Jackie Chan's Top 100 Action Scenes: 50-41 - The Part-Time Critic

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Jackie Chan's Top 100 Action Scenes: 50-41

Coming to the Top 50 is a welcome sight as the quality of the sequences continues to get stronger and stronger (as is the natural progression of a Top 100 I suppose). The previous sequences were all quality, but it's always nice to make one's way into the meatier and more substantive sequences of Jackie's career. Keep in mind, there is always some play room in these standings as there really isn't much difference between something at 47 and 42, but I did make sure that natural cutoffs were honored. In other words, the Top 25 was chosen because it's the best 25, and #26 doesn't belong. The top ten was was chosen at the best ten and #11 doesn't belong, and so forth through top five and the final one. I hope you enjoy.


50. First Full Demonstration of Drunken Boxing
The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
Category: Fight - Multiple People

Some might put this spectacular sequence higher (meaning a better spot) on their lists, it is indeed incredible, but it's a little too nicely choreographed for my tastes. The whole routine goes a bit too neat for me to make it higher, but that aside, and one has to marvel at the creativeness to think this up and the athleticism to pull it off. One of those sequences you rarely find any other action stars pulling off.

49. Art Gallery Flight Ends in Chasing a Balloon
Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
Category: Fight - Prop Fight/Multiple People
(The fight begins at 8:43 and continues to the next video. There is a brief pause of action and then it begins again on the balloon)

While the film itself isn't much to write home about, Jackie delivers several creative fight sequences in Around the World in 80 Days two which have already made the list. This is the best fight from the film and is one of the best examples of the typical type of fight he would put together for his Hollywood films. While the true fight fan would be disappointed, Chan does little more than simple kicks and punches, but for one looking for more creativity, this sequence is genius. I love the methodical way in which Chan paints a landscape on a canvas during the fight, accidentally punches himself in the mirror and in true Chaplin fashion creates a couple hilarious visual gags going up the side of a building on a rope. In fact, Chan later loses his pants on a statue (with a Chaplin mustache from the art fight earlier) in a reference to Chaplin in the opening scenes of 'City Lights'.

48. Indians Attack
Shanghai Noon (2000)
Category: Fight - Multiple People

As I mentioned earlier, Chan's approach to his Hollywood films seem to be less 'fight' centered and more 'creativity' centered. This focus lead to a lot of prop fights and creative weapon fight scenes, and this is a great example of what he could do. It's a short scene, but it's packed with one creative use of environment after another. Again, easy to overlook as not on par with his Hong Kong work, but this is a different side of Jackie here. There is more efficiency to the scene, and more creativity, just less diversity in the punch/kick area. Seriously, if you were asked to think of creative ideas for fights with only trees as your environment, would you come up with half the ideas Chan did here?

47. Sideways in a South African Alley
Who Am I? (1998)
Category: Car Chase

One of two car chases to make Top 50 (there isn't another until the Top 25), and this one is vintage Chan. Lots of great destruction, narrow streets, and one particular stunt that see's the car go sideways in order to make it through a slim alleyway. Topped off with a nice crash from the top of a parking garage and this is definitely a car chase to feel proud of.

46. Chan vs. Bradley Part 1
Gorgeous (1999)
Category: Fight - One on One

Here is a rare One on One fight for Chan, and it's a powerful and fast back and forth exchange. One of the best ways to really know if our actors have the goods and if the choreographer has the goods, is to see how long the camera maintains a shot, and how many moves are featured in each shot. This fight amazes in that it's composed of several long shots featuring 10 or more moves each! Keep in mind, most Hollywood fight scenes to this day only feature 2-3 moves before a cut. Despite mild use of wires, this is an excellent pure fight for Chan, without the use of props.

45. Indian Temple Fight
The Myth (2005)
Category: Fight - Multiple People/Prop

Did I say that his was kind of fight was Chan's bread and butter? Did I also mention that it's one of my favorite types? Here's another great example of Chan mixing humor, martial arts action, and creative prop/weapon/environment use to craft an efficient and entertaining sequence. It's incredible that Chan was still creating these scenes this late in his career.

44. Motorcycle & Bats Fight
Gorgeous (1999)
Category: Fight - Multiple People/Weapons/Prop

How long do you think it took Chan to learn how to pick up those bats off the ground with just his feet? It's little details like that, which are easy to look past and not appreciate when it comes to Chan sequences. It's a real move, as is all his incredible slickness with those bats. Perhaps this isn't 'better' than the likes of some of the other sequences above, however, it never fails to entertain me greatly to see him go back and forth with those bats like a great Harpo Marx routine.

43. Boat Fight with Gangsters During Lunch
Dragons Forever (1988)
Category: Fight - Multiple People

Can you tell we've returned back to 80's Chan sequences? The fighting is a bit quicker, a little more brutal, but also a bit sloppier. Chan wisely decided to feature a bit more of his athleticism in this sequence, giving it a lot more room to roam and show off all the different things he could do around the boat. Of course, the final stunt kicking the bad guy out the window and out the boat is a perfect topper to a fast moving sequence.

42. Drug Deal Gone Bad Turned Chase
Mr. Nice Guy (1998)
Category: Chase

This sequence comes from one of my favorite Chan films and one of his most underrated. It's the second sequence to make the list from Mr. Nice Guy. Chan always seems to be on top of his game when it comes to foot chases and he throws out all the stops in this one. Great comedy gags (I love the food vendor giving Chan up), quick fighting, and some very creative environment use (seriously, finding a way to fight with inflatables). It's one of those hybrid chases that only Chan can do. Unfortunately, the editor of the videos above cut out some of the visual gags in the sequence.

41. Jackie vs. Jet
The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)
Category: Fight - One on One
(Click HERE or the image to watch the fight. Embedding was disabled)

Look past all the hype surrounding the first match up between Jet Li and Jackie Chan and you'll find a fairly excellent back and forth fight that (while it doesn't blow anyone away) is actually a darn good. The fight is broken up into a couple different sections with each featuring a different fighting styles, including emphasis on leg work, foot work and hand work. I don't mind the wire work (they are both playing mythical characters), but I still would've hoped for a more 'definitive' fight. Still, I don't think we should look past just how great this fight is because it isn't the greatest ever.

Feel free to Comment Below

Behind on the List?
Use the Links Below to Re-Cap

No comments:

Post a Comment