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Police Story 2 (1988)

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For a film industry that thrives on sequels, Jackie Chan made relatively few in his Hong Kong heyday. Police Story 2 is the first sequel in his longest running — at least in name — series, currently six films long as of Police Story: Lockdown and one spin-off strong with the Michelle Yeoh-starring Project S / Supercop 2.

It took the Marvel superhero franchise years to address the issue of collateral damage caused by its heroes’ actions, but Police (read more)

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Dragon Lord (1982)

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After the success of The Young Master, with its action stretching traditional kung fu choreography in unexpected directions, Jackie Chan pushed boundaries further in his follow-up film. Originally a sequel titled Young Master in Love, the experimental action maintains a thematic through-line with Jackie’s previous work, even as the narrative continuity is cast aside. After a long and difficult gestation of almost a year — forever by Hong Kong standards at the time — Dragon Lord was born.… (read more)

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The Young Master (1980)

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Something adorable happens when an imaginative kid is asked to tell a story. The child’s eyes light up, lungs are audibly inflated, and then —

“Alice woke up and left home with her best hat which was blue to go to the vet because her cat hurt its paw and on the way she saw her friend riding a new bike but before she could catch him he turned a corner and then she decided to borrow her sister’s rollerskates … (read more)

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Project A: Part II (1987)

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Project A is a highlight of Jackie Chan’s filmography, and the movie I use to introduce those unfamiliar with Hong Kong cinema to the many and varied delights it delivers. However, Project A: Part II is my favourite Jackie Chan movie. It is perhaps one of the purest displays of Jackie’s talent for creating intricate action and comedy scenes, displayed so clearly that the skill behind their construction is almost invisible.

As if as a reminder of the high bar … (read more)

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CZ12 (2012)

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As if we needed confirmation that Jackie Chan has been drinking Beijing’s Kool-Aid, the one-two punch of his recent remarks in the Hong Kong media and the ghastly and cynical CZ12 should put any queries to rest. Right before the film was released, Chan started shooting his mouth off about how Hongkongers complain too much and about how they’re just too quick to exercise their right to free speech and protest. He suggested the government look at putting some kind … (read more)

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Project A (1983)

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Project A, made in 1983, marked Jackie Chan’s return to the Hong Kong film industry after his first attempt to crack the American film market (resulting in Battle Creek Brawl and a cameo in Cannonball Run). It reunited the three opera school brothers — Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao — in a huge period comedy with a very liberal dose of action scenes, and earned a ridiculous amount of money at the HK box office at … (read more)

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Miracles (The Canton Godfather) (1989)

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Miracles was Jackie Chan’s answer in 1989 to the criticism that Hong Kong cinema wasn’t capable of doing more than low-budget action films, limited to genre pictures and nothing more. This film had an enormous budget for its time, took nine months to shoot and was made with a great deal of care and attention to detail. The sets are enormous and detailed. The costumes are great. There are tracking shots and other complicated camerawork everywhere. And, as always in … (read more)

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Police Story (1985)

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Police Story has been called the greatest action film of all time. That’s making a big claim, and I’m not certain it’s true, but I am certain that this film is a fine example of Jackie doing what Jackie does best: taking a beating from bad guys, good guys, cars, furniture, and assorted household items.

The film opens with a stakeout leading to a spectacular chase down the side of a mountain, smashing through a shanty town on the slope. … (read more)

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