Viewed – 05 February 2022 Blu-ray
Asian Cinema Season
(Hong Kong extended cut)
When a religious sect set their sights on an ancient collection of armour known as the ‘armour of god’ – a pop singer turned adventurer seeking the same collection finds himself caught up in a kidnap plot. Along for the journey is a rich collector’s daughter.
First time watching of this 1986 Jackie Chan ‘classic’ and I must say… I was disappointed. I found the story to be weak and it often dragged, with too much focus on an awkward love triangle and long scenes of silly banter rather than adventuring or action. Speaking of action… a five minute brilliantly choreographed end fight, does not make for a great movie. The chase sequence half way through was good though. As a Hong Kong take of movies like Indiana Jones, this had little of the depth or personality and only managed to deliver on a several (admittedly) eye catching locations. Not one of Chan’s best.
I picked up the recent 88 Films limited edition and intend to check out the other cut of the movie, namely the 88 minute international version, which may benefit from a shorter run time. There’s a wealth of extras here, including interviews, music videos, clips from chat shows, a stunts featurette and 3 commentaries. The set also comes with a detailed booklet, cardboard slip case, art cards and double sided poster featuring newly commissioned artwork. The movie itself has a detailed, yet occasionally very grainy image. The soundtrack has original Cantonese on the extended cut, along with an English dub. The international version is English dub only, but is fairly well done. So I’m guessing this made for a worthwhile purchase in the end. However, considering how famous this movie is (I’m guessing more for Chan’s almost died accident than anything else) I found this one of his least entertaining efforts. For a better time, check out the sequel ‘Operation Condor’.
(the movie) Poor
(the Blu-ray) Essential (for fans / collectors)