I’m a big fan of Jackie Chan and have watched a ton of his movies. Any movie with Jackie Chan or his co-stars Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao is pretty much gold as long as it was made before ~2000. I’ve written notes on them as I’ve watched them and given them a score out of 10, so here’s my ranking chart of Jackie Chan movies.
City Hunter (1993) - S tier
This one was somehow made around the same time as Drunken Master 2, wow Jackie Chan is a busy man. Basically it’s nothing like any of his other movies. For one, it’s a manga adaptation, and it really shows. The whole movie is like live action anime, and it’s incredible. We laughed for a solid 2 hours, and the movie got even more absurd and hilarious as it went on. This film is known for its classic street fighter 2 sequence, which was probably my favorite part, but outside of that nobody ever seemed to recommend this one to me, which is a shame because it’s hilarious and amazing.
There’s three main female characters and they’re all pretty fun characters with some good fights and funny scenes. It also features a musical number, multiple large scale fight scenes, some amazing quotes, and Jackie Chan skateboarding. It also stars Bruce Lee… sorta :).
This whole movie could be described as ‘hilarious anime-style antics with Jackie Chan’ which I honestly dig the hell out of. It’s super slapstick and absurd but it’s also probably one of the best films I’ve ever watched, I don’t think I’ve laughed this much in years.
Police Story (1985) - S tier
Jackie Chan plays inspector Chan Ka-Kui of the Honk Kong police force’s special ops unit. In this movie he’s tasked with bringing a drug dealer and possible hitman crimelord to justice, who bizarrely keeps getting away with saying ‘you didn’t see me do it!’ which makes him the most impossible guy ever for the police to catch.
Joking aside, the opening starts with some great and comedic action, and famously follows with Jackie hanging from a moving bus using an umbrella while the crims try desparately to knock him off. Jackie has a lot of trouble with women in this movie, and his day just keeps getting worse throughout the movie in hilarious ways.
There’s a bunch of tension and the action scenes in this movie are kickass and hilarious; it also uses so much stunt glass that the crew jokingly referred to it as ‘Glass Story’. Overall this is classic Jackie Chan at his best.
Police Story 2 (1988) - S tier
Police Story 2 features Chan Ka-kui from the first movie but now he’s been demoted due to his reckless handling of the case from the previous movie. Initially this seems like he won’t get into as much trouble now but he ends up finding out that the villain from the first movie has been released from prison because he’s critically ill and Ka-kui and his girlfriend start getting followed and attacked by the guy’s thuggish lawyer. After saving the day as a civillian he’s reinstated and drafted into solving a new case possibly linked to the same guy.
There’s some brutal scenes in this one and it’s easily worth watching but I didn’t think it was quite as good as the first one, although it is still an amazing movie, but there’s a big fight in a fireworks factory at the end which is pretty kickass. Overall I really enjoyed it.
Drunken Master (1978) - S tier
This movie was made as part of a 2 movie deal (along with Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow) where Jackie Chan was lent to the studio, but this time he was actually credited as Jackie Chan.
As suggested by the title, this one is actually about Drunken Boxing. We googled this to find out if it’s a real style and apparently it actually has a long and real history, with various practitioners learning and rediscovering the style over hundreds of years. The specific style referenced in this movie is actually traced back to 1800s shaolin monks and based on the daoist tale of the drunken Eight Immortals.
This movie uses a lot of the same actors as Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, and the same master teaches Jackie, but they’re actually different characters and this time Beggar So is actually a drunken boxing master who’s been hired to teach Jackie Chan his secret martial arts style by his father who is tired of his bad behavior. The fighting style actually involves drinking and there’s some really fun scenes of Jackie drinking and acting drunk, and doing drunk kung-fu. There’s also even more crispy deep fried music in this one, especially during high tension scenes, which is great.
There’s a number of classic scenes in this one including a big fight in a restaurant that Jackie tries to dine and dash at, where apparently the chef and all the staff are built AF. That’s also where he meets beggar so.
Basically this one is a classic.
Heart of Dragon (1985) - S tier
A bit of a different movie starring Sammo Hung (one of the ‘dragons’ who stars alongside and even directs a number of Jackie’s movies including this one) as Jackie’s mentally disabled older brother. Heart of Dragon is more emotional and character based and includes some stellar acting from Sammo and Jackie.
Despite being more of a serious movie I still really enjoyed it and got seriously invested in Sammo’s character and his world, making this one of my favourite Jackie Chan movies. There’s some decent action too and even a car chase and some humour, and none of it detracts from the overall tone of the movie.
Overall I really recommend this one.
Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow (1978) - S tier
A spiritual prequel to the Drunken Master films starring a young Jackie Chan and the same distinctive and hilarious drunken master beggar so.
To be honest we found this on youtube at 20 minutes past midnight and “Jackie Chan” isn’t even credited, but we found out later that this was his break-out role along with Drunken Master. And I can see why too, it’s a real classic among HK action-comedy martial arts films.
The movie starts out with the second-last practitioner of the “snake style” of kung fu being killed by a master practitioner and assassin of the “eagle style” who are trying to wipe them out. Jackie gets caught up in this and learns the snake style, eventually making it his own (which is honestly hilarious too).
The film is full of great fights and comedy and the music is super crispy which is a necessity for classic hong kong martial arts movies. Overall I really enjoyed this movie and it ignited a passion in me for classic martial arts comedy movies, so I rate it way higher than Who Am I.
Drunken Master 2 (1994) - S tier
I was kind of sad to find out Beggar So isn’t in this one - he actually died the year after Drunken Master was made which is sad because he’s one of my favorite characters in all of cinema. Despite that the film is amazing, maybe better than the first one which surprised me.
This film was made 16 years after the first one and I believe Jackie was given a lot of creative control, and it all shows. He’s stronger, faster, and the fights and stunts are more interesting and impressive.
The story is confusing, but we found it didn’t really matter much. Basically they start on a train, and then some ginseng they bought is switched for an ancient chinese artifact that the damned British were trying to smuggle out of the country. Somehow this ends up with fights on a train, fights under a train, fights in a market, a hilarious drunken brawl in the street, and an epic final battle through some sort of foundry or steel mill with tons of fire and real stunts including Jackie being kicked backwards into a bed of hot coals and having to crab his way out of it.
The movie has an absurd end which left us wondering how they did a Drunken Master 3, but turns out that movie wasn’t authorized or anything to do with this one, so we decided not to bother watching it (it doesn’t have Jackie Chan in). All in all, I’d probably rate this one higher than Drunken Master, which surprised me, but numerically that’s hard to express. So maybe this one gets a 8.6 instead.
Project A Part II (1987) - A tier
A good sequel to Project A, I rate this one way higher than the first one but maybe I was unfair to it.
A fun but probably wrong fact about this movie is that Jackie wasn’t going to make it but the Japanese emperor was a big fan of the first one and requested he did.
In this one Jackie is put in charge of one of three of the district’s police department and actually wants to do something to deal with some of the major criminals the corrupt police already know about but ignore or are getting kick backs from. The police are too scared to do anything about the organised crime so Jackie and his loyal gang try to arrest the ring leader themselves. This results in a memorable battle and like Project A this one has some brutal looking falls.
In fact this one has a lot of memorable action scenes, fights, and stunts, and the storytelling is way better than in the first one. At one point Jackie chews up a big hand full of hot chillies so he can use it to blind another guy and you can tell that he really did it. It’s pretty good.
Wheels on Meals (1984) - S tier
This movie stars the Jackie’s three man gang the dragons (Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao). Jackie and Biao run a food van as a duo and Sammo is a private detective who gets offered a big job to find an orphan girl. Coincidentally, around the same time, Jackie and Biao also get involved with a girl who they try and help out of the trouble she’s in.
The action (between the dragons especially) is very funny and the dialogue noticeably so, and there’s some very memorable fight scenes. Of specific mention is one near the end of a henchman with deep set eyes that make his face look really small, who we’ve been calling ‘baby man’ because he also has superbly smooth skin. He also stars in other Jackie Chan films and makes us laugh every time he’s on screen, as well as being an actual fighting badass.
I really enjoyed and recommend this movie and want to check out more of the dragons’ work after watching it.
Police Story 4: First Strike (1996) - C tier
Jackie is back at it again in another Police Story movie. It’s really hard to find this one in its original 1 hour 40+ minute hong kong cut, instead we watched the 1 hour 20 version that ended up on blu-ray, which was originally the American version I think. Despite this it was pretty good. Hopefully the original hk cut ends up on blu-ray at some point and then we can watch it again.
Jackie (yes, he’s called that in this movie for some reason) is transferred from the Hong Kong police to help the CIA out with a smuggling operation, which ends him up in Ukraine. He’s meant to do a really simple job and then just go on vacation, which he completes almost immediately, but then before catching his flight out of Ukraine he spots the guy they’re supposed to be finding being susp af and follows him to a ski resort. Some pretty sick action and a chase scene occurs. Somehow Jackie eventually ends up in Australia and swimming with sharks in an aquarium too.
My one criticism of this is that it’s not really a police story movie - he doesn’t play Chan Ka Kui in this movie, and it’s really nothing like the other (main line) police story movies like we expected, although it does have the police chief in it as Jackie’s police chief. In fact, in some regions, it was just called “Jackie Chan’s First Strike”. Despite this, it’s a very fun Jackie Chan movie, where he gets into much mischief he doesn’t want anything to do with, and has to fight a bunch of guys and save the day.
New Fist of Fury (1976) - C tier
Another old movie from the time when they were trying to cast Jackie Chan as the new Bruce Lee, this one is actually a sequel to one of Bruce Lee’s films, fist of fury.
First off, the cinematography and film making in this movie is astounding. There’s a number of beautiful scenes and the characters are always well framed. We were about to watch one of the original versions, but found the 2020 blu-ray remaster of the film and wow I’m glad we did. The footage was beautifully restored to the point where it could have been filmed last year and just made to look like a classic kung fu movie.
Some of the characters are really cool, like the young female leader of the Chinese martial arts school, who I wish we got to see fight more. There’s clearly some sort of message here, as the movie being set in Japanese-occupied Taiwan, and the Chinese martial arts are being oppressed by the Japanese Karate masters who insist that their fighters and martial arts are superior.
Jackie starts out indifferent to this but is eventually convinced to stand up for them. In the middle of the movie the Chinese martial arts girl makes an impassioned speach about Jackie embodying the spirit of her dead brother which seemed out of place at the time, but we realised after a while that she was referring to Bruce Lee, which makes sense seeing as how they were trying to posture Jackie as the new Bruce Lee.
I believe that he didn’t want that, and this is around the point where he diverged to develop the more comedic style we know today. The movie ends suddenly and bizarrely. Overall this movie was pretty enjoyable and the film making and restored quality of the footage was great, but it has a more serious tone than most Jackie Chan films so might not be for everyone.
Gorgeous (1999) - A tier
A goofy Hong Kong action romantic comedy co-written, produced by, and starring Jackie Chan.
A girl from taiwan who can apparently communicate with goofy CG dolphins finds a message in a bottle and ends up traveling to Hong Kong to find her true love. On the plane there, somebody mistakes her for a mob bosses girlfriend who is also Taiwenese and looks very similar. When she gets to Hong Kong she finds out a gay guy threw the bottle to attract a boyfriend, and although there’s no chance for romance she Basic forces him into letting her stay with him while she finds her true love in Hong Kong. Along the way she meets a rich philanthropist business genius Jackie Chan who lives in the kind of fancy apartment an elevator could open up into. He also has his Smithers-style assistant guy who he bosses around and who clearly loves him (I don’t remember if that last part was really a thing in the movie I probably just made it up). She starts courting Jackie, who obviously geniuinely likes her, While pretending to be the mob bosses Taiwanese girlfriend.
This one was extremely goofy and different in tone to the rest of Jackie’s movies, but he comes across as sincere and genuine and I really enjoyed it tbh. Solid movie considering it’s a Jackie Chan romcom, and one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies weirdly.
The Fearless Hyena (1979) - B tier
A solid martial arts movie with a classic Jackie Chan spin on it. In this movie, Jackie lives with his aged granda and kung fu master, who insists that he must keep his kung fu skills secret. Jackie basically just messes around a lot and gets Eventually Jackie gets a job working at a kung fu dojo run by a guy who doesn’t know any kung fu, and basically just wants Jackie to impress everyone with fights so that they join his dojo Jackie ends up pretending to be a number of different characters in some great and funny fights including a chopsticks duel, a fight disguised as a woman which reminded me of the Chun-Li scene in City Hunter, and a drunken boxing match.
Eventually showing off his kung fu goes wrong, oh no who would’ve thought! This one has the highest frequency of fights in any Jackie Chan movie I’ve seen and they’re all damn good. It’s solid.
Battle Creek Brawl (1980) - A tier
Set in 1930s Chicago, Jackie plays the son of an owner of a Chinese restaurant who refuses to pay protection money to the mob. Jackie is a solid fighter and fights them off repeatedly which causes them to want to draft him into a street fighting circuit called The battle Creek Brawl. The mob end up kidnapping his brother’s girlfriend to force him to participate and then he beats the shit out of a bunch of massive muscly american fighter guys.
A weird thing is that Battle Creek Brawl seems to be some sort of illegal fighting ring, but it also seems to be an official event with thousands of spectators including police. Regardless, it’s pretty damn cool. The movie also sports a number of other memorable scenes including three person roller skating relay race with no holds barred. Solid movie with an interesting setting.
Crime Story (1993) - B tier
Crime Story once again features Jackie Chan as a hong kong cop, but unfortunately it’s not Ka Kui from Police Story. This movie is more of a serious one and was apparently based on the actual 1990 kidnapping of a Chinese businessman, Teddy Wang.
Unlike most of his movies in this one Jackie actually loves using guns and shooting everyone, and thus definitively answers the question ‘does Jackie Chan ever use a gun?’ (although we’ve noted other instances in previous films we’ve watched this one is the most blatant case).
This movie has some good dramatic acting from Jackie as well as a bunch of great action scenes, property damage, and explosions. Interestinlgy it has 93% on the tomatometer which is way higher than I’d expect since a lot of his older movies that I’d consider classics have much less than that, but it’s still well worth watching if you’re in the mood for a more serious Jackie Chan movie.
Spiritual Kung Fu (1978) - B tier
A classic Kung Fu movie with some twists, this one is a really solid early Jackie Chan movie. It’s more serious than some of his later films and he hadn’t developed his comedic fighting style yet but there’s still a lot of humour to be found elsewhere in the movie.
Jackie plays a young apprentice at a shaolin temple, and one day the seven deadly fists fighting style manual is stolen. An evil guy learns the horrible style (that the shaolin haven’t taught in over 100 years) and goes around killing all the best martial artists so he can be crowned leader of the martial arts community. Spiritual apparitions appear in the temple which really scares the shit out of all the monks but Jackie ends up rediscovering the long lost five fists style which is the counter to the other style.
The spirits are pretty crazy looking and funny and made me feel like I was tripping when they suddenly showed up. It’s a really fun movie and pretty different and weird. The reconstructed Blu-ray release is beautiful too and really shows off the high quality cinematography. It’s a classic.
Police Story 3: Supercop (1992) - A tier
A fairly solid third entry in the Police Story series. Jackie reprises his role as Chan Ka Kui for the last time in this one, where he’s undercover working for the Chinese government to infiltrate a notorious criminal organisation. There’s some funny mixups and some dangerous looking stunts, one of which in particular injured Jackie pretty bad if you watch the outtakes.
This one isn’t as much of a classic as the first two police story movies but still well worth watching.
Dragons Forever (1988) - A tier
Another fun dragons movie, in this one Jackie plays a lawyer representing some businessman who’s polluting the water with his factory. A woman who owns a fishery downstream is suing him and wants him to shut down production. Jackie drags in Biao, who plays an eccentric and slightly crazy thief guy, to break into her house and plant a bug. Meanwhile, Sammo Hung moves in next to her in an attempt to woo her and get her to voluntarily sell the fishery, for which he’ll take a cut. There are some mixups and Sammo and Biao end up fighting in Jackie’s house while he tries to have a date with the daughter of the owner of the fishery. In the end Sammo really falls in love with the fishery lady and Jackie with the daughter and there’s all sorts of misunderstandings and funny interactions between them. There’s a big show down at the end involving the baby man from Wheels on Meals but this time he has some pretty intense eyeliner to make his deep set eyes look even crazier.
This is a really good film.
A sequel to armour of god but it doesn’t have the armour of god in it. Instead, it’s about nazi gold, and Jackie has to adventure through the desert with three women kind of like the first one. Jackie gets a percentage of the 2400 tons of nazi gold if he finds it and reclaims it for the U.N.
It’s pretty enjoyable, about as good as the original movie, I’d maybe have scored it a bit less but the scenes near the end where they fight in the wind tunnel in the underground nazi bunker really make it great. There’s a number of visible mitsubishi badges in this one too so I guess he’s still sponsored by them.
A fun fact about this one is that it was actually released first in the English Speaking world as Operation Condor, and then Armour of God was actually released as Operation Condor 2, which is unnecessary and confusing. In conclusion it’s a worthwhile sequel to the first movie and well worth watching.
The Young Master (1980) - B tier
In this one Dragon Lung, played by Jackie Chan, and his brother, are both orphans and members of a kung fu school where they live. The school enters into a Lion Dance competition, where two people in each dragon somehow battle to win. The rules of the competition aren’t clear but it’s a really cool scene anyway. This eventually results in Dragon being chased by both a big bad guy and the police chief, for something he didn’t do. The rest of the movie is basically Jackie trying to go about his day but constantly getting into trouble and having to fight.
There’s a lot of fights in this movie and they’re all original and interesting. The scenes where Jackie is trying to escape capture are all pretty whimsical. At some point in this movie somebody tells jackie he’s been “working on his benchwork” which we’ve been referring to ever since as any fighting with those old chinese benches they fight with or any fight with a chair. Basically it’s classic Jackie Chan where he’s just going about his day and everyone wants to kill him due to a misunderstanding. The final fight is brutal.
Armour of God (1986) - A tier
This movie features Jackie a.k.a. ‘Asian Hawk’ as a rock star cross indiana jones style adventurer. The film starts with him stealing one piece of the ‘Armour of Gods’, a sword, which gets sold off at auction for big bucks. Then, his former bandmate’s girlfriend gets kidnapped by an evil cult from yugoslavia, who demand that they bring three pieces of the armour of god as ransom.
The film features more story and less fighting than other jackie Chan movies, but the action scenes are pretty good, and the story is overall pretty coherent. Jackie has a pretty sick concept sports car with a gigantic Mitsubishi logo on, and they probably sponsored this movie, but it’s pretty cool and there’s a great car chase scene later in the movie.
A weird recurring theme from Police Story is that Jackie has lady troubles in this movie too. Overall this movie was pretty fun and I rate it maybe a little better than ‘Who am I?’, which is probably a worse movie overall but has some pretty kickass stunts and action scenes.
Project A (1983) - A tier
Jackie Chan is a coast guard man in pirate times in old Hong Kong. It’s got some interesting worldbuilding with the military stuff and the tensions between the coast guard and the military police results in some funny tension. Bizzarely the bicycle choreography is surprisingly good with a lot of funny and enjoyable bicycle based action. There’s also a fight in a clock tower and a famous fall from it that almost broke Jackie’s head.
All the coast guard stuff becomes irrelevant for most of the movie and somehow they bring it back around to the pirates at the end but tbh the story doesn’t make a lot of sense. Probably not the best mainly because of how non sequitur it is but I thought it was ok.
Rush Hour (1998) - C tier
Rush Hour is one of the few Jackie Chan movies I’ve actually seen before and I didn’t expect to like it that much since it’s pretty representative of Jackie’s transition to Hollywood productions. Despite that it holds up pretty well and the Hollywood production doesn’t ruin it. It’s funny, has decent action scenes, and Chris Tucker isn’t even too annoying and is another good stooge for Jackie.
My favorite part of the movie is when Chris Tucker’s character is asked to keep Jackie away and out of trouble, and Jackie goes out of his way to escape him and break his way into the fbi-controlled building he was supposed to be kept away from.
It’s a funny movie in a different way to Jackie’s earlier films and it isn’t too overproduced, so it gets a thumbs up from me.
Snake & Crane Arts of Shaolin (1978) - C tier
This one is pretty cool. Jackie Chan plays a martial artist who’s been charged with looking after the Eight Steps of Snake and Crane book of the previously disappeared shaolin masters. He shows this book off a suspicious amount given that he’s trying to keep it safe and fights anyone that tries to take it.
There’s various factions who are either with Jackie or against him but everyone basically wants this book for one reason or another and Jackie won’t even let them look inside. It’s more serious than some of his other films but it’s a good martial arts movie and features some female martial artists.
Rumble in the Bronx (1995) - B tier
This is one of the more modern Jackie Chan films that’s really worth watching. It’s set in lawless 90s New York. Jackie moves there and immediately gets into a fight with a massive biker gang who then brutally chase and attack him. This also somehow gets him mixed up with brutal thugs who want to kill him, in classic Jackie Chan style.
This movie has some good fights and a lot of property damage, and a crazy sequence at the end with a hovercraft chase through the city. Despite being set in New York it becomes clear as the movie goes on that it was actually filmed in Canada as Jackie decided they were spending too much effort trying to disguise it when nobody really cared. This one is pretty good and has a good story and although it’s quite silly it’s also pretty brutal at times.
Mr Nice Guy (1997) - C tier
Apparently Jackie Chan’s first film shot in English, and directed by Sammo Hung, a member of the Three Dragons along with Jackie. The dialogue in this one is a little goofy and reminds me of when they have English speaking parts in his earlier Chinese movies but a bit less so.
Jackie gets mixed up in gang violence and his girlfriend gets kidnapped, pretty normal Jackie Chan affair. There’s some non-English parts which are funny (usually to do with Jackie’s other friend not understanding the Chinese). Some of the locations are really neat, and there’s lots of decent fight choreography and a fantastic end scene with a lot of destruction.
It comes across as a little more mainstream but I rate it up there with Who Am I.
Shaolin Wooden Men (1976) - B tier
I thought this one was going to be bad because of the terrible attempt at a name, but it’s actually pretty good. Jackie’s character grows up in a shaolin monastery as a mute monk. He’s made fun of for his muteness and considered the weakest one there, but one day he meets a guy locked up in a dungeon who teaches him his special vicious style of kung fu. He also learns a bit of drunken boxing and more peaceful versions of kung fu from other shaolin masters. Eventually he challenges the Wooden Men Road, a brutal challenge that the trainees have to do before they can graduate and be allowed to leave the monastery.
This movie reminds me of dragon ball, with the shaolin kung fu training, and it has a lot of raw kung fu fights too, I bet Toriyama saw this one. Also it has wooden robots which are pretty cool. It’s pretty fun and tells a solid story for one of these old movies. Oh and I forgot to mention it has the most ridiculously crispy high pitch chinese flute music that plays during key scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SztxVmlO4t8
Who Am I (1998) - B tier
Classic Jackie Chan movie. It’s a spy movie kind of thing where Jackie loses his memory, and while trying to find out who he is and what’s going on, the big bad guy is sending a bunch of guys after him to get him. Which results in a bunch of cool fights and comedy action scenes.
Overall it’s not the best Jackie Chan movie I’ve seen and the start might make you think it’s kind of dumb and not worth watching but the rest of the movie is full of hilarious and memorable action scenes including a car chase with a Jackie Chan twist, rooftop parkour, an epic 2v1 rooftop fight and numerous other grandiose Jackie Chan stunts which all make it well worth watching.
As a sidenote Jackie was one of the directors of this movie which is probably why he got to do so many stupid stunts (which in the outtakes you can tell are all legit.)
A weird Russian fantasy film which bizarrely features Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger. We expected it to be bad on the level of Bleeding Steel since it’s so modern but it’s actually pretty good. It’s worth noting that it’s debatable whether this one even counts as a Jackie Chan movie since he’s mostly on the sidelines.
The storytelling and acting are a bit dopey, but overall this was a cool fantasy adventure movie with lots of great worldbuilding and visuals. Especially we found that some of the ‘boss’ characters were really cool and well designed. At one point Jackie and Arnold fight in a prison escape sequence which I’m pretty sure hasn’t happened in any other movie.
This one got panned by critics which I’m not surprised about but it’s kind of unfair because it’s a really unique movie that’s probably worth watching if you like quirky fantasy fiction. Jj
Rob-B-Hood (2006) - B tier
Jackie is a professional burglar who gets mixed up in the kidnapping of a baby. The majority of this movie is Thongs (Jackie) and his close friend and fellow burglar Octopus learning to look after a baby and eventually bonding with it which is actually pretty funny and fun to watch. Additionally there’s guys trying to take the baby off them which results in some funny action and a car chase.
A fun game is to try and spot mitsubishi logos in these movies and we spotted a few in these scenes but we aren’t really sure if mitsubishi cars are just popular in Hong Kong or if he’s still sponsored by them from back in the Armour of God days (Mitsubishi shows up a lot). For a modern Jackie Chan movie I enjoyed this one more than I expected (especially given the name).
Chineze Zodiac / CZ12 (2012) - C tier
The third movie in the Armour of God series, which features Jackie Condor / Asian Hawk whose names make a bit more sense in this movie as it becomes clear he tends to go by aliases and he’s known by JC or Martin to most of the characters in this movie.
In this movie Jackie is much more advanced of a thief, employing a team and complicated technology to break into places and steal cultural artifacts to auction off. There’s a message in this movie of returning cultural artifacts to the countries they originate from, which I can get behind, but it was kind of clumsy.
This movie comes across as a lot more mainstream focused than his previous movies, it’s especially hard to believe that it has anything to do with Armour of God II. It’s pretty long with lots of scenes but they’re all fun to watch and there’s a good mix of action, fights, heists, and a large set piece at the end involving an erupting volcano.
Near the middle of the movie there’s a group of pirates and they’re pretty ridiculous, one looks like Captain Jack for example, and one has a huge afro.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the escape sequence near the start where Jackie skates away in a full body rollerblading suit, rolling on his stomach, back, and arms at a hundred miles an hour while trying to escape trucks and cars. It’s clear that this contraption really exists and works, especially when you watch the outtakes, and looking it up it seems like its inventor was involved in training Jackie to use it for the movie.
CZ12 is a funny movie and it has high production value which pulls it up to a 7 for me, but I thought it was a bit too mainstream focused to feel like a real classic Jackie Chan movie.
Thunderbolt (1995) - C tier
In this movie Jackie plays “Alfred Tung”, a mechanic and apparently good racer who’s father is the car king and is an expert on modified cars and runs the business Jackie works at. After attending some sort of racing meet for work which is attended by a lot of police who impound the cars with illegal mods. One car with no license plates zooms past on the road, nearly hitting a police officer who Jackie saves, and then Jackie chases him in a reporter’s car in probably the best scene in the movie. He ends up helping the police catch this guy which gets him caught up with the guy who wants revenge (and gets it, brutally) and to race with Jackie because he’s apparently really good.
This movie features English, Chinese and Japanese interchangably and there’s also a memorable scene in Japan with the yakuza in a pachinko parlor which is pretty cool. Unfortunately it seems Jackie was injured at the time of filming because a stunt double was used for a lot of the action, and even a lot of the main racing scenes had to be filmed at normal speeds and then obviously sped up, which detracts from the film a bit. The villain is also super evil looking and acting but doesn’t really have any evil motivations, he’s just a ridiculous racing guy who drives around without license plates and is too fast for the police to catch apparently. He ends up in jail for a stupid reason (driving fast and hitting a police bike unnecessarily) but then gets in a lot more trouble because his gang has to break him out in an armed raid.
Also we’re not really sure what Jackie’s name is meant to be in Chinese but we’re pretty sure people kept calling him Jackie either by mistake or maybe that’s his original name. Overall this movie was good enough but kind of dumb, I expected a bit more from a racing Jackie Chan movie but I guess it was made at a bad time.
The Accidental Spy (2001) - B tier
Buck Yuen (Jackie Chan), orphan and badass gym equipment salesman, saves the day when armed bank robbers attack a bank in the mall where he works. The resulting media attention gets him noticed by a private eye who is working with a dying man who is allegedly his father. When he goes to meet his father he finds him being attacked by armed men and defends him from them using medical equipment, eventually being left a quest to find his inheritance. This inevitably embroils him with spies, terrorist groups, and the enemies of his father.
This movie has some notable scenes, including Jackie fighting his way naked through an outdoor market in a hilarious sequence of unlikely events, and a speed-like sequence at the end. Additionally this movie is, according to our head-canon, a sequel to both who am I and city hunter. Despite the notable moments this movie is a bit lacking in good fight scenes, comedy, and stunts, and takes itself a bit too seriously, resulting in the low score, but it’s probably worth watching if you’re a fan of Jackie Chan.
[btw our headcanon is that he becomes a spy after this movie, and then at the start of who am i loses his memory, and then at the end of who am i he finds a city hunter manga and decides to move to japan to become ryu saeda, private detective]
Shanghai Noon (2000) - D tier
A silly western-meets-chinese-martial-arts movie starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson. Jackie, an imperial guard from the forbidden city, travels to America to save the potentially kidnapped princess. On arrival he meets and somehow joins a tribe of native americans and is mistaken for one. He gets mixed up with Owen Wilson’s cowboy character after a pretty cool action scene on a train.
Seeing Jackie try to be a cowboy is pretty funny and although Owen Wilson is pretty annoying overall he makes a good stooge for Jackie. This movie is pretty funny and an interesting take and overall presentation. I didn’t personally enjoy it overall as much as Jackie’s older work as it’s a bit overproduced and hollywoody for me and comes across as more of a family movie. It’s not bad though.
This is actually Jackie Chan’s first film, and he’s super young in it (most of the time).
The story behind Master With Cracked Fingers is interesting. For one we watched the blu-ray release which appears to be meticulously remastered, and it’s actually really high quality except the backgrounds seem to warp around at random due to some sort of stabilisation which caused us to burst out laughing multiple times. The title card of the movie calls it ‘Master with crack fingers’ which is hilarious too.
This movie is a re-edit of an earlier film, Little Tiger Of Canton, or Cub Tiger From Kwang Tung, and this version was thrown together hastily and with low production value after Jackie became famous from Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master. They basically cut this together from Little Tiger Of Canton footage, some drunken master era footage, and some new footage with a child actor to produce a new framing and new final scene.
The story is honestly terrible and the action scenes aren’t very good but the bizarre production made us laugh a lot anyway, and it’s fun seeing Jackie as a teenager.
The movie uses close-up shots a lot which I’m pretty sure is because these were filmed for Master With Cracked Fingers and cut into the original footage to support the new story.
The actors are visibly older in some of these shots and not on the same backgrounds as the rest of the scene. A particularly funny instance is that Yuen Siu-Tien (the beggar from Drunken Master) shows up a lot hiding in bushes and stuff in the background so he can be added to scenes he wasn’t originally in, he’s just a pervert who follows Jackie around I guess and comments on his martial arts.
There’s also a kind of painful and badly produced mahjong-themed fight in the middle that seems to be unique to this version of the film so I’m not really sure why they bothered.
Overall it’s interesting and the first movie on our list so we watched it, but it probably isn’t worth watching unless you’re really interested in Jackie Chan’s history. It might be worth it as a ‘so bad it’s good’ type of movie, it’s probably right on the threshold.
The Medallion (2003) - F tier
A more Hollywood style Jackie Chan movie, this one is just about watchable. In this film Jackie plays a Hong Kong cop (for the 50th time and it isn’t kakui from police story) and somehow crosses paths with a magic talisman that can bring back the dead and grant superpowers. This happens to Chan and although that sounds like a cool premise for a movie they don’t really use Jackie to even a fraction of his potential. There’s barely any fights and all the action scenes are choppy with confusing framing and cuts all over the place. By the final fight of the movie I was pretty bored and wasn’t really paying much attention.
The film resembles the cartoon Jackie Chan adventures and the villain is even played by the voice actor of the villain Valmont from the cartoon. Overall it’s more worth watching than Bleeding Steel but I’d still pass.