Sunday, 3 January 2016

Top 5 Jackie Chan Films (Hong Kong/China)

This list was quite the headache, because I am a huge Jackie Chan fan especially of his original Asian films. So I thought after my long, long, long hiatus I would come back with this. Enjoy and I appreciate comments and feedback.

5, New Police Story (2004) 

So the first pick on the list is this 2004 film. After a few years of doing mainly Hollywood films and not really enjoying making them, Jackie went back to Hong Kong to make this film which was a modern day retelling of his most famous film series "Police Story". The simple summary is thus, Chan's hard cop team, are all killed off in a mission to bring down some terrorists at the start and he then sets out on a revenge conquest with aide of a new partner played by Nic Tse. The film uses plenty of special effects and has plenty of action and fight scenes but the stunts which are great of courser, now rely on wire work which with Chan been 50 making this film you can forgive. One stand out scene is Chan catching a bus in a unusual way which we might discuss later is a staple of Police Story.

4, Drunken Master (1978) 
The plot of this film follows a young Jackie Chan playing Wong Fei-Hung. Wong is a bit of a jack the lad sort, he gets people into trouble, chats women up and so on. His father discovers this and decides to punish Wong for his menacing ways by making him train harder in martial arts. Jackie is trained by an old beggar whom happens to be a great martial arts master, but with a difference. This martial arts master is a master in the art of Drunken Kung Fu!! yep that is correct drunken kung fu!. 
What we get is the usual old school kung fu movie but with what must be Jackie Chan's first comedy kung fu film (well this and its brother film Snake in the Eagles shadow). The fighting in this film is just hilarious to watch seeing Jackie turn to drink to become a drunken fighter and with hilarious consequences!.

3, Miracles (1989)
This film is never really talked about in Jackie Chan film circles and I am not sure why. It happens to be one of Jackie Chan's personal favorites. Chan stars as a country bumpkin whom with his lack of city knowledge is cheated out of all his money when he sets foot in Hong Kong. Depressed and down his luck, he meets a poor woman selling flowers on the street. This flower seller urges Chan to buy a red rose, saying it will bring him luck. Chan buys the rose and soon after his luck totally changes. He becomes a mob leader but sets out to chnage the way the mob work and what they do and even tries to help a certain flower seller with her life.
With its 1920's setting and tale of morale and honesty this film is one of the best Chan films for me. The speeches he makes in this film to change the mob are great to watch and you feel like Chan is talking to the real Triad gangs out there in Hong Kong. The fight scenes are second to none also with Chan using all sorts of things at his disposal as ever.

2, Project A (1983)
Pirates rule the seas around Hong Kong in the late 19th century and its up to a coast guard police man played by Jackie Chan to stop them. Jackie Chan is not along in this film no sir he has the help of his two real life "Brothers" Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao in the mix too. This is easily my favorite film starring all 3 of the Dragon Brothers. The film has some of Jackie's most famous stunts like a bike chase through the streets of Hong Kong that was even copied in some way by Steven Spielberg in The Last Crusade's motor bike chase. 
But my favorite Jackie stunt happens to be in this film also which is the stunt drop off a clock tower, where Jackie lets go of a clock face to fall through two awnings to land slap bang on the floor. The first take has him land on his neck!!. He did this stunt as a nod to the great Harrold Lyold and his clock tower famous movie scene.

Okay we are here at the last hurdle, my pick of number one Jackie Chan film. It was hard picking films from such a huge career so I will give  honorable mentions to, Armour of God, Wheels on Meals, My Lucky Stars, Who Am I?, Snake in the Eagles Shadows and Drunken Master 2. But there can only be one pick for me....

1, Police Story (1985)
Oh yes, if you could only watch one Hong Kong movie of his I totally recommend this beauty. It has it all, the slapstick humor, the stunts, the action and the story to go with it.

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