this one was terrible. There are
only 2 or 3 fight scenes all of which are up to normal standard more or
less. The bad thing about this movie is it focuses a lot on car
chasing/racing. The car chase isn't so bad (though not as exciting as
fighting) but the car racing at the end is exceptionally boring.
Basically it takes all of things that make a Jackie Chan film a Jackie
Chan film and leaves out everything except Jackie Chan. Even the
traditional outtakes at the end lack their usual humour.
I suppose to a certain extent it was made worse by the fact I saw one of those horrible dubbed versions. I usually try to see the subtitled version...I wish I could understand Chinese.
I've only seen one Jackie film worse that this one and that was one of his early forays into Hollywood films that didn't turn out so well.
Avoid unless really curious or a lover of motor sports.
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