I’ve chosen to get myself into a Jackie Chan movie marathon and have made my way through four films as of the blog entry. I thought about going with some sort of a chronological timeline but decided last minute that I’d hop around and watch whatever I wanted. I felt it was right to discuss the third and fourth films together as they are related. The first is Armour Of God and the second is Armour Of God II: Operation Condor.
Armour Of God
I want to preface by suggesting how seldom I watch old movies. I hate the grainy look, the special effects are nothing special, and it takes an amazing older movie to stick out in my mind. I can come up with a couple obviously (Star Wars, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Back To The Future) but I prefer newer films admittedly.
That being said, I put aside my preferences to watch the 1986 film, Armour Of God. We see Jackie Chan starring as Jackie (big surprise!), an ex-pop star turned I guess treasure hunter? Relic hunter? I'm not quite sure what his exact profession is, but suffice it to say, he's an expert at whatever he does. The premise of this film is that a lady Jackie used to perform with gets kidnapped and Jackie is conned into getting her back. He's also conned into collecting all five pieces of the "Armour Of God", some armour that was used in the crusades. A rich collector and his daughter, a cult of materialism, and the third member of Jackie's pop group (the kidnapped lady's fiancée) are all intertwined in this tale as well.
There's some hijinx and shenanigans as one might expect with a Jackie Chan film. The acting is a bit cheesy and the overdubbing isn't great either. There's also a lot of blatant sexism towards women in this film. I think if you put aside those things and just enjoy a mid-eighties action comedy for what it is, you won't be let down. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the great stunt work involving a dirt bike and choreography by the stunt team. Definite must for fans of action comedies despite the blunder of the armour not being collected.
Armour Of God II: Operation Condor
I remember seeing Operation Condor in the late nineties. Apparently it was released some six years earlier as Armour Of God II:Operation Condor outside of North America. In the North American release, some fifteen minutes were cut from the film and there was no mention of it being a sequel. I didn't actually realize it was a sequel until I got into the swing of this marathon.
Operation Condor sees Jackie Chan return as Jackie, the expert treasure/relic hunter. In this film, Jackie is hired by (I believe) the same rich collector that was after the armour in the original film to obtain some Nazi gold for the United Nations. Said recovery mission leads Jackie and three bumbling buffoon ladies into the desert to find a secret underground bunker. Obviously there's some more hijinx akin to the first movie along the way but we see the ladies being less the target of blatant sexism and more the source of a lot of physical comedy.
This movie came out some five years after the original and I guess it received a much large budget than the original as well. As a result, we were treated to more exotic locations and sets, as well as a large scope to the film. I think the payoff is quite apparent as a lot of what I felt was of issue in the first film was largely rectified here. Armour Of God II: Operation Condor is another great action comedy with even better stunt work and choreography than its predecessor and the payoff of not collecting the Nazi gold keeps pace with the tone of the original.
I've really enjoyed the Jackie Chan filmography up to this point and I'm really excited to delve into the Police Story series. I look forward to writing more about my journey!