Project A (1983) Poster

(1983)

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US Version Stinks
eibon0916 May 2001
'A' Gai Waak/Project A(1983) is known for the physical comedy performed by its star, Jackie Chan. No one does physical comedy with the same type of bravery like Jackie Chan does here. Physical comedy is the hardest kind of comedy. This is because a person has to be in excellent shape to do the kinds of stunts required in physical comedy.

Project A(1983) is my favorite film of the Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung/Yuen Biao collaborations. Film proves why they are the Marx Brothers of Kung Fu Comedy. These three actors are at home when working with each other. The fight scene between the head pirate and Chan/Hung/Biao is done at a frantic pace.

The stunts in Project A(1983) are dangerous and daring. They are also filled with energy and style. The stunt on the clock tower is both amazing and breath taking. When it comes to stunt work, Jackie Chan is the best at taking chances in giving action scenes an ounce of authenticity. The actors make the stunts look easier than they actually are.

Jackie Chan does a brilliant job in the dual role of actor and director. As an actor he gives a simple performance that is transcended by his ability to perform incredible stunts. As the director he films the action scenes with high speed energy. The best film for Jackie Chan as actor and director.

The scene with Chan hanging from the clock tower is a fabulous homage to the famous sequence from the silent comedy, Safety Last. Scene shows the actor's love for silent pictures and the Harold Lloyd film. This scene is a throwback to the glory days of silent comedy. Not only does it gives respect to Safety Last(1928) but also stands on its own as something memorable.

The action scenes in the movie make any similar scenes from the average Hollywood action pic look puny. A pure action film that shouldn't be mistaken for intellectual viewing. The fight scenes are done with imagination and passion. Action scenes from Project A(1983) are just as impressive as the action set pieces in Police Story(1985).

Project A(1983) is an entertaining tribute to the great silent pictures of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Jackie Chan plays a character in the Keaton and Lloyd mold. Its this aspect of Jackie Chan's arsenal that makes him a superstar. Project A(1983) is a great example of a film with the techniques of a silent comedy.

In comparing the USA version of the film to the Hong Kong version, I came to the conclusion that the version released here is a travesty. First, the US version is missing some key scenes that made the film funny. Second, the film was badly dubbed and poorly edited for its US release. If I ever got this film on DVD its most likely I will get the Hong Kong version.

Its a pleasure to see Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung fight side by side in Project A. Their films are usually terrific whenever they appear together. The fight scene in the tea house showcases their similar but slightly different brand of fighting technique. Its a shame that these two haven't done anything with each other lately.

One of the top films directed by Jackie Chan besides Police Story(1985), Armour of God 2(1991), and Project A part 2(1987). Ho-Shan Kwan provides the comic relief as the hard headed Captain Chi. Yuen Biao is good in a role that's over shadowed by Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. A film for fans of action movies and people who want to discover the films of Chan, Hung, and Biao.
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9/10
Great stunts, great fighting
Carl Tano26 July 2001
Incredible movie, it ranks up there with some of Jackie Chan's best movies. It is not to be missed by any martial art-movie fan. The stunts performed in this movie is incredible. The clock tower fall by Jackie Chan is the most amazing one but I also loved some of the falls that Jackie's opponents did, a lot of people must have gotten injured while making this movie. The fighting scenes are top-notch, maybe not quite as good as the ones in Drunken Master II, which still remains my favorite Jackie Chan movie even though this one gets really close. Jackie Chan must be the most exciting man ever to appear in a movie, he risks his life to bring us entertainment, is he dumb, crazy or out of his mind? I don't know, all I know is that he's entertained me more than any other man ever has. Watch this movie and prepare to be amazed.
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9/10
Fun and action-packed
knsevy9 November 2002
Boy, that lead-in stinks of a rotting cliche, doesn't it? But I really do enjoy this movie. Every time it hits cable, I watch it.

Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung play wonderfully off of each other, even in the dubbed version. The story is realistic enough to be compelling, and the action sequences are superb. My personal favorite is the battle on the bicycles in the narrow back alleys.

The one thing that has made Mr. Chan my favorite martial arts actor is the way his movies infuse humor and slapstick into serious fight scenes, and Project A, in my opinion, does that better than any of his other films.

Highly recommended.
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9/10
Jackie's Best
no-skyline26 May 2005
Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao and Samo Heung were all at the height of their considerable powers when this film was made and it shows. This blows just about every other martial arts film out of the water faster than any of San Pao's pirates ever could. With humour, suspense and a half decent plot thrown in to add to the blistering action I found this to be the 'three dragons' most accessible film to a western audience. The humour translates well and three sequences stand out as some of the best action scenes ever put to film the three being Jackie's homage to 'Safety Last' by falling from the clock tower, the bonkers bike chase through increasingly narrow city streets, and the final showdown defeat of San Pao by Jackie, Yuen Biao and Samo (with a little help from Mars and some wayward grenades). This is the pinnacle of Jackie Chans stunt career and is near impossible to better and I doubt that anyone will ever reach this level of stunt excellence again. If you only ever see one Jackie Chan film see this one as it is truly unique.
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10/10
One of Jackie's BEST!!!
Karthik30 May 1999
Project A, I feel, is one of Jackie Chan's best movies. It's one of the funniest, most action-packed, most entertaining movies I've ever seen. I'd give it a 10/10. I must have seen this one at least 20-30 times. If you haven't seen it, please do. Chan and his co-stars, Samo Hung and Yuen Biao are really fun to watch, and the stunts are excellent (the bicycle chase scene, the scene in the clock tower,...). Here in India it's available on video and VCD in a severely cut version- scenes are eliminated for no reason at all. This version runs only 90 minutes or so. See the complete version. I've heard Project A Part II is even better, but I haven't been able to see a good print of it. Along with this, Operation Condor: Armour of God II, I feel, are his best.
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8/10
One of the best from Chan
CooperCom5 December 1999
Pirate Patrol is clearly one of the best and funniest of this film-series with Jackie Chan. It's exciting & funny at the same time and manages to combine this two elements in a successfully way. I remember I saw most of this movies back in the late 80's, and thought they was amusing as hell. The sequel of this one is also good.

(8 out of 10)
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10/10
Possibly the best Jackie Chan movie
niz20 January 1999
Project A combines a complex, twisting plot, a nice historical period setting, typical Chan humour, and of course, many breathtaking fight and stunt sequences. One scene: a bicycle chase though narrow alleys, has to be seen to be believed. The level of invention throughout is awesome, and will never be matched by Hollywood's output. Is this the best Jackie Chan movie? It is definitely a contender, but so many of his films are high quality that it becomes difficult to judge. See it, then make up your own mind.
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His best? Probably!
sahuagin8 October 2002
Many people state that this film is dated by todays standards! I disagree.... The stunts are incredible and the fight scenes are breath-taking!

Anyone who loves films for sets & scenery will have a field day here!

Just one thing....Get the Hong Kong Legends UK 2 DVD pack with AAALLLLLLL those gorgeous extras, interviews, documentaries and everything else! Well worth the extra 5 squid! (sorry US residents....it isn't available over there!)
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8/10
Two thumbs up, and making you walk the plank, like a pirate...
thomas-hardcastle-212 June 2008
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.
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10/10
one of jackie chan's best a masterpiece of action cinema
daworldismine25 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
jackie chan's most well loved, and respected action comedy 'project a' was in many ways the first pure jackie chan movie, and a blockbuster hit that has gone on to win millions of fans. im not going to talk about the story, this is a jackie chan film remember, but as for the action, it still remains some of chan's best, the fight scenes are his best yet, and the stunts remain a joy to watch, the two highlights bieng his bicycle chase, and clock tower fall. the comedy is still very funny, and jackie chan is at his peak, and is at his best here. there is a reason why 'project a' is such a well loved movie, but you need to go and see it for yourself, go buy this movie now, you wont regret it, i highly recommend
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8/10
Chan and co. deliver a powerhouse flick full of moments that can make any action fan squeal
diac22818 January 2009
There are certain cinema ideas that were just meant to work, no matter what the circumstances might be. Jackie Chan fighting pirates easily ranks up there as one of the slickest ideas ever composed. Thank goodness it delivered on the premise. Jackie Chan's Project A is a mesh of action, comedy, and homage to classic slapstick. Within the 100+ minutes you'll see some spectacular fights, even more spectacular physical stunts, hilarious physical humor, and of course, Chan at his best. Unlike the insurance-run Hollywood, the Jackie Chan Stunt Team wasn't afraid of taking risks or getting hurt at the sake of entertainment, and this beat-em-up' underrated classic overpowers any modern-day action film that Hollywood could muster. Project A is silly but viciously raw; and thanks to clever direction and choreography, its one of the better martial arts movies out there.

Project A is about (Yes guys, there is a plot) a group of sailors, Navy-like men trying to stop Chinese pirates from wreaking havoc in the coastline. However, because of corruption amongst the government and the police force, they are unable to receive enough funding to continue the fight and are forced to thwart the terrorism when it strikes on their home turf. Jackie Chan and co. must try to stop the rivalry against the Chinese police force and unravel the web of corruption that's entangling everyone involved and heightening the danger present. Jackie Chan not only starred and directed the flick, but he wrote the script too, and it's quite clever at times. Other times, it can be quite confusing—usually in those instances you are anticipating the next fight, which is never too far away.

In a martial arts movie, we watch for all about the fighting. While Enter the Dragon may have started the obsession and love towards the genre, Jackie Chan and his reliable crew perfected the art in the 80s. Project A is easily one of the best choreographed films of all-time in terms of the action; some of the fights are just flat-out unbelievable. Jackie Chan fights with a bicycle for crying out loud. While the punching and kicking combinations aren't as gruesome as his other films (Drunken Master, Meals on Wheels, Dragons Forever), the elaborate movements and avoidance of damage (example: Chan avoids a man swinging a sword at him for two minutes straight) more than make up for it. Not a single action fan should be disappointed. Plus, just like Chan's best comedic work, there has to be at least one humorous fight thrown in, and Project A delivers in this category as well.

Chan's direction does two things: allows for the action to remain intense, and showcases just how elaborate everyone's movements are. There is no trickery; you shall see elongated shots of hand-to-hand combat that's too precise to be filmed in the United States. While Chan doesn't have the ability to capture emotions like Spielberg or Scorsese he knows how to flesh out the energy and craft of a good fight. And that's why we are watching this, correct? Nobody's acting here is award-worthy, but it gets the job done and maintains its silly-but-serious tone. Sammo Hung gives the best performance of the film as the thief that thwarts Chan's quest for justice and at the same time helps him.

Bottom Line: While perfection or masterpiece isn't achieved here, Project A delivers everything you could possibly want in a martial arts film: amazing stunts, great fights, decent story, good acting, worthy adversary, explosive finale, and a tang of humor. Well-directed and written by the master himself, Project A remains one of Jackie Chan's best work and another example of how his foreign films are far superior to that of his work in America. It's not all his fault though; Hollywood doesn't lust as much over precision and perfection as the Chinese do when staging a fight. Legend of Drunken Master's final fight took months to film; one stunt here required a week of merely convincing Chan before actually filming it----we don't believe in investing that much time towards a couple of minutes. This is called effort, and Chan's career has more effort than twenty-five actors and actresses put together. Project A: Jackie Chan fighting pirates; it's too good to be true. Thank goodness it's true.

P.S. Is it so hard to correctly dub a movie? Buena Vista pretty much butchered this film.
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9/10
Excellent Jackie Chan Film, With Awesome Characters, Incredible Stunts And Magnificent Fight Scenes!
callanvass28 July 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is an excellent Jackie Chan film,with awesome characters, incredible stunts and magnificent fight scenes!. All the characters were great, and the dubbing wasn't too bad, plus Jackie Chan is simply amazing in this!. The story is very cool, and the fight scenes are simply magnificent, plus the finale was excellent!. Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung Kam-Bo have awesome chemistry together, and the film has plenty of funny moments, plus the stunt where Jackie falls off the clock tower was absolutely incredible!. The fight choreography is fantastic, and the setting was really cool, plus the fight at the end was damn cool!. all the characters were very likable, and Jackie as always added some great comic relief, plus this is one of Jackie's best films!. the dialog was funny,and Sammo really surprised me with his agility for a big man, plus the ending was quite funny. This is an excellent Jackie Chan film, with awesome character, incredible stunts and magnificent fight scenes and i say it's a must see for everyone!. The Direction is awesome!. Jacie Chan does a great job here, with great fight choreography, fantastic camera work, awesome angles, and keeping the film at a very exciting pace!. The Acting is excellent!. Jackie Chan is AMAZING as always and is amazing here, he is extremely likable hilarious did some incredible stunts (as usual), had awesome chemistry with Sammo, kicked that ass and was tons of fun to watch! (Jackie Rules!). Sammo Hung Kam-Bo is awesome here, he is very funny, had awesome chemistry with Jackie, moved very quick and was great fun to watch. Biao Yuen is very good with what he had to do, and impressed me a lot with his skills.The Villain was fantastic and extremely menacing. Rest of the cast do fine. Overall a must see for everyone! ****1/2 out of 5
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9/10
review & recommendation
chasethestar13 October 2004
I grew up in the 80s watching many of Jacky Chan's movies. Three of his works that have lasting memories are Project A, Wheels on Meals and Police Story. This is when Jacky is at his peak, so you can expect to see death-defying stunts, great fight scenes, and hilarious comedy.

In Project A, Jacky plays Sergeant Ma Yu-Long, a Hong Kong coast guard officer during the colonial times. The coast guards aimed to defeat Pirate Lo Sam-Pao (Dick Wei), but on the eve of their mission, their vessels were sabotaged resulting in the disbanding of the coast guards. The coast guards were redeployed as police force under the charge of Inspector Chi (Yuen Biao). A series of events, including a fight in a gentlemen club, an arms shipment hijack, a bicycle chase/fight, the eventual revival of the coast guards and a covert operation on Pirate Lo's island. Samo Hung plays Cheok Yat-Fei a funny crook, who was Sergeant Ma's childhood friend.

Thumbs up on: 1) the fight scene in the bar between the police and the coast guards 2) the fight scene in the gentlemen club 3) the escape and ensuing bicycle case/fight on the narrow alleys which ended with Jacky's death defying fall from the clock tower 4) the covert operation on Pirate Lo's island

I strongly recommend Project A to anyone who is interested in Jacky's 80s movies (please note you will enjoy it even more if you understand Cantonese). It features the three brothers Jacky Chan, Samo Hung and Yuen Biao at their best (check out Wheels on Meals too!).

Project A has great props, wonderful stunts, memorable fight scenes, and good humour. This is the real Jacky Chan movie, unlike some of his more recent Hollywood comic.
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Better Than Any Film Jackie Made in the USA
Fufururu24 January 2004
I once watched Jackie on a documentary mention how a specific audience likes his Hong Kong films and a specific audience likes his American films but they rarely overlap. I belong to the former group, and believe this movie is the perfect example why.

The story does not twist or turn much but does have a certain charm and separates itself from any average "beat anyone up" kung fu film - even if a few fights happen for the stupidest reasons. It's all about a group of soldiers put together to get rid of some pirates in nearby waters which is always in competition with the local police force for funding. But the film really entertains through the use of Jackie's stunts and gags. From cycling through the cramped streets of Hong Kong to grenade training in the police academy, you bound to sometimes be in a state of awe - or at least chuckle a few times.

It's amazing some of the stunts Jackie pulled off, including falling from a very high clocktower. If your interested in Jackie's films, or want a high quality kung-fu film then I recommend you have a look at 'Project A'.
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10/10
One of his best. Avoid Dimension version!!
ironmonkey-211 November 2000
Project A is Jackie Chan's tribute to the silent film stars like Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. From the sailors/police brawl then the bicycle chase to the clock tower, Project A doesn't slow down one bit. The presence of his opera brothers, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, made this much better than the sequel although some people prefer the action of Project A II.

If you must, avoid the US release of the movie. The US release has been cut in many scenes:

1)They complete remade the soundtrack. The soundtrack in the original version is what made this movie enjoyable. Where's Yuen Biao's music? Where's the theme song?

2)They really screwed up Sammo Hung's introduction. There was a scene where Sammo Hung was playing mahjong and instead they start with Sammo in the VIP club AFTER Jackie and Yuen go inside.

3)They cut the scene when two sailors sing a children's song that made fun of the police which started the brawl.

4)They cut a scene where a sailor tried to get back at the guy who put speghetti on his face.

5)They cut a scene where the sailors are taking a shower and Yuen Biao made them come out.

6)Where are the OUTTAKES?!! Of all of the cuts, why the hell did they cut that out?

7)Am I wrong, but is that the lamest introduction of any movie ever? A pirate flag, that's original!

They did a really poor job in releasing it just as New Line did with Police Story. The dubbing is horrendous. Only RENT this version if you haven't seen it yet.

Buy the HK DVD version with subtitles and the original soundtrack. It is the only way to enjoy a Jackie Chan movie that was intended to be seen. You will not be disappointed.

Rating: 10/10
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One of the greatest adventure movies of all time
minnguy643 March 2004
This is considered by many Jackie Chan's masterpiece and greatest movie he ever made. I would definitely put it in his top 3. I doubt any American action star could do the fights and stunts in this movie - that is what makes this movie so special, as well as a captivating, rousing story. Jackie plays Dragon Ma, a Coast Guard officer at the turn of the century. There are some phenomenal, unique fight scenes in a bar and a hotel that are absolutely classic. Then you have a classic bicycle chase scene and finally one of Jackie's greatest stunts ever where he falls two stories, crashes through a canopy and onto the ground. Jackie took a week to muster enough courage to do the stunt because it was so dangerous.(The scene had to be shot twice because the first time he fell on his neck which you can see in the outtakes.) Incredible. The story continues as Jackie hunts down pirates with his friends Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao, and anytime you get the three of these action stars together, you can be sure you are going to get plenty of action, humor and fun. This movie is one of the greatest adventure movies ever made and is one that a lot of people do not know about. Unfortunately, the American release really botched up some things from the Hong Kong version. Notice the horribly mismatched background music during the fight scenes and some cuts from the original that do nothing to help. You could use this movie as an example in a film class of how music can make - or ruin - a scene. Still, a must-see movie for any Jackie Chan fan.
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5/10
In 19th century Hong Kong a good coast guard officer battles pirates on the high seas
ma-cortes22 November 2011
This piece period that is set at the turn the century contains numerous nice physical routines . In late 19th Century Hong Kong the British may govern the land , but the pirates rule the waters. There Dragon Ma , a honest coast guard officer ,Jackie Chan , fighting against pirates in "old Hong Kong". Reluctantly, the Coast Guard is assigned the mission to fight these pirates . Dragon Ma is helped by a rogue thief , Sammo Hung , both of whom take on nasty pirates who have many contacts on corrupt officials in the government and seek to thwart the Coast Guard's efforts to vanquish them . At the end takes place a comic Kung-Fu battle between Jackie , Sammo and the pirates in the rousing final.

Chinese costume drama with plenty of over-the-top action , thrills , swashbuckling , ingenious stunts , tongue in cheek and amusing music . This exciting 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 pirates and as always he makes his own stunts like is well showed . Awesome , incredible stunts and brief comic touches , as usual ; the picture is better constructed than Chan's predecessors films . The lighting-paced storyline slows down at times , but frantic action sequences make up for it . Spotlights movie include a spectacular brawl at a bar , Jackie jumping down a building , impressive and interminable fights with Chan dangling and downing , a breathtaking final struggle 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 . Chan pays overt homage to two of his greatest influences as Charles Chaplin and Harold Lloyd . Jackie Chan usually forms couple to notorious actress as Maggie Chung and Michelle Yeoh . However in this outing Jackie teams up again to prestigious Chinese actor Sammo Hung , a fine action star in their own right and also had an American career as successful ¨Martial Law¨ TV series . Both of them starred together several films as ¨Heart of Dragon (1985)¨ which was directed by Sammo . Third protagonist , Yuen Biao, also played some movies with the famous pair as ¨Dragon Forever¨. This is a passable action movie distinguished by ferocious sequences , and packs silly sense of humor as well as Jackie's subsequent entries . Furthermore , moving and thrilling original musical score fitting to action . It's followed by a sequel , part 2 (1987) in which Dragon is back with a new set of action and played by Maggie Chung , Carina Lau and again produced and directed by Jackie Chan.

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 hard-working actor and director throughout his long and varied career . 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. The picture is lavishly produced by the great Asian producers Raymond Chow and Golden Harvest production and compellingly directed by Jackie Chan . 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 .
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9/10
Jackie's Masterpiece.
magilvilla26 February 2000
Jackie will proably never be able to top this film. It is without a doubt his best movie. Funny, fast paced, and full of action and amazing stunts. I was never bored while watching this movie. This should be released in America as soon as possible. Many fans will be grateful.
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10/10
A MUST SEE FOR ANY JACKIE OR ACTION FAN!!
DaWeas00717 July 2000
I happen to come across this one on my recent trip to my local video store and I was VERY pleasantly surprised. Being mainly a Jackie Fan when it comes to action movies, somehow though it seemed I had missed this one, not surprising at all since I seem to come across more and more of his titles after since Rumble in the Bronx and just like everyone else, I can't get enough of Jackie!!! Overall, the movie flowed very nicely. There was very witty dialog, a great story-line (who can't excited when pirates are involved!), and unparalleled action sequences with not only the movie in general, but add to that the scene with Martial Law's Mr. Hung and the bicycle chase scene about half way through the most just adds even more to the fact why I think this movie is definitely up there in the top 5 Jackie movies of all times.

Overall rating 6 out of 5, you won't be disappointed with Jackie Starring and Directing in this one, as he most often does, and does well!
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9/10
The Password is Beat Me Up
SamuraiNixon1 October 2009
While Jackie Chan's previous film Dragon Lord (1982) did not have as much local success as Chan wanted his next film Project A would be an artistic and commercial success. It is the maturation point for Jackie as a filmmaker and would start a string of successes that would help establish Chan as an action auteur. He directed, starred, co-written and even hired two "brothers" in Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (they had grown up together in the same opera troupe and performed as the Seven Little Fortunes amongst others; Sammo was already an established success at this time and certainly is a prodigious presence in this movie) in the first film where they all had decent acting time -- kudos to those who can name the first film they acted in together.

Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) is a sergeant in the Hong Kong Water Police where pirates are problematic on the coastline (they would remain an issue even past WWII), his department is poorly financed, there are interdepartmental squabbles with the landlubber police and their haughty commander Captain Chi (Kwan Hoi-San) and his nephew Inspector Hong Tin Chi (Yuen Biao: Knockabout) and they just had their remaining ships blown up real good (nice model sets in that scene). Project A is the codename to combat these buccaneers. However, it looks bad for the Water Police when they get merged back into the main police force and there is a plot to steal rifles and be sold to the pirates headed by Lo San Po (Dick Wei: The Five Venoms) who ultimately does not seem that bad to me. Later the pirates make the ultimate mistake in kidnapping a ship with a Rear Admiral aboard and take them hostage. This leads to Dragon Ma eventually teaming up with wayward thief and gambler Fei (Sammo Hung) and Inspector Hong to combat these irascible swashbucklers.

There are several stunts in this movie that are truly amazing. Much has been stated about the clock tower fall inspired by Harold Lloyd in Safety Last and with good reason. It is a superlative stunt and still one of my favorites as well as Jackie too. Jackie hangs by a clock hand about 50 feet above the surface and lets go to crash through two cloth awnings until the rude smacking into the ground proving that gravity is indeed a harsh mistress. It would be the first "superstunt" Jackie would do in a film and which would soon be a reoccurring theme in his movies to risk his life to please the audience. All three takes of this life-threatening drop are available to see on the film: two are shown in the movie and one is shown in the outtakes at the end. Every take looks quite painful. Leading up to this situation is another quick stunt that was quite dangerous. He climbs a flag pole to the top while handcuffed so he can unwrap himself from that mast and escape his predicament. But you look at how high he is from the concrete floor below and realize that if he messes this stunt it could be much worse than the fall through the awnings.

The comedic fighting in this film is also quite adroit and amazing in its action direction led by Jackie and Sammo. The first scene between the water and land police is a crazy mêlée of kung fu, throwing objects and spaghetti. It is quite reminiscent of an updated western bar fight. The Keatonesque bicycle chase and action sequence is a brilliant combination of the two. While the scene certainly had been influenced by such films as Sherlock Jr., especially in the bicycle camera view towards the end, Jackie gives it such a unique touch that makes it such an aesthetically pleasing and entertaining spectacle. Add in several other fight scenes and a fantastic finale with the three brothers and the antagonist and you have quite a satisfying film.

Project A was a hit in Hong Kong (19M HK dollars box office) and found critical support there as well. Jackie Chan would be nominated for Best Actor for Hong Kong Film Award; however, this film would win Best Action Design (Jackie Chan's Stuntman Association was even nominated against itself that year in Wheels on Meals) an award it truly deserved. It is also an important film for Hong Kong cinema. It helped push action movies into modern day locales and away from the Qing era and before dominated themes (though this film is considered a period film since it takes place in early 20th century).

While the film may not know what to do with female characters like Wong Man-Ying and the plot is not the most sublimely cohesive -- there is a grenade scene early in the film which seemed a bit excessive, not that funny and did not seem to fit -- this film is consistently fun and beautifully directed (cinematographer Cheung Yiu-Jo does not get enough credit for the work he has done with Jackie Chan). Action aficionados certainly talk about this film though it is somewhat overshadowed by Police Story (one of my favorite films) when they discuss the oeuvre of Jackie Chan. With the humor, the dangerous stunts with complete disregard for human life and the awesome action scenes it is easy to recommend this. I certainly love this film and find multiple viewings rewarding. There does remain one question that I will resolve soon: which film is better: this or the sequel?
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one of the all-time best jackie chan film produced.
kuen19 June 2003
First time I saw this I thought it was a great, funny, stunt filled entertaining film. I was very young then about 8 or 9 and to this day I even track the film down and brought it from the Hong Kong Legends label that includes special features.

One of my favourites with Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao showcasing their incredible and some funny action choreography.

All three should make films again as their on screen work together combined show they are talanted geniuses at martial arts, stunts and action films.

I recommend this to all Jackie Chan fans who haven't seen it, including action fans too. Absolutely one of the top ten best Jackie Chan films.
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10/10
A remind that Jackie Chan was great.
honorhorror3 August 2009
If you were very disappointed by Jackie Chan's recent works, don't make your conclusions too fast that he's just so so. Instead, watch Project A and its sequel.

The movie is not Oscar Stuff, it's not even hot at that year's HK movie awards. However its value purely as a action movie is still recognized until today. To say it made history is not exaggerating at all. Audiences were often awed by the fact that Jackie jumped down from places like clock towers and roofs with no proper protection and no camera tricks at all. This is something Hollywood wouldn't do, therefore it made history.

Artistically, Project A is a perfect blending of comedy and Kungfu. The story centers around two cops and a thief. One cop is a street cop and the other one is a coast cop, and they hated each other. The thief was really good at what he does, but had an unusual friendship with the coast cop. The coming of a pirates' fleet changed all the situation and pushed the 3 into a dedicated fighting. The plot is not very far from a farce, but it created so many chances for the actors to make fun for us. Many chasing sequences are tight, thrilling and goofy at the same time, but it never get you nervous. The pace, the choreography and the fun made it a perfectly entertaining movie even after 3 decades. If the earth doesn't explode in 50 years, this movie will still be one of the best choices of action fans that time.

To say that Project A is Star Wars of the modern Kungfu movies is not exaggerating either. It totally started Jackie Chan's own dynasty at HK movie industry. The whole movie was written, directed and leading-acted by Jackie Chan himself. It would give you some hints why he's so welcomed. These days, we respect him mainly because his glorious old days.
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8/10
cool
rutt13-120 June 2001
A good classic flick! Lots of fun, with great characters, and of course the humor, fighting and wonderful stuntwork that make Jackie's films so much fun! The clock tower sequence is truly amazing, and the villain rules! The three brothers pull off another great ensemble effort, and check out the bike chase! Just a funny, inventive movie!
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Crazy fun!
Monkeyboy_Lives9 September 2002
This is a mad, mad movie. It contains stunts that would be an insurance nightmare to complete in Hollywood. But here, Jackie Chan drops off a clock tower and then does it again, and again! Just to get the shot.

Great stunts, great martial arts, some cheesy humour, but generally a knockout of a film.
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10/10
Clocktower magic
boomboompitydafool19 January 2004
I love Jackie Chan films and this one has to be my favorite because of the superb stuntwork, the bike chase scene and the the first super-stunt in a chinese film, the clock tower fall stand up to the modern day wire stunts and end up looking just as impressive usually stunts in a film this old look dated but they are as amazing nowadays as they were when this film was made, this is easily some of chan's best work
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