He’s a class act like that.
Jackie Chan also has a LOT of movies, so when I decided that in honor of what will be his last starring action movie Chinese Zodiac, releasing next month that I would review his best movie, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy task.
Many martial arts fans have opinions on what Jackie Chan’s greatest movie was. I’m pretty sure the mainstream consensus is either Drunken Master II or Project A, but what a lot of people don’t account for is how much you enjoy each of Jackie’s movies as opposed to how much you enjoy each of Jackie’s fight scenes. When you rate his movies as a whole you have to acknowledge the overly slow pacing of Project A and the many awkward poorly acted dramatic scenes in Drunken Master II.
For two days, I dug into my archive of Chan films and finally decided on the one film that both exhibits every talent Jackie brings to the silver screen and also is universally appealing. With that said, I give you my review of Armour Of God II: Operation Condor.
In case you can’t tell, that is Jackie Chan and his former bodyguard in real life hanging on for dear life as a massive fan with a swastika on it tries to suck them in.
This movie is insane.
In this movie, Jackie plays the role of Agent Hawk who’s real name is Jackie, big stretch, I know. It should be noted that Jackie Chan will be reviving the Agent Hawk character again for Chinese Zodiac. In Operation Condor, Agent Hawk is a freelance worker for the UN assigned to recover a massive amount of lost gold collected by Nazis during WWII that is rumored to be located in the Sahara Desert.
Along with Agent Hawk on his adventures are three women who all play into various comedic side character roles. You have the UN escort who’s very by the book and the clueless relative of a Nazi general out to prove her grandfather’s innocence of killing his own men because just being a Nazi in the first place is totally cool. Later on, a desert drifter tags along for the journey as the group goes from evading bumbling Middle Eastern duo to taking on mercenaries in the desert bunker as both groups get closer to the treasure.
The story is a comedic take on the classic pulp explorer/Indiana Jones tale we’re all used to, but the cast, Jackie specifically, is in rare form. Jackie is much younger and it is evident by his style and complex choreography that he was still at his peak physically. Purely acting wise, Jackie’s comedic timing and delivery has never been executed so well. The film has great set pieces and will keep you laughing the entire time with some surprising suggestive humor from Jackie that most have never seen before unless you count Rush Hour which you shouldn’t.
I highly recommend this film and it’s predecessor Armour Of God, which is actually titled Operation Condor II: Amour Of God in the U.S. (though it was released in ’86) to anyone looking for some high quality martial arts entertainment without having to fast forward to each fight scene.
And make sure to go see Chinese Zodiac next month for one last look at the master doing what he does best.