Monday, July 26, 2010

Jackie Chan's Top 100 Action Scenes: 30-21


30-21

30. Handcuffed and Running from Pirates
Project A Part II (1987)
Category: Chase



This premise is pure silent comedy star and the execution is pure Jackie Chan. It's not a long sequence (about three minutes), but this is one of those quirky chase scenes that is distinctly Jackie. Long before parkour became popular, Jackie is not only incorporating it into his action sequences, but mixing it in successfully with comedic gags as well. Incredible athleticism, gags and some solid fight work make this an all-around wonderful sequence.



29. Nazi Gold Mine Fight
Operation Condor (1991)
Category: Fight - Multiple People



As I've stated before, this kind of sequence became Jackie's bread and butter, especially in the 90's. Put Jackie into an interesting environment, fill it with martial arts bad guys wanting to get a hold of him, and watch Jackie use every part of that environment to hide, neutralize and fight his enemies. It's not the best of the bunch, but it's still WAY out ahead of anyone else. Great, excellent work here. My favorite bit is when Chan nearly gets his head sliced by a rising steel structure overtop some electric coils (its at 2:50). It's a close call that Jackie's face sells perfectly.


28. Escalators and Horse Carriages
Mr. Nice Guy (1997)
Category: Chase




I still continue to believe that Mr. Nice Guy is one of the most underrated of Chan's efforts. Here is a sequence that shows the gentle mix that was trying to be accomplished by Chan and director Sammo Hung. Having seen multiple of Hung's 70s and 80s Hong Kong efforts it isn't hard to understand why Chan plays a chef and can still match anyone kung fu for kung fu. That kind of stuff is accepted in Hong Kong film. Unfortunately, it just doesn't fly for most American audiences that desire some Navy Seal like background for our heroes. I like the mixture of stunts, to fight, to gags that this scene is able to pull off. Unfortunately the editing misses some of the lighter moments that begin this sequence. Enjoy.


27. Train Thief Fight in Three Stages
The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
Category: Fight - Weapons




The first time the two kung fu legends, Jackie Chan and Lau Kar-Lueng met onscreen, and it doesn't disappoint. Classic weapon work here and there is a particular sequence underneath the train where there must be 10-15 moves in a single take. It's fast and intense and shows the skill involved on both sides. It's a shame that we never saw a finale one on one with these two in a film, but at least we'll always have this one. Wish this could've made my top 25.


26. Arresting Choi Wolf in the Restaurant
Project A Part II (1987)
Category: Fight - Multiple People




Not a lot of frills and novelties in this fight, but this is about five minutes of pure fight and stunt work. It's all fast, and it all looks like it hurts. There are more bad spills and falls in this sequence than in most action stars careers.


25. Motorcycle Chase Through the City to the Docks
Operation Condor (1991)
Category: Car Chase



This is the best car chase (it happens to be a motorcycle though) in Chan's career. I don't think he ever accomplished a truly visceral scene, but he really nailed the stunt work and wide shots necessary for a great scene. Two things in particular stick out here; a sequence where he narrowly misses oncoming cars and cycles by swinging on a bar and the final stunt onto a net over the sea.


24. Pachinko Parlor Brawl
Thunderbolt (1995)
Category: Fight - Multiple People



Here's a standout sequence from an otherwise mediocre film. It's a bit more intense than the typical Chan sequence, but I really enjoy how this film continues to raise the stakes as the fight progresses.


23. Cops vs. Sailors in a Bar
Project A (1983)
Category: Fight - Multiple People



I think this sequence here is able to strike a great balance (as the best ones do) between Chan's gags and legit fight and stunt work. Nearly every gag works superbly here and because it's more limited, the stunts are more memorable.


22. Fireworks Factory Finale
Police Story II (1988)
Category: Fight - Multiple People



How does Chan live up to the standards set in the first Police Story? While not quite as good, this is a fine example of nearly everything Chan brings to the table. Much like in Police Story, Chan goes all out here with stunts, this is work that still has yet to find equal. Although Jaa and his team have come close, there are a few beats here that must've certainly inflicted terrible harm on Jackie's team.


21. Mitsubishi Car Factory Fight
Twin Dragons (1992)
Category : Fight - Multiple People - Prop



The film overall is as terrible as Van Damme's twin feature Double Impact. However, unlike Van Damme's film, Twin Dragons has a couple redeemable action scenes. This is the finale sequence where Chan uses just about everything one could find in a car garage. I love Chan literally running up a moving car, on top of the multitude of other great moments in this sequence. Something you'll hear a lot, the movie is sub-par but this sequence is worth the whole thing.

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