龍兄虎弟
Armour of God (1987)


Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/22/2007

Jackie Chan stars as Asian Hawk a 007/Indiana Jones hybrid in "Armour of God" the film that brought Chan closer to death than he's ever been when a seemingly routine stunt in Yugoslavia resulted in a head-first crash from a tree branch onto a jagged rock below. Despite undergoing emergency brain surgery and weeks of recovery that put the production on ice Chan is generally in top form here. Unfortunately, his co-stars (Alan Tam, Rosamund Kwan, and former Miss Spain Lola Forner) leave a lot to desire. Eric Tsang, the film's first director, walked due to the lull created by Chan's injury to pursue a pair of Cinema City pictures.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 06/04/2006
Summary: Chan fights the bushy-eyebrowed cultists

When Hong Kong superstar Alan’s (Alan Tam) girlfriend Laura (Rosamund Kwan) is kidnapped, he enlists the help of one-time backing singer and friend Jackie (Jackie Chan) to help. Unfortunately, she’s been kidnapped by a group of evil monks from a sinister cult made up of people with extraordinarily bushy eyebrows hell-bent on acquiring and then destroying the Armour of God (not the God you and I know, but some other one we’d previously overlooked). As luck would have it, Jackie (who sometimes goes by the name of Asian Hawk) knows where some of the pieces of the Armour of God are, having already rescued a piece from a generic backwards tribe in some faraway land. The two find a Count who has two other pieces of the Armour (plus the sword, recently purchased in an auction by his daughter), and Jackie promises that if the Count lets them have the two pieces as collateral for the exchange of the hostage, he’ll bring back the remaining two pieces to complete the collection. The only catch? The Count’s daughter May (Lola Forna – make the appropriate whistling noises now) insists on coming along for the ride.

Armour of God is remembered for all the wrong reasons. Yes, it is the film that nearly killed Jackie – who was left with a permanent hole in the head when a fairly innocuous (for him) stunt went wrong. Yet it is so much more. The film races along at a whacking pace and is just so much fun that you often forget you’re watching a film. When I first watched it, I thought it was pretty good, but in this day and age when so many films (Jackie Chan films or not) are so straight-laced and pretentious, this comes like a breath of fresh air.

People have often stated that this (and the equally fantastic sequel OPERATION CONDOR) were Jackie’s attempt at copying Raiders of the Lost Ark; but in truth, apart from the opening sections of both films, there is no resemblance whatsoever between these films. These opening scenes ARE pretty great though.

Presumably set in the same alternate reality as Wheels On Meals (people of all nations speak fluent Cantonese – even to each other when there’s no-one else around), Armour of God was primarily filmed in the former Yugoslavia. As with Wheels On Meals, the change of setting from the usual Hong Kong backdrops is much to its benefit. In fact, there’s so much in common between this film and Wheels on Meals (including of course the casting of Lola Forna, but also in the style of the action choreography and some of the more dramatic moments) that if Sammo Hung were to say tomorrow that Armour of God was in fact directed by him, I doubt if anyone would be that surprised.

The only fly in the ointment as far as I’m concerned is the rather gratuitous and bloody violence displayed in the kidnapping scene near the beginning (played against Alan Tam’s hilariously camp 80’s synth-rock “classic” Midnight Rider). This segment was directed by Eric Tsang, who was apparently to direct the whole film at one point. Thankfully, he was removed after shooting just this one scene and Jackie did the rest.

Alan Tam pretty much plays himself – the former singer of a band called the Losers (Alan Tam was a member along with Kenny Bee of 70’s boy band the Wynners. Wynners, Losers - it’s a joke, you see?). Rosamund Kwan plays the typical damsel in distress, this time usually drugged by the cultists.

There’s some great action, of course, during the 94 minutes of this film. Notably a splendid car chase with lots of explosions and conveniently placed ramps. Although visibly under-cranked, the scene is still exciting. Elsewhere, the scene where Jackie finally takes on the monks (doubled extensively by his stunt-team – all wearing the same curly wig!) is pretty phenomenal, and the finale with the four warrior-women (doubled extensively by his stunt team wearing stilettos and clad in leather!) is a nice finishing touch.

One thing that may have passed by the casual viewer is that there is little or no slapstick in this movie – often a source of criticism for Jackie Chan films. Instead, we have some pretty damn good visual jokes that are still funny today. I’m sure there’s something I’m missing in Rosamund Kwan’s pet name for Jackie, though. Maybe it’s something that doesn’t translate into English, but I think there’s more to the name than is conveyed in the subtitles.

Anyhow, another cracking film from his golden period. Oh, and by the way, did you know this film nearly killed Jackie Chan? ;)

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 10/10/2005
Summary: Not much of a plot, but get a load of the stunts!!

ARMOUR OF GOD (1986)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Mono

Fortune-hunter Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) travels to an ancient monastery in central Europe where his ex-girlfriend (Rosamund Kwan) is being held to ransom by a deadly cult who want Chan to deliver fragments of an all-powerful religious artefact.

Forever remembered as The Movie In Which Jackie Chan Almost Lost His Life™ (footage of the accident is even played over the closing credits, just to prove it!), this thinly-plotted action-adventure boasts a series of death-defying stunts (watch out for a truly breathtaking car chase early in the film) and brilliantly choreographed fight scenes, set against the backdrop of various far-flung European locations. Chan draws most of the limelight away from co-stars Alan Tam and Lola Forner, and the 1.85:1 image seems a little cramped in places (Chan was forced to adopt the narrower frame favored by original director Eric Tsang, who withdrew from the project following Chan's near-fatal mishap), but the movie still has much to recommend it. Dimension's rescored, re-edited US version - titled OPERATION CONDOR 2: THE ARMOR OF THE GODS (!) - should be avoided at all costs. Followed by ARMOUR OF GOD II: OPERATION CONDOR (1991).

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 09/04/2003
Summary: Jackie Chan actioner with good plot

The film which almost killed Jackie Chan, turned out to be an enjoyable action flick which has a really good plot.

Known as bounty hunter Asian Hawk (Chan), Jackie is an ex-band member who split up after falling out with his friend Alan (Alan Tam) over Laura (Rosamund Kwan), the girl they both loved. An evil sect are hunting for the Armour of God; an ancient peice of armour which Hawk had stolen from a tribe. The sect kidnaps Laura and informs Alan to contact Jackie and bring the pieces of Armour in exchange of Laura. The duo set off to a Counts' place, who had bought three pieces of armour from Jackie. With a deal of bringing the whole set back, Hawk, Alan and the Count's daughter May (Lola Forner) plunge into danger and rescue Laura.

This film has some great fights and enjoyable action pieces, like the car chase; even though it was similar to the one in 'Wheels On Meals'. The comedy in the film is also very funny (the stupidity of the African tribe, Jackie fighting the Amazonian women, etc.), and the music score does suit the film. But the editing in the opening scene was a bit tedious (as Jackie goes down the hill his hair grows VERY long) it still is an enjoyable film.

The subtitled version is recommended, a good action flick from Jackie Chan.

*****/*****

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/12/2002

Chan plays Asian Hawk, an adventurer who teams up with a pop star (Tam) and an heiress (Forner) to begin looking for the valuable Armour of God to save his ex-girlfriend (Kwan) after she is kidnapped by a group of evil monks.

Armour of God is widely considered to be one of Jackie Chan's best films, but it left me feeling a bit flat. Yes, there's some great action, fighting and stunts, but the film seriously lags in the middle. Many of Chan's films during this period had what I term the "girl-chasing" scene, where Chan (or one of his co-stars) literally chase a girl around trying to get into her pants. There's nothing wrong with this in small doses, but in Armour of God, it goes on for about 15 minutes (or at least seems like it) and really slows the movie down.

Overall, though, there's plenty of the "good stuff" (read: Jackie opening a can of whoop ass) to please Jackie Chan fans and make this film worth at least one viewing.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Very good, recommended!

First of all, I'm not one of these Jackie Chan fanatics that rate all his films with top marks, and although I admit to liking him, I must say that this really is a good film.

Comedy, action and adventure! It's all here. In all honesty I think this is almost as good as Drunken Master and Police Story, which are my favourite Jackie movies.

Even the music works well in the movie for once, full of Alan Tam songs (don't let that put you off, they are his better ones, from the album Lorlei) and a Jackie Chan song on the English version of the film. The whole cast (small, but good combination) all pull of their parts well, Jackie Chan, Alan Tam and Rosamund Kwan.

Highly recommended, but don't rush out for the so-called sequel 'Operation Condor'.

Rating (of 5): 4

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 07/18/2001
Summary: Dated but enjoyable

People who complain about recent Hong Kong big-budget actioners with international locations should remember that it's nothing new... there was plenty of it in the eighties too, and ARMOUR OF GOD seems to be one of the biggest, and most of it was shot on location somewhere in Europe (a Europe where everybody speaks Cantonese though). You can tell they had more budget than sense when they have a leopard on a chain for no obvious reason. Jackie plays Asian Hawk, and Indiana Jones style adventurer who used to be in a wonderfully 60's pop group. The group appears to have split up when Jackie lost fellow band member Rosamund Kwan's affections to co-singer Alan Tam. Now he runs around the world collecting treasures.

A mysterious evil cult in Europe takes an interest in Jackie after he manages to find/steal several pieces of the ARMOUR OF GOD, apparently a suit of armour forged in ancient times with holy power to defeat evil or something. The cult kidnap Rosamund on the theory that they can blackmail Jackie into getting the armour for them, which they will then use for nefarious purposes.

The production is pretty slick, with a suitably evil cult and good character dynamics between the heroes. There's good use made of the European locations, and plenty of action sequences with Jackie as the main star. Quite a few stuntmen get dropped from dangerous heights to land in awkward positions, producing much audience wincing. The first time I saw the film I wasn't particularly taken with it - in particular the set piece fight with Jackie against 4 black women in amazonian costumes and make-ups just seemed so dated and ridiculous it quite turned me off. This time round I enjoyed it more, appreciating the way the story sped along with only a few pauses for comic relief. The fight with the women also seemed much less artificial, and I was less aware of the obvious stunt doubling. It's actually pretty intensely choreographed, with all 4 women attacking in complex unison.

Overall, a minor landmark in HK movie making, and quite an enjoyable watch. As always, much respect to Jackie Chan.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: One of Jackie's BEST!!

A very funny movie with lots of action and stunts!!
I wont say much since there are so many reviews but i am a big Jackie fan and seen lots of his movies and this a must SEE!!

This is the movie that almost killed Jackie and this documentary i saw, Jackie says now he's got a HOLE in his head, literally because of this accident.

This movie is a little short too but that doesn't matter!!

8.25/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dragyn
Date: 02/18/2001
Summary: The Movie That Almost Killed Jackie Chan

When I first saw "Armour of God", I saw the cut, dubbed version. I had heard great things about the movie, and felt somehow disappointed. It wasn't as good as I had expected. Then I saw the uncut, subbed version, and it was considerably more enjoyable; not only was there no annoying whiny dubbing, but there were also several extra scenes included that hadn't been in the dubbed version. However, "Armour of God" is still not one of my favourite Jackie Chan movies, though it is by no means bad.

Director Eric Tsang directed the first half of the film, but Jackie rebelled against his methods and filmed the seconds half himself. The slightly incoherent and jumbled plot and sudden change of pace are presumably due to this sudden change of direction.

The last quarter of the film, however, takes place inside the bad guys' HQ inside a mountain, and the fights that take place there are as spectacular as much of Chan's other work.

One interesting thing to note is that this film nearly killed Chan. He was supposed to jump from a castle wall to a tree, but he slipped to the rocks below, splitting his skull. A shard of his skull pushed up into his brain, and he had to be rushed to hospital. He still has a hole in his head now, which he's very fond of showing to interviewers and fans.

(7 and a half/10)

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Fhrx
Date: 03/28/2000
Summary: Brilliant vintage Jackie Chan...

Armour of God was the first Jackie Chan movie I saw many years ago and even now it still never fails to impresses me. Jackie puts a lot of effort into his movies and this is a shinning example of just that.

Sort of a double plotter movie, Armour of God on one hand has Jackie playing a shady treasure hunter known as the ‘Asian Hawk’. He is commissioned by a rich antique collector to find and retrieve the legendary ‘Armour of God’. On the other hand, one of Jackie’s old friends ( Alan Tam ) needs him to help get his kidnapped girlfriend ( Rosamund Kwon ) back from a mountain top religious cult. Their ransom: The Armour of God.

The neat fight scenes at the start and half way through the movie won’t prepare you for the brilliant fight scene at the end of the movie where besides taking out about a million men, Jackie has to fight the guardians of the Armour of God - four vicious, high heeled, screaming women. And believe me, when you see those high heels, you’re gonna feel sorry for Jackie!

A comical turn at the end of the movie also had me laughing loud and I thought its inclusion to the movie really made it shine!

One down side of Armour of God is that while filming the beginning scene, Jackie missed the tree he was supposed to jump into and fell four stories, smashing his head on rocks and giving himself a brain hemorrhage. He was rushed to hospital with blood pouring from his ears and had emergency brain surgery there. He was very lucky to live through it. Less that two months later he was back and finished what was a great movie.

Armour of God also features plenty of great stunts, the end one being the best in the movie. Overall, a great and really entertainment movie.

I give Armour of God 7.5/10


Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

Jackie Chan hurt himself very bad while filming the opening scenes; he's still got a hole in his head!


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Jackie Chan is a modern-day buccaneer, commissioned bymillionaire antique collector Bannon to collect pieces of an ancient religious artifact, "The Armour of God." However, the followers of that cult want their ritual treasure returned, and kidnap Jackie's best friend, Lorelei, as ransom. Jackie borrows the pieces of armour from Bannon to use as bait to rescue Lorelei, but Bannon will part with them only if his beautiful daughter May goes along to guard the treasure. Meanwhile, Lorelei's fiance Alan insists on going along as well. Together, they work out a plan for Jackie to rescue Lorelei and complete the armour collection.

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A great action tale with plenty of humour and great stunts.

(8/10)



[Reviewed by Dave Warner]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Kung fu actioner with Chan obliged to borrow back some religious artifacts(the "Armour of God") from an antique dealer to whom he sold them, in order to use the pieces as bait to retrieve his girlfriend from an evil cult. As ever, Chan does his own stunts in this fast and furious action tale.

(3/5)



[Reviewed by Elliot's Guide to Films on Video]


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

This cut-rate Raiders of the Lost Ark revolves around Jackie Chan's quest for a legendary suit of armor, with matinee thrills accompanying every set piece. The movie's alright as long as you don't ask too many questions (e.g., Why do all Europeans speak Mandarin?), though the outtake reel at the end is fun.

(2/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 5