Jackie Chan's Top 100 Action Scenes: 90-81 - The Part-Time Critic

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jackie Chan's Top 100 Action Scenes: 90-81


90. Chan Takes On Iron Head the Thief
Drunken Master (1978)
Category: Fight - One on One
(The fight begins at 2:20)

This comical fight scene comes from Chan's breakthrough film Drunken Master. Although I feel the film is a bit overrated, this sequence displays some of Chan's burgeoning skills. Lots of fast foot and hand work along with a 'Bruce Lee' moment with a hammer.

89. Drunken Master vs. The Bamboo King
Drunken Master (1978)
Category: Weapon Fight

Another fight from Drunken Master see's our arrogant Chan in a beautifully staged fight featuring bo sticks and a wooden stool. In retrospect, this could be lower on the list, if it wasn't for how much I hate Chan's personality in this film. It makes the fart and poop jokes that much more distateful and just doesn't find the right tone. This is great one on one work though that would make Lau Kar-Lueng proud.

88. Draggd Behind a Hovercraft & Stopping it in the City
Rumble in the Bronx (1996)
Category: Chase/Stunt

Just an absolute stunt fest and the first action clip that really shows the difference between Chan and all his action counterparts. From huge jumps (jumping onto the hovercraft broke Chan's ankle), to skiing behind the craft, to all the ridiculous hanging on, this is just one beautiful stunt after another. I particularly love the bit where Chan gets crushed by the hovercraft and rises out fo the sand in it's aftermath, I couldn't imagine Keaton with a straighter face.

87. General Fights His Own Army to the End
The Myth (2005)
Category: Fight - Weapons Fight

The Myth was Chan's attempt at an epic period piece (like Hero) mixed with an Indiana Jones adventure story. While its clearly in the 'superhuman' realm of fighting, I think Chan is able here to pull off this one man vs. hundreds feel he is going for. Again, it's a different style of fight than Chan is exploring and his creativity comes through here as well, see how he uses his spear to send rock projectiles into the oncoming calvary. It's not perfect, but I find it inventive and effective.

86. Exploding Tanker Truck Finale
The Accidental Spy (2002)
Category: Action/Stunt/Car Chase
(It doesn't really begin until 0:15 in)

Few people could blend the different categories of action scenes like Chan can. In this epic scene here we have elements of a car chase, fight scene, and thrilling disaster piece. There's ample practical stunts, practical destruction, and it's filmed pretty well to boot. The only real negative are the clearly CGI flames on the tanker. In the end, its forgiveable for such a great real explosion in the end though.

85. Final Fight in the Museum
Rush Hour (1998)
Category: Fight - Multiple People / Stunt
(The scene begins at 7:31)

Another great hybrid action sequence from Chan. What starts out as a shootout becomes a fight and ends with parkour (not seen in the clip) and one incredible stunt. What helps this scene is that it fits really well as the finale of the film. While there are plenty of problems with the film, this finale does a good job in brining it all together and wrapping it up with action. Chan uses a gag here that he exploits in several of his fights, watch how an enemy will discover a soft spot of Chan's (in this case, the fact they don't want the vases broken) and exploits it for laughs. A very clever gag.

84. Circular Door and the Police
Shanghai Knights (2003)
Category: Fight - Multiple People
(Unable to embed compatible video but LINK is here. Video starts at 8:00)

It's such a frivolous little action beat that you may not think twice about the creativity and cleverness on display. It's only a minute and twenty seconds long, but there is a grace to every step Chan takes here; notice he slides out the door at the last second getting his hat stuck, something he finishes the scene by putting on. He would keep the same theme in the next action scene that see's him lose his jacket in the beginning and then put it on at the end. Who else puts together such a sublime piece of wackiness, grace, and wit? I think the music just underscores it perfectly.

83. Snowmobile and Helicopter Shootout
Police Story IV: First Strike (1997)
Category: Action/Chase
(All 3 videos combined only equal a little over 5 min.)

James Bond gets the Jackie treatment here in another one of Chan's shootout/fight/chase/stunt hybrid scenes. Leave it to Chan to take what is essentially a Bond ripoff (the skiing henchmen) and turn it into a self-deprecating (the silly hat is from a souvenir shop) scene of humor. See for instance Chan's ungloved hands, which remain ungloved the whole sequence, even after he takes an icy dip. Add snowboarding to his resume alongside skiing behind a hovercraft.

82. Lu Yan and Jason fight Soldiers in the Restaurant
The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
Category: Fight - Multiple People
(Unable to embed compatible video, but LINK is here)

Essentially The Forgotten Kingdom was written off because it was directed at a family audience. It's a shame because two of Chan's best action sequences came from that film, including this scene that allows Chan a few moments to really shine with a wooden bo. You get the feeling here that Chan was able to use the young boy in much the same way he integrated Tucker in his Rush Hour sequences. It's too bad it's the forgotten film, because this sequence here deserves to be remembered.

81. Chinese Village Fight w/ Sammo Hung
Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
Category: Weapons Fight - Muliple People
(Unable to embed compatible video, but LINK is here. Video starts at 4 min.)

Another forgotten and overlooked film in Chan's career, features a couple imaginative sequences by Chan. While the film is suspect, at the very least Chan was able to demonstrate a couple of exemplary scenes like the one above.

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  1. aaah "The Drunken Master".... I noticed your comment about it being overrated, which mean I will not revisit that movie;-) I will let it stay great in my memory. Please read this as it is intended, like an advice and tip. You have a lot of videos(wild guess) and I imagine that you keep a big library of old videoclips and scenes. Try out this tool to create order out of chaos, it really helped me.

  2. Just watched most of these videos and realized that the bench that Chan uses in "Around the world in 80 days" is the same as the one he uses in "Drunken Master" quite the throwback...