A dark and handsome true-crime thriller about kidnapping and police corruption in Hong Kong. Once of Jackie Chan's most serious roles, but still overflowing with spectacular acrobatic ... See full summary »
Two twins are separated at birth, one becoming a streetwise mechanic and the other an acclaimed classical concert conductor. Finally meeting in adulthood they each become mistaken for the other and entangled in each other's world.
Teddy Robin Kwan
Agent Jackie is hired to find WWII Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara desert. He teams up with three bundling women (the 3 stooges?) who are all connected in some way. However a team of ... See full summary »
Dragon is now transferred to be the police head of Sai Wan district, and has to contend with a gangster kingpin, anti-Manchu revolutionaries, some runaway pirates, Manchu Loyalists and a corrupt police superintendent.
This action movie unfolds with the story of Bei, a salesman at a workout equipment store, who harbors dreams of adventures. It all starts when on one normal dull day, Bei follows his ... See full summary »
Jackie, a cop, participates in a sting operation on an international spy-ring. But when one of them (Tsui) gets away, Jackie is ordered to apprehend him. This leads Jackie all over the globe starting with Tsui's sister in Australia. The story follows him as he tries to stay alive and capture the villain. Written by
P. Wong <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The only Police Story film in the original quadrilogy that never received an American release by Dragon Dynasty. This is primarily due to Dragon Dynasty having the rights to the first two films via Fortune Star, and then using their previous Dimension Films cut of Supercop for the third. In fact, aside from Japan, New Line Cinema parent company Warner Brothers owns the international rights to the film. See more »
In the snowboard scene, all the close-ups of Jackie show him snowboarding right-handed, but in all the long shots - including where he jumps onto the helicopter skid - he snowboards left-handed, with the opposite foot in front, suggesting that the long shots are of a stunt double. See more »
If you've never seen a Jackie Chan film before, this is a good place to start. I speak from experience, for it is the first film of his that I saw. I must warn you, though: his films are not for everyone. The plots are often pedestrian and sometimes incoherent. They also are usually dubbed, making them seem cheesy. Sometimes I describe him to people as a guilty pleasure, but that may give the wrong impression. What Chan does well is sheer genius. Plot is besides the point. It's not what his films are about.
What, then, are they about? It's hard to put into words. You may have heard him described as a martial artist, a stuntman, and a slapstick comedian. None of those descriptions do him justice. I could add that he's something of an acrobat and gymnast, but even that doesn't sum it up. There is no actor he can be compared to, for his style is unique; it's like he's developed his own art form. These are not "fighting films" in a traditional sense. They're more like the types of acts you might see at a circus, involving props used in astonishing ways and depending on careful choreography and exquisite timing. For example, at one point in this film Chan flips and twirls a heavy stepladder like it was a baton, then sets it down and weaves his own body through the rungs, while fending off attacks from a group of men.
Typically in his films, the acts he performs get increasingly formidable as the film progresses, culminating in some large-scale stunt such as him leaping off a building. But even the little things he does are eye-popping. In this film he's constantly climbing walls with an agility reminiscent of Donald O'Connor. You never know what to expect, for he does different things in each film.
Well, at least that once was the case. Since "Rush Hour," his 1998 American blockbuster, his stunts have become less intricate, and he's begun repeating ideas. It may be that he's getting older, but it also may be that he's moved from Hong Kong to Hollywood. Undoubtedly the recent films have more polish and better production values, which has helped make them accessible to a wider audience. But his earlier work is so full of invention that I'm able to overlook formula plots, bad acting, and cheesy humor. I do have my limits. A few of his films--"The Protector" comes to mind--are so badly done that it doesn't matter that they have cool fight sequences. His films need some measure of competence to work. They are more than a series of routines strung together.
Part of what makes them charming is Chan himself. He is a pretty solid actor compared to some of the leading American action stars, capable of conveying a full range of emotions convincingly. He is particularly good at expressing panic. The character he plays is not your standard tough-guy. He is frequently an inferior fighter to those he confronts. When hit, he grimaces in pain. When faced with the opportunity, he runs. He survives by a mixture of quick wits and luck. He is far more a throwback to Keaton and Chaplin than a martial arts master.
Of course, I won't call this film or any other by Chan a masterpiece. Perhaps I'm too conventional. If the purpose of films is to entertain, his succeed brilliantly. Whether they appeal to you depends on your taste, but one thing you cannot do is claim he's untalented. It may not be a talent you're used to, but it's one that's likely to remain unparalleled.
18 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?