One of our favorite Jackie Chan movies - very early in his career. A ne'er-do-well son is sent away from his family to be trained by a legendarily cruel Kung Fu master. Fleeing this fate, he falls in with an old drunkard with surprising talents. Jackie comes to learn his unusual brand of Kung Fu.
Forget about the plot. Maybe put on a favorite album, and just watch the ballet. Jackie is one of the great physical performers of our time, and this was done way before he got into the hands of American writers and producers.
If you want something more modern, in decent color, try Rumble in the Bronx or Operation Condor - the first has a hilarious gang fight in a warehouse full of refrigerators (and Francoise Yip), and the second has the best car chase I've seen in a long while.
Yes, these are for the whole family. Maybe not the kids, but they're better than "mighty muffin tower razors" (as Oliver once called them) because they are more realistic. Jackie loses or runs away as often as he wins, and hardly anyone gets killed. They're more like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang than a Kung Fu movie.
Do I really need to explain this? Remember - this guy is the number one film star in the world in terms of attendance.
Half a Loaf of Kung Fu - This one (for which I can't find box art) is perhaps
the goofiest of the old-style Chan movies that we've seen. Recommended.
Rumble in the Bronx - The refrigerator warehouse scene alone is worth it. Why does this remind me of "The Wedding Banquet"? Anyhow, this was the one that put Jackie on the big map in the US. Filmed in Vancouver, which plays the role of New York. Ludicrous plot, great outtakes. You;ll wonder what the heck was going on, but it'll suck you in.
Operation Condor - Sort of a Raiders of the Lost Ark
in the far east. Not bad, but DON'T RENT THE SEQUEL.
Supercop - Jackie is on loan to the russian government. This one has some amazing chases, including a train scene that will stop your heart.
Jackie Chan's First Strike - Jackie does James Bond. Except James Bond never got caught in Koala Bear underwear.
Rush Hour - With Chris Rock. Or is it Chris Tucker? I'm never sure. This was the only Jackie Chan movie we saw in a theater. (In Santa Monica, if you must know.)
Jackie's getting older, which means he has to rely more on acting and finesse, less on
drawn-out fights. In this case, this is good.
- This one is WAAY too serious - Directed by Kirk Wong, not the lighthearted Stanley Tong - It has a great car chase, but Jackie never smiles, not once. A waste.
Also, don't bother with Operation Condor II - This was the worst Jackie movie we've seen so far! Horrible, choppy action, and a lame attempt at character development - don't bother.
A cool Jackie Chan FAQ