Twitter UpdatesMy Tweets
Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
Jackie Chan is awesome. His comedies are go-to’s for me. If I can’t decide on anything from Family Video’s 2 for $1 section and I’m in the mood for action, I go for a JC flick. Now when most people think of Jackie Chan they think of Rush Hour or his Shanghai Noon, but he has starred in (and directed) SO many films. Their plots and characters vary more than you might think, but they are all positively 100% Jackie Chan. The two films that I recently rented and brought upon these reflections are The Big Brawl / Battle Creek Brawl (‘80) and Crime Story (‘93).
Battle Creek Brawl is JC’s first appearance in American film. He was phenomenal in other Chinese martial arts films and eventually ventured into America. It was a great start because it showcased his martial arts and comedy quite fluidly. Not his best film, no, but it’s still rather enjoyable. The film follows JC doing what he enjoys in life with his girlfriend all while being lectured by his father. The mob gets involved with his father’s business when JC’s father can’t pay “protection” dues so JC gets caught up. There are two major legitimate twists. I say legitimate because it’s often the case in straight-to-DVD action movies that you’ll get weird or awful twists that don’t make sense. In the end it’s all happy. But honestly, I don’t think I saw one punch hit an actual face/gut/whatever. It surely proves that sound effects can make a movie.
The film is entertaining to say the least. It’s full of silliness, fights, and Jackie Chan-ness. During the film we have a roller-skating race in typical JC fashion. JC is able to fight off some other dudes and fend off a vengeful audience, while still winning. One of my favorite movies by JC is Thunderbolt (‘95) which also includes a weird car racing climax. He has a way of putting really weird scenes in movies, adapting, and capitalizing on them.
The other film I watched was Crime Story, a more serious movie based on true events in 1990. Now I don’t think that serious films are JC’s specialty necessarily, but they prove that he is a talented actor, and not just some one-sided slapstick kind of guy. It follows JC trying to find a kidnapped corrupt industrialist, while teaming up with a spy/member of the kidnappers. Bit of a confusing premise but we see early on that this kidnapped chap is evil, so is it really worth finding him? Yes, it is right for justice. Not very many laughs, but there is an intriguing story with at least some action. It’s good to switch up our routine of stupid action flicks. No martial arts, sadly, but there were plenty of gunfights. No explosions and not much blood, but the quality was there. JC’s versatility as an entertainer shines through in Crime Story. He’s already proven his talent with martial arts, but this one lets us see the softer side of JC. So there you have it, our early Jackie Chan.
Finally, he makes for an AWESOME cop and upholder of the law in all of his films. Brave, bold, never losing faith, and always honest. He is also quite the humanitarian for China, a patriot of his own land. It shows a lot when actors are willing to help others publicly, rather than focusing on solely their acting careers. Thanks everyone and you can look forward to some more ramblings about my favorite, Jackie Chan.