Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Jackie Chan's First Strike (1996)

Director: Stanley Tong
Notable Cast: Jackie Chan, Bill Tung

What can I say about this bastardized American version of a film that I assume is probably more awesome in its original form? Well, firstly, it may not be all that good, but I have such a ridiculously good time watching it that it stays within my reach whenever I go for an action film. I have never seen the original form of this film (only this one) so I can't fairly compare them, so I won't try. Not that this one is all that good, we'll get to that in a second, but its a lot of fun and the choreography is something to watch again and again.

Jackie Chan plays Jackie (you assholes named him the same name!?!) as he goes on a routine watch scouting mission for the Ukranians and Americans as a diplomat. Suddenly he's involved with FSB Russian Agents ends up in Australian and framed for murder of a leader of a Chinese family there.

Of course, the plot is so ridiculous and outrageous trying to follow it is about as futile as folloing the plot to "You Only Live Twice". It only serves the purpose of putting Jackie Chan in outrageous stunt situations. Which is fine by me. Essentially the plot should be: lets watch Jackie fight 10 guys in a warehouse that is being remodeled and then lets watch Jackie fight a bunch of guys underwater in a shark tank without a Scuba suit and then lets watch Jackie Chan fight off a team of Russian army men in the frozen mountains without a coat and only a seal hat on! Etc. Etc. Which although, leads to a poorly crafted script and horrible acting (with even WORSE dubbing on top of it) allows you to see what you wanted. Lots of awesome stunts. Which is the reason that this bad boy gets a solid 3 stars. The stunts. The ladder sequence in itself is worth the price of buying this film at all. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Honestly, there isn't much else to this movie. Stunt after stunt after stunt. The story is outrageous and the humor is hit or miss. The acting isn't great and the dubbing is awful. But the stunts make it worth it. Not a need for kung fu fans out there, but a nice addition to his already stellar filmography and stunt career. 

Written By Matt Reifschneider

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