A計劃續集 (1987)
Project A II


Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 12/14/2009
Summary: "You don't have to have athlete's foot to be an athlete." Miss. Pak

Sequels are a capricious lot with most nowhere near the stature of the original. Sometimes you find a sequel that is considered better than the original, some critics (such as John Charles) have stated that Project A2 is better than the original, I disagree somewhat but this movie is still a worthwhile follow-up and fits well in the output of brilliant Hong Kong action cinema in the 1980s as well as Jackie's own oeuvre. I do wonder how with such an awesome release of great films that his later films were not as good. He only has directed two films in the 1990s and none past that, but he has had much clout in many of the films where he is not officially the director.

Earlier in 1987 Jackie had brain surgery following a disastrous fall in the filming of Armour of God. This encouraged him to work on his next film close to home. This did not encourage him to stop risking his life and his stunt team for our amusement. What resulted is a smash hit at home that eclipsed the original in box office tallies (31 million HK dollars compared to 19 million for the original).

Jackie Chan is once again police officer extraordinaire Dragon Ma and he is ordered to work with "Three Wan" Superintendent Chun (Lam Wai, Royal Warriors) who is the only Chinese police officer allowed to have a gun yet is thought to be staging arrests to make himself look better and ignoring the crimes of a triad lord named Tiger Au (Michael Chan Wai-Man, Dragon Lord). Apparently Chun has too much power to be taken down directly, but he is relieved of the Sai Wan district (now he is "Two Wan") which Dragon Ma takes over. This inefficient and corrupt office will soon get a makeover and there is a great scene where three officers, who do not know who they are dealing with, attempt to assault Ma to teach him a lesson about complaining about police officers. He soon has that district ship-shape and Tiger Au taken care of. The fight choreography and stunts with Tiger and his men are quite awesome. My favorite stunt was a beautifully brutal fall from the second floor into a large vase and that vase did not appear to be soft.

Meanwhile a couple of subplots are happening. There are pirates who have survived from the first film who are looking for revenge and food. Then there are revolutionaries including Maggie (Maggie Cheung, In The Mood For Love) and (Rosamund Kwan, Casino Raiders) who are trying to raise funds for Dr. Sun Yat-sen to overthrow the Qing Government as well as government operatives who are trying to find these rebels.* Throw in a mixture of corrupt Hong Kong and British Cops as well as legitimate ones and you have a stew that is getting a bit too many ingredients, but yet still seems to coalesce. This works well when there is a Marx Brothers influenced scene (the Marx Brothers have done this type of scene a few times with The Cocoanuts (1929) being the first) at Maggie's place where everyone is looking for someone while hiding from someone else. Many weeks were spent on this scene alone and the effort certainly shows.

There are several faults with the film. There is a certain didactic nature that creeps in the film that seems a bit out-of-place – especially one small speech towards the end that Jackie gives when dealing with the Mainland revolutionaries** and the extremely easy conversion of the pirates that survived from the first film. Female characters are once again underused and underappreciated, especially Maggie Cheung. I was not as satisfied with the continuance of the plot as much as the first film either. The individual scenes dominate my feelings for the film instead of thinking of this movie as a cohesive whole. I do not fault the film for not being able to have Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao like the first though (I have heard the main reason behind this was that those two were filming Eastern Condors, but I do wonder if Jackie could have waited a small while to get them to perform in this – they would work together for the last time the following year in Dragons Forever), but they are missed.

I found this to be quite an enjoyable and well-made film and it is rightfully regarded as one of the better comedic action films of the 1980s. This film is also quite good in a few unexpected places. The art direction is superb (Eddie Ma Poon-chiu), the costumes are exquisite, the cinematography is good and the movie looks quite authentic. But the stunts, comedy and the action is what I remember this film for. There is a chase involving a handcuffed Dragon and Chun that is superb (part of the axe throwing scene would be used in Shanghai Noon). The last twenty minutes is full of awe-inspiring hits, falls, chili-peppers as a mouth-mace (Jackie writes in his autobiography about how he used real peppers in this scene; you can see him in a lot of mouth pain during the outtakes at the end) and is a worthy conclusion to this movie. The most famous stunt from this sequence is his homage to Buster Keaton from Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) with the exception that there is no hole and only a weak section where his head pops through.

Fans of Jackie and/or Hong Kong action cinema should consider this a must own and watch. I certainly do.

I have two editions of this film the Dimension R1 and the Mega Star R0. The Dimension R1 is English Dub only (with many hilarious Aussie voices), has dubtitles, has a Golden Harvest title instead of Golden Way Films, is missing the beginning scenes from the first film (replaced by English titles and credits) and has a little bit cut from the early pirate scene (possibly other cuts but the running times are similar). To me the print does not seem that much better than the Mega Star release which I easily prefer over those two. The OOP R2 HKL release looks to be the best release out there with the ubiquitous Bey Logan commentary and several other extras not found elsewhere. Since it is OOP the prices tend to be a bit high though.

* If you were going to date this film it is important to know that the Empress Dowager who is mentioned in this movie died in 1908 and the assassination of Governor En-ming (not mentioned by name in the subtitles) and the Kiangsi/Kwangtung uprisings took place in December of 1906 so most likely the movie takes place in 1907 (information obtained from the book China's Republican Revolution: the case of Kwangtung, 1895-1913 (1975) by Edward J. M. Rhoads).

** It is interesting to compare these comments with Jackie's later actions and statements which are more situated to Chinese Mainland hegemony than with Hong Kong allegiance. The statement made by the Mainland revolutionary Ms. Pak slightly earlier in this scene "But this decaying colonial system…" certainly echoed the current countdown toward the handover. However, Jackie does a fine job of portraying the many ethnic groups fairly. For example, while there are the treacherous British, the Commissioner (Bozidar Smiljanic) is played as a solid individual and certainly cares for his daughter Regina (Regina Kent).

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 09/12/2007

Along with the Wong Jing directed City Hunter and his first Police Story, this sequel to 1983's Project A is one of my all-time favorite Jackie Chan films. What a triple play! I consider that the period from 1985 - 1989 is Chan's Golden Age in his filmmaking career. His films of the '90's and beyond haven't been as good in my opinion.

In Project A II, Chan reprises his role as inspector Dragon Ma as he is assigned to control a corrupt police colleague of higher rank. Co-starring Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk and Rosamund Kwan Chi-Lam as young revolutionaries, Ma fights off corrupt cops, triad members, and the crazy pirates from the first film. This film has some of the most exquisite sequences Chan has created on film, including being handcuffed to his hapless superior while fighting off all of the bad guys.

more at happyfortune.org

copyright 2000 J. Crawford

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/25/2007

Poorly paced and with an emphasis on silliness that probably amuses Jackie Chan more than anyone else "Project A II" lacks the trifecta of The Three Brothers from the first installment but is a triumph of art direction, homage, and features some of Chan's best stunt work, nevertheless.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 11/04/2006

Jackie Chan is back as Dragon Ma in this sequel to his 1983 smash hit. The thoroughly confusing plot involves displaced pirates, Ching dynasty agents, foreign officials who like the occasional lavish party, a group of revolutionaries aiming to overthrow the government, and a corrupt police officer who allows the underworld to run unchecked.

PROJECT A PART 2 is wholly different from the first film – so much so that he may as well have ditched the title and a few of the details and made a completely unrelated film. I certainly believe it would be held in higher esteem if it had. The main problem of course is the lack of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao (who were filming Eastern Condors at the time). Their absence is certainly detrimental to the project.

It also has to be said that the plot’s a bit of a mess, too. I believe that there’s quite a bit of footage for this film that never made it to the finished version. I believe there was a scene showing Jackie in prison at one point, and certainly the out-takes show footage that never made it. What’s left occasionally leaves me scratching my head in confusion.

What can’t be faulted is the action (surprise, surprise). The standout scene for me is when Jackie is handcuffed to corrupt cop Chun (Lam Wai) and is forced to escape from the axe-wielding pirates. It is so inventive, funny and entertaining that it makes the whole film, and has proved so popular that similar gags appear in other films (DRIVE is the best example, although a similar scene also turned up in one of Jackie’s lesser US efforts).

Some of the humour is great as well, especially the true farce in the scene where Bill Tung and Maggie Cheung are (apparently) alone in her apartment.

Although it now feels like a dry run for his Magnum Opus MR CANTON AND LADY ROSE, PROJECT A PART 2 still has much to recommend it. It just takes a little while to truly get going.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 10/26/2005

Jackie Chan returns as Dragon Ma, who is now working as a cop in one of Hong Kong's toughest districts. After bringing down a notorious crime boss, Dragon finds out that the department's top cop (Lam) is corrupt and tries to set things straight. Complicating matters are a group of revolutionaries (Kwan, Lau and Cheung) and the Mainland hitmen after them -- not to mention a group of pirates who are after Dragon for killing their former leader.

The first Project A was great and so is its' sequel. Though I missed having the "three brothers" (Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao) together as they were in the first movie, Chan makes up for the loss of martial artists by upping the ante in the stunt department. One particularly inventive sequence has Chan in a restaurant, fighting off a group of pirates while being handcuffed to another man. The emphasis in the scene is not on fisticuffs, rather on how Chan can put various items in the restaurant to use, such as using a coat rack to hang one of the pirates on. Even though this film is almost 15 years old, it's sequences like this that make it still seem fresh today.

The comedy is also done very well. Instead of the usual broad Chan slapstick, the comedic bits in Project A Part 2 are heavily derived from classic Hollywood comedians such as the Marx Brothers. It's quite a refreshing change from the usual pratfalls and pies/noodles/whatever in the face jokes present in most Chan movies. Don't get me wrong -- there's the usual sight gags and whatnot, it's just that you won't have to see them overused every two seconds like in some other Chan movies.

Project A Part 2 isn't perfect, however. The plot is really convoluted (especially for a Jackie Chan movie) and there is a huge lag in the middle. I also found Chan's lengthy Once Upon a Time in China-style speeches to be too heavy-handed to work in the film. The subtitles on the version I saw were particularly poor -- besides Chan, most of the characters were referred to by their real names (Maggie Cheung's character is named "Maggie," etc.). But these are really minor quibbles. Project A Part 2 is one of Chan's best films and should be sought out by any fan.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/11/2005
Summary: A eell made sequel, but without Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung, things look bleak!!...

Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) returns after having rid the seas of the dreaded Pirate Lo. Back on dry land, he is assigned with his four closest coastguard buddies (including Mars, Chris Li), to the police force, where he has to clean up corruption and crime in a local suburb under the control of a renowned and respected inspector, Mr. Man (Lin Wei). Along the way, he encounters several Chinese patriots in the form of Yesan (Rosamund Kwan) and Ms. Pak (Maggie Chan) attempting to secure sympathy and support for their revolutionary cause. The Chinese Manchu government is after these revolutionaries, and anyone that creates trouble in this regard, even the police force, are targeted. However, the remaining pirates are relentlessly pursing Dragon Ma and the police commissioner (Bill Tung) and Superintendent Chan (David Lam) are always at hand to offer some extra assistance.

Unfortunately, the absence of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao is quite apparent in this movie and the action is not inspired since Jackie Chan is the only able actor with any fighting skills to fend off worthy opponents. The comedy is also reduced compared to the first part and appears to carry a much more serious tone. Moreover, the inclusion of Rosamund Kwan and Maggie Chan does nothing to improve the movie except introducing some comical moments when they are severely needed and offers no help in terms of the action. Moreover, the production consisted of producers, Leonard Ho and Edward Tang and executive producer Raymond Chow which should have inspired this movie to new heights. However, this is not the case and the production looks more like a comedy than the action-comedy which it was intended to be. This is partly compounded by the lack of innovative stunt-work by Jackie Chan and his group along with the absence of a real nemesis since at times the main culprit Lin Wei and remaining pirates seem like Jackie Chan’s friends and the final action scene is quite disappointing compared to the first part.

Also, there is no evident character development or sense of friendship between Dragon Ma and his buddies as was clearly apparent in the first part. Furthermore, the adventures are shorter and sillier and the action is more one-on-one and stretched compared to the shorter and sweeter version observed in the first part. The whole plot is quite weak and carries a de-ja vu feeling from the first part as the storylines are very similar in nature, i.e. a main problem dominates the main aim of the movie with several accidental difficulties arising throughout the movie and not allowing anyone to look at the clear picture until closer to the end. The whole point of Dragon Ma being given so much responsibility and credit for the disposal of San-Po, ‘King of the Seas’ in this first part is done in unbelievable proportions (as if everyone else is incompetent except Jackie Chan). Moreover, Rosamund Kwan and Maggie Chan are vastly under-utilised and should not featured or been anywhere near to the final showdown. This film mainly fails because the storyline is overly complex with too few twists and countless subplots which never let anyone focus on the focus of the movie (which is …Um?).

Overall, this production is a standard Jackie Chan comedy flick with small doses of action. Nevertheless, it is very watchful but would not go down in the annals of Chinese cinema history as any major achievement. Although, the one good point about this movie is that they did not put the actors through the misery of coming back for a third part. Moreover, Jackie Chan acts as he always does and cannot carry the expectations from this sequel all on his own due to the clear absence of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao.

Overall Rating: 7.4/10


Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 07/15/2003
Summary: Suprisingly good!

This followed on nicely from the first, had a good plot setup, some excellent ideas and crazy inventive stunts. The fighting was good enough, but nothing spectacular. The acting was good and the comedy was better than the first! The middle bit in Maggie Cheungs flat does go on a bit but redeems itself in the end. Well worth a leisurely watch.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/13/2002
Summary: Not too bad

PROJECT A II (Chinese name simply means “Plan/Project ‘A’ Continues “), sees Jackie Chan once again protecting the coasts of Hong Kong against pirates, crooked cops and revolutionists. But this time, he’s going at it alone without the help and appeal of Sammo Hung & Yuen Biao. When I first saw it about 12 years ago I always loved it, but after buying it on VCD a couple of years ago, I thought it would probably quite bad. However, I was wrong, because Jackie does still manage to pull off a good movie without Sammo & Biao, and with great performances from both Maggie Cheung and Rosamund Kwan, it’s quite good. In fact, to a certain extent, at some of the time it actually seems better than the first.

Not a classic in my mind, but worth seeing. The cast list is pretty impressive too, although a lot of these people at the time were still ‘unknown’ to most people outside of Hong Kong. Jackie Chan, Rosamund Kwan, Maggie Cheung, Mars, Carina Lau, Ray Lui, the list goes on.

Check it out, but I think it’s only available in Chinese on VCD, and I lost my copy a while ago and wanted to see it again first before reviewing it, but couldn’t. But the UK DVD label ‘HK Legends’ will be releasing it later this year (thanks to Bey Logan), and they always bring out the best DVDs with clear picture and loads of extra features.

Rating: 3/5


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


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

A very funny movie with lots of action and stunts!!
This doesn't have his "2 brothers" in it this time but that means more Jackie!!
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!! Slightly weaker than the first!!

8/10


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Hong Kong at the turn of the century is something of afrontier town where the line between cops and crooks is frequently crossed by Police Superintendent Chun. To put an end to Chun's actions, Inspector Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) is assigned to head one of Chun's precincts. When Ma begins to interfere with Chun's dubious actions, Chun tries to set him up for demotion...and murder. But with Ma, his men, Chinese revolutionaries, and reformed pirates from the previous adventure after him, Chun doesn't stand a chance.

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

An inferior sequel which unfortunately did not have the backup talents of Samo Hung and Yuen Biao as in the first film. However it is still a good film with the usual amount of action and comedy.

(7/10)



[Reviewed by Dave Warner]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

This sequel to the first film is another actioner set in Hong Kong at the turn of the century, when an intrepid police inspector fights crooks and a corrupt policeman. A lively and mindless blend of martial arts mayhem and comedy, with Chan as ever, choreographing and performing his own stunts.

(3/5)



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


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

Jackie Chan is again a coast guard officer, but now he fights corrupt cops, entrenched politicians, Chinese revolutionaries, and vengeful pirates on his way to dismantling an organized crime ring. Funny and exciting, highlighted a series of his greatest set pieces.

(4/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 10