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霹靂火 (1995)

Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 01/05/2016
Summary: Jackie Chan or Benny Hill

Jackie Chan was not particularly happy with the results here and it is completely understandable. It was created as Jackie's ode to racing analogous to Steve McQueen in Le Mans (1971). Chan had a contract as spokesman with Mitsubishi (which allowed him nice little goodies like have access to prototypes and even Jackie Chan Limited Edition EVO vehicles.) which you would see prominently in this film as well as many other films of his. But with his previous ankle injury in Rumble in the Bronx forcing him to be doubled by Chin Kar-lok in many of the action scenes and a runaway budget because of the expenses of filming in Japan where transport costs alone were quite high (they would finish the driving scenes in Malaysia) I am sure Chan was worried this was going to be an expensive failure and his own personal Howard the Duck (1986). At the time it was the most expensive Hong Kong film costing about 25 million US Dollars (near 200 million HK Dollars) with the demolished cars about 2 million of that. Opening day it took in a then record breaking 4 Million HK dollars and overall took in 45 million HK Dollars. While it was never going to make its money back from the Hong Kong market, if they had worked more on the script and had a better finale it might have had better success globally.

Because of deadline issues involving this film, Sammo Hung was asked to choreograph the fight scenes. This was the first time Hung and Chan had worked together since the lovely (sarcasm) Island of Fire (1991). If you look at the credits you will notice several action choreographers, several car stunt coordinators, three script writers and Gordon Chan as director. But Gordon Chan lost or never really had control over this film and the movie feels too much like the American idiom took many cooks in the kitchen.

The script is the rub. Jackie Chan stars as Jackie Foh a racecar driver, mechanic, detector of illegal street car modifications for the police and, of course, martial artist who is highly protective of his two sisters and somewhat of his dad (director Chor Yuen.) He runs afoul of Warner Cougar Kaugman (Thorsten Nickel) when he chases him an ultimately gets him caught by the police in an actually decent racing sequence. He helps get him arrested and later lies to cop Steve Cannon (Michael Wong) about seeing him hit a policeman. Cougar is not angry about being put away. He only wants to race him and beat him. To make sure he races him he escapes a high security jail, kidnaps Foh's two sisters, and puts his dad in the hospital while almost killing Jackie by ripping his makeshift house apart. This will lead to a showdown in Japan between the two. Obviously there is much more to the plot but there are so many loose angles, unneeded characters and boneheaded decisions that to chart it would make it look more convoluted than a chart explaining the sleep levels in Inception (2010).

Besides the script woes there is also a powerhouse of acting between Michael Wong and Thorsten Nickel. Almost like a dream team of Marlon Brando and Charles Laughton. Wong shows the worst way to hold a pistol which reminds me of the Simpsons episode Trilogy of Error quote Hey Chief, can I hold my gun sideways? It looks so cool. Wong is also faster than bullets. He also pulls out a gun on an unarmed Jackie Foh. I have picked on Wong in past reviews, but he can be effective in such films as Beast Cops (1998: also by Gordon Chan.) However here the acting is atrocious from many of the actors. This can be forgiven if the plot was more coherent and not seemed like it was made from several screenplays put into a blender and then pasted together by a non-literate drunk or like a pop version of the Exquisite Corpse (see Mysterious Object at Noon (2000) or better yet watch something else.) Probably best to put away the logic detector when watching this. Also put away the critical detector as well, especially before the finale.

The pachinko parlor fight scene is awesome and is rightfully the most well-known aspect of this movie. Ken Lo (Jackie Chan's bodyguard at the time) is quite an accomplished kicker. While this does not top his work in Drunken Master II, he is always fun to watch. The wirework is effectively done here used mostly to emphasis severe blows and helping out with airborne combination kicks. Almost for this scene alone I can see why this film was nominated for Best Action Choreography for Hong Kong Film Awards though I am begging to feel that High Risk should have been nominated instead (Rumble in the Bronx would win). It won that category for the Golden Horse awards. Because of the previous ankle injury he is doubled much more than usual throughout the film in the fight scenes. It could have done without the prolonged shaky slow motion that plagues the rest of the film. But the inventiveness and that beautiful climatic scene of spherical destruction elevates this to one of the best choreographed fight scenes of the year and most likely a scene you will want to replay several times.

This is not a good film and one of Jackie Chan's worst of the 1990s. It has a porous script (Thorsten Nickel stated he never even saw a script) and a hilarious use of a deux ex machina, bad acting, not a particularly good soundtrack for the film with an occasional soft piano that feels like it belongs in a 1970s Hollywood comedic drama, a ponderous pace, and a poorly editing and undercranked racing finale that felt more Benny Hill than Days of Thunder that should have been the highlight of the movie.* Why add a comedic romantic aspect to what is supposed to be a serious race? The movies redeeming values is an excellent pachinko parlor fight scene, one good fight scene within the garage and one bodacious house destruction scene giving new meaning to phrase mobile home. Unfortunately there is not much more though unless you like Michael Wong and I know you do.

I have the New Line Home Entertainment R1 Enhanced DVD. There is an English dub and a Cantonese dub. The Cantonese dub is preferable because you will hear a combination of Japanese, English and Cantonese that was spoken during the filming. There are three subtitles: one Spanish, one for the English dub and one that is more appropriate for the Cantonese dub which avoids the phantom titles lines spoken only in the English dub but does not show any English spoken but still appears to be dubtitles. You can hear Jackie Chan's real voice in the Cantonese dub where he speaks both English and Japanese as well, though he is not in the English dub. The menu only gives you one choice of English subtitles, but depending on which language you choose it seems to choose the correct pairing. This is a dual-sided disc which one side has the widescreen (2.35:1) and the other one has the full-screen.

* Producer Chua Lam explained in an interview in Jackie Chan: Inside the Dragon: If you go to Japan to shoot, you'll know why things cost so much. After shooting there for a few weeks, there were so many injuries and costs ran so high that we had to move to Malaysia to finish the scene. In slowing down the cars, we could shoot everything just once, and then speed it up for the finished product.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 06/02/2007

Jackie Chan takes his fetish for Mitsubishi Motors to the jade screen in a big budget auto-racing picture that feels like "Rumble in the Bronx" (1995) all over again. The script is without a plot; the villains are two z grade Caucasian actors whose English dialogue needlessly rubs off on some of the Asian cast; and Chan's female co-star (Anita Yuen) is a jade vase that can walk and talk.

Worse yet, due to an injury sustained during the filming of "Rumble..." Chan is heavily doubled here causing action director Sammo Hung to photograph the choreography in a series of medium shots and close up's that alienate the audience from the one thing they look forward to the most in a Jackie Chan film.

The finale, which pits Chan against Thorsten Nickel on the track, found itself relocated from Japan to Malaysia due to poor weather conditions. Malaysian authorities forbade the actors from racing at nominal speeds so the filmmakers compensated by under-cranking the footage giving it an unintentional screwball aesthetic.

Michael Wong Man-tak co-stars.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/24/2006

Let me start out by saying that I am as big a fan of Jackie Chan and his movies as anyone who might be reading this review. Having stated that, allow me to say that Jackie's super-ego is wrecking havoc among Jackie's filmmaking ids [i.e., the actor, the director, the film editor, the producer, etc.]

Gordon Chan Car-Seung is the very talented writer and director of Fist of Legend [1994] starring Jet Li. Hot off this success, he teamed up with Jackie on Thunderbolt and receives the "directed by" credit on the film. Apparently, during production the two had a falling out over style or content [or both]; Jackie took over the film, and brought in 2 old friends to finish up shooting. Frankie Chan Fan-Kei, who co-directed Armour of God 2: Operation Condor [1991] with Jackie, is credited with the racing sequences. Longtime Jackie cohort Sammo Hung Kam Bo is credited as the action director of the film. The last credit on the opening "training" sequence reads "A Jackie Chan Film" and that is certainly what Thunderbolt is!

After the first 45 minutes or so you can notice the change in tone and development in the film. Sammo's presence is most evident at the end of the pachinko parlor fight scene when the tattooed yakuza attack Jackie. Hung Kam Bo uses what I call "the speeded-up slow-motion style" as Jackie beats them. Jet Li fans familiar with Kung Fu Cult Master [1993] will remember the style Sammo used in the final tai-chi fight sequence of that film. This "style" pops up again in a couple of places throughout Thunderbolt. The final racing sequences, directed by Frankie Chan, are very different from the one at the beginning of the film. The racing footage at the end is clearly sped up and at times looks pretty hokey! The street racing at night in the first part of the film, directed by Gordon Chan, is very exciting!

Thunderbolt begins as a dark film with scenes inside dimly lit garages and outside at night. Jackie plays a heroic well-trained Hong Kong automotive mechanic who also happens to be a great race driver. He is a quiet humble individual and shuns a nosy reporter, played by the lovely Anita Yuen, when he is thrust in public eye. Of course, by the end of the film, they are happily in love and what a cute couple they make! As usual, a bevy of long-legged Japanese beauties are thrown in to make Jackie's huge Nippon audience happy! The now legendary outtakes at the end of the film show only Jackie being Jackie; directing, acting, mugging, practicing, etc. The other collaborators are not shown [maybe Sammo].

There are, of course, the prerequisite fighting sequences that are part of any Jackie Chan movie. The previously mentioned pachinko parlor scene is probably the best work Jackie has done combining hand to hand fighting with wire-trick stunts and in-camera tricks. The first fight scene at the family garage is an incredible mix of camera movement, camera angles, and masterful editing! As a true filmmaking artist, Jackie always manages to show me something I've never seen before in a movie!

More at

Copyright © 1996 J. Crawford

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 05/05/2006

Jackie Chan fans should probably stay away from this movie; I have observed that people who strongly resent it tend to be hardcore Jackie fans who have developed attachment for his 80s style. Everyone else should give it a chance. Personally, with the exception of Drunken Master II, I enjoyed all the Jackie Chan movies that I have seen about equally. They always deliver good entertainment values to me.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 05/03/2006
Summary: Not great, but there's worse out there...

THUNDERBOLT has always been a bit of a watershed film for me, and something that made me finally realise that Jackie Chan was no longer a god of action cinema. I despised the film with a passion and truly wanted it to go away and never be mentioned again.

Almost thirteen years passed between my first viewing and the one I sat through recently to write this review. A lot has changed in the world, and in my own personal life. THUNDERBOLT is a film I always knew I’d have to come back to sooner or later, so do I still hate it?

The answer is curiously no, and I’m not sure what that means, if anything. True, it’s still as dumb as a bag of spanners. The plot makes no real sense at all, the undercranked race at the end is still silly (although not as bad as I remember it and I now understand the mitigating circumstances behind it), it’s almost completely devoid of humour, the gunfight is too violent and seems out of place in a Jackie Chan movie, the acting by the English language cast is truly abominable and Michael Wong definitely calls Jackie “Jackie” at one point (his name of the character in the film is “Foh”). And that’s not even mentioning the extensive doubling (Jackie was still injured from RUMBLE IN THE BRONX and couldn’t perform as much as usual), a fact I wasn’t even aware of when I watched this on grainy ol’ VHS first time around.

But the crucial fact remains: I just couldn’t whip up any hatred for THUNDERBOLT. And I sat through it quite happily, much to my surprise. That’s not to say I enjoyed it all that much, but I can see how it might have made a decent film had certain things gone differently. The aforementioned undercranked race finale was a victim of circumstance when the filming moved from Japan to Malaysia and the team were forbidden to race at speed. This has resulted in the now-infamous silly ending to the movie. The whole sequence is weirdly surreal anyway, with some major accidents going off all over the place on the track and nobody seeming to find it worthy of comment or stepping in to stop the race. And the practice of putting a pit-stop timer on-screen breaks the fourth wall as far as I’m concerned – attempting to make the film appear like a televised race is a major mistake.

The haphazard and highly implausible story follows Foh, an upstanding member of society who happens to be good at fighting and racing, who ultimately gets challenged by “Cougar” (Nickel) to race when he kidnaps Foh’s sisters. And that’s pretty much it, although the film takes the best part of ninety minutes to even get around to thinking about a climax. Nickel’s acting is truly dreadful, and I’m pretty sure no one’s going to disagree with me on that point. It’s always the same in these “international” productions when Chinese directors direct dialogue in English – it just doesn’t work out.

On the plus side, the early car sequences are actually pretty decent – although not really what the average Jackie Chan fan was looking for in a movie in the mid 90’s. The Sammo Hung directed fight scenes are pared down to a certain extent, but what’s here is pretty good. In this age of digital media it’s pretty easy to spot where Jackie was doubled, but he does do some of his own stuff. Hung seems intent on blurring the action and producing very short, choppy action scenes, presumably to hide the fact that the star wasn’t present during some sequences, and this does seem quite un Sammo-like. That said, the Pachinko parlour scene is quite watchable, with Jackie going head to head with his own stunt crew and a group of near-naked Yakuza.

The fact that I’ve even noticed that THUNDERBOLT has some redeeming qualities is saying something, although I’d still prefer any of his 90’s films over this one (except perhaps FIRST STRIKE). If you’re after, say, a Jackie Chan film that’s serious, you will be far better off with the superior CRIME STORY.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: cars and stuff...

a gordan chan directed, sammo hung choreographed, jackie chan film. it's a pretty standard mid-90s jackie chan film, although the fact that it comes inbetween 'drunken master 2' and 'rumble in the bronx' leaves you a little disappointed by some aspects of the film. the action scenes (although not as bad, or extensive, as in 'mr nice guy') suffer from that stupid slow-motion effect, that just ruins the flow and impact of several sections of the fights and some of the editing is quicker than it needs to be.

although, there's still enough there to make it an enjoyeble slice of jackie. there's also a couple of pretty impressive driving sequences, that are done very well, providing you ignore the undercranked finale.

good, but could have been better...

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/27/2005

This is a great movie...for the first hour and half or so. There's some good fighting (including one inside an arcade which Jackie goes against Ken Lo), a nice car chase through the streets of Hong Kong, a high-powered (and violent, by Jackie Chan's standards) shootout/prison escape and a inventive action/stunt sequence where Jackie is trapped inside a trailer being tossed around by a crane.

In fact, this stuff is so good (hell, even Michael Wong manages to look semi-tough) you forget about the shred of a plot, which has Chan as a race car driver/police informant who has to race against a dangerous criminal named Cougar (played horribly by Nickel -- can't they ever find a decent white guy for these roles?) to rescue his two sisters. You can also forgive some of the heavy-handed "getting the point across" messages that Chan likes to put in his movies; this time it's against the evils of tabloid journalism.

However, this movie falls apart terribly during the finale. Now, this is when Jackie Chan movies -- even his lesser efforts -- usually get really good. But here? Nope. Apparently, the movie's shooting was running over budget and hampered by bad weather in Japan, so the crew had to move over to Malaysia. The Malay authorities decided they didn't want people driving so fast (didn't someone check to see if the government would allow them to shoot how they need to?), and as a result all of the climatic race footage is undercranked (sped up) and it looks ridiculous. Oh, and there's also a crappy romantic subplot that comes up too. And a gaggle of Japanese girls who swoon over Jackie every move on the course (now, Jackie, it's one thing to live out one's fantasies, but enough already).

Worst yet, there's no ending brawl. Yes, that's right. A Jackie Chan movie that ends without everyone and everything getting beat up or blown up. Not only is this a letdown for the viewer, it also forces them to turn their attention to the loose ends that are left. Like, who is Cougar? Why is Interpol after him? Why did Cougar want to race Jackie so badly that he committed kidnapping? Now, I know Jackie Chan movies aren't exactly Shakespeare, but come on -- between four directors (Jackie is notorious for sticking his big nose in the middle of things during shooting) and three scriptwriters, you'd think they could have come up with something better than this. Even Jackie (normally the biggest PR guy for his movies) admits -- somewhat -- to the movie's failure in his autobiography by saying "it's isn't my favorite film."

Still, this big-budget movie (at US$25 million, it's the most expensive HK movie to date) deserves a look. It's really only because the first part is so good that the ending -- and thus the film as a whole -- is a bit disappointing.

[review from]

Reviewed by: SteelwireMantis
Date: 04/16/2004
Summary: Messy at times, could've improved

Racing actioner with Jackie Chan as a mechanic who has 2 sisters that get kidnapped and the kidnapper demands he races with him in order to save his sisters.

Gordon Chan done a rather sloppy job on this movie, the camerawork in the fights seemed half-done, the racing was sped up and made it look cheap and cheesy. BUT the WORSE thing about this movie is the villain (Thorsten Nickel) who seriously cannot act, just his prescence makes you want to switch it off. And I think the cute Japanese
models at the end race screaming "Jackie! Jackie!" and hugging the screen makes me cringe, was that really necessary?

It would have been better if it starred Ekin Cheng or some other wooden-type actor instead of Jackie, it still would have been a box office hit and more time spent to make the film would've heavily improved the quality and plot.







Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Kyashan
Date: 12/15/2002
Summary: Cars and Fights

A real beautiful communion between cars and fights in usual Jackie Chan's stile.
I liked very much this movie because I like car's rides and martail arts movies, and, seing these aspect all togheter were a marvellous thing.
I advise everybody who like cars and fights to see this movie. Very good.
My ranting is full

Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 07/22/2002
Summary: Please stick to fighting Jackie, not racing

Well I just finished watching this movie and I must say that it wasn't bad, but at the same time not all that good either. The action seemed to focus more on the racing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but for a Jackie Chan film, it should've been more action I think. Comparing the racing scenes to newer movies like The Legend of Speed may be unfair, but I wasn't impressed by the over-the-top crashes that happened nor the whole feel of the race, it didn't feel like a heated battle between two racers, the feeling you get from something like Initial D. Now for the actual "Jackie scenes" there weren't all that many. And while they did have action, I felt let down by not having any kind of music to accompany them. When Jackie was fighting in the Pachinko parlor, it was just a long drawn out fight scene with no music just the sounds of things breaking... making the whole scene seem dull and drawn out. Overall a mediocre film trying to be too many things at once. Luckily for us Jackie stuck to his fighting after this film and not his knack for making an action car movie. I give it 6 out of 10 because it still had the classic Jackie feel despite it's shortcomings.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 03/21/2002
Summary: A MESS

Thunderbolt can be summed up with one word for me, a 'mess'. The ridiculously sped up racing scenes make it look like a complete joke. This was another mistake in Jackies ever going down hill career.

It's just got 'commercial' spelt all over it. The acting is non-existent, Anita Yuen looks bored, as was I, and the stunts were no more than average for Jackie Chan. It wouldn't have been that bad at just that, maybe a 3/5 for me because it was fun at times, but because of the awful car chase scenes (cars going at 200MPH when really they were doing more like 10MPH before sped up!) I have no choice but to laugh it off. I have only seen this one twice I think (though this time I hadn't seen it since it came out and looked better this time), but doubt I will see it a third time.

Not recommended - unless you like his other flops like Rumble In The Bronx, Who Am I, Twin Dragons, etc etc.

Rating: [2/5]

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 03/21/2002
Summary: Parts Better Than the Whole

With Hong Kong movies resembling Hollywood fodder, I have been revisiting some of the glory days of Hong Kong movies on video. I find that investing in some of the best of the past is better than squandering my hard earned cash on recent HK flicks. There was a time when I could do no wrong by checking out a Johnnie To film, but that hasn't been the case for a long time. I also haven't enjoyed a Gordon Chan film since "Thunderbolt."

"Thunderbolt" is one of my favorite Jackie Chan films. It is the last Chan film that features bone-crunching fights with some top notch stunt work, when compared to the Hollywood movies that Chan has been doing of late. Overall, "Thunderbolt" is better when dissecting the parts away from the whole. For example, the fights are fast and furious, in particular when Chan takes on the yakuza henchmen in the garage and later in the Pachinko parlor. This fight is a big reason why I like "Thunderbolt" so much, as well as being a great example of Sammo Hung's choreography with the use of wires to add a subtle effect of agility and speed. The Pachinko parlor fight is absolutely fabulous. Even though the film uses quite a bit of undecranking in the camera work, which is blatantly apparent in the film's car race finale, the introductory car racing scenes between Chan and Cougar are very good. For sheer thrills, the set piece where Cougar lifts Chan's boxcar apartment with him in it is simply amazing.

The movie as a whole is spotty at best, and the acting is on the terrible side, but the fun factor is high. You have to be discerning and very selective when using the advance key for your videotape or DVD player. Taking a bit of advice from MrBooth, I picked up the R2 Spanish DVD version of "Thunderbolt," (Columbia), which is letterboxed, containing the original Cantonese soundtrack, and the only way to view this film. I know I could have gotten other versions of this film, but I do prefer the Cantonese track to the Mandarin. Since I also have the Hong Kong R3 version (Warner Bros.), I can attest that it is not letterboxed but full screen, where you miss much of the action and lose all sense of scale and speed of Jackie's moves.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/13/2002
Summary: Good movie, not typical "Jackie Chan" though

One of the 'lost Jackie Chan' movies, in a way... definitely one of the less acclaimed of his movies, at least. Perhaps this is because Jackie was doubled quite a bit for the action scenes due to injury, which necessitated them being filmed in a different way to his usual style, making it feel not so much like a "Jackie Chan Movie". This feeling pervades a lot of the movie actually... there's much less comedy than usual, and Jackie's character is quite unlike his usual characters. And there's not usually quite so much car racing in a Jackie movie, obviously.

The plot to the movie is... errr... well, largely non-existant. There's some bad guys, one of whom is obsessed with racing. Jackie helps put him in jail, but he soon escapes and kidnaps Jackie's little sisters to make him race once more. Also, Anita Yuen is a reporter, and she falls in love with Jackie. That's about it... sorry :)

The production values for the movie are very high... a multinational cast and locations, and a wide range of sexy looking cars, must have all added up to quite a bit of cash. Also the quality of the cinematography is very high... clearly quite a lot of filming time went into it. The gratuitous use of blurry-cam in some of the fight scenes was a poor cinematic decision though.

There's really only two fight scenes, but they're both very good. The doubling is pretty obvious in places, but the choreography is still pure Jackie (with Sammo along for spice). There's a gunplay scene in which Jackie isn't involved, which is quite a shockingly brutal massacre for a Jackie film. They probably didn't tell him about it until after the final cut :) There's also one other miscellaneous action scene in a junk-yard, which is pretty impressive and tense, if weird. And then there's the race scenes, which are pretty cool. The first race, shot at night with just Jackie vs. German bad guy is definitely the better of the two... really sleek cars hurtling down streets at insane speeds, very well filmed. The big race at the end is quite realistically filmed... i.e. it isn't nearly as cool. Lots of cars get smashed though :)

Overall, it's a pretty good and enjoyable movie. Not Jackie's best, but still a good movie by most standards. The Spanish DVD is definitely worth splashing out for, if you want to see the movie. Anamorphic 2.35:1 picture, excellent transfer, good if basic 5.1 surround mix, and Cantonese Audio + English subtitles. Still the only DVD version in the world that has managed to achieve all of this simultaneosly, for some reason.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: Ummm..........

i found this movie was over too fast!! Jackie is showing he is running out of ideas and there is minimal action here!! There is this scene where the whole container is shaked which was good to see but the overall movie is not so great..........


Reviewed by: Fuck You
Date: 02/20/2001

It been about 4 years when I first watch this film on VCD, and today I just happen to want to watch it again, and I have to tell you that I like it even more that I did 4 years ago, I mean how can you not enjoy the car race between,

Nissan GT-R Skyline and Mitsubishi FTO.

OK, It may not be one of Jackie Chan best movie but it still really good. In the recent year Jackie Chan's movies seem to be too 'American' and ME personnal, I don't like it, 'Rush Hour' for example; it a ok film, and it did well in the box office it even made Jackie more famous in the US, but the quality {not quality in money} of 'Rush Hour' can NEVER be as good as the 'Hong Kong' Jackie Chan movies.
9/10 Excellent movie

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

It's hard for me to give a meaningful review of this film as it left no impression on me whatsoever. The basic plot is that Jackie manages to get the better of a professinal race car driver (who is also a professional killer) in a race through the streets of Hong Kong. To extract revenge, the driver/killer kidnaps Jackie's sisters and forces him to race in Japan. That's pretty much it. Anita Yuen is thrown as a romantic interest, but makes absolutely no difference to the movie whatsoever. Michael Wong is wasted as well. There are some specific action shots which are extremely impressive, but no one scene ever really comes together to make movie magic. All in all, it just felt like everyone was sleepwalking. By sheer virtue of its mediocrity, this film is much better than RUMBLE IN THE BRONX, but it would be nice to see Jackie enjoy himself on screen again before he stops doing action films.

Reviewed by: hktopten
Date: 12/21/1999

Much to my surprise, this film isn't half bad! The film's plot isabout as ridiculous as you can get (I guess Jackie's lost complete touch with reality). Let me get the bad half out of the way first: the villains have no character, no motivations behind what they did, and no background. In fact, I still have no clue what made these people bad guys besides the fact that they hang with the Yakuza and they are completely nuts. And plot? What plot? Without Anita's subplot, the whole film would have been a complete blank. I got this feeling that it would have been a MUCH better film if they stayed with Gordon Chan's original and a smaller scale. The last scene was completely Days of Thunder, and the finale, much like Rumble, was totally unnecessary. But hey, we are talking about Jackie Chan, Superman of HK films here. For the story to be unbelievable is a given, is it tolerable? Yes. Is the film enjoyable? To me definitely. For the die-hard hand to hand butt kicking crowd, there is only two scenes in this film which means it may not satisfy their hunger and therefore the word SUCK begins to slowly form in their neanderthal butt kicking minds. For those of us who enjoys HK films for what it's worth, this sucker's got flashes of brillances from Jackie's past work: the fight scene in the Pachinko parlor resembles the one above the stage in Crime Story; Jackie's constant revenge driven, obsessed garage owner turned race car driver is NOT his usual happy go lucky character. Honestly, I don't know why I enjoy this film so much, maybe it's because the expectation is SUBSTANTIALLY lowered on my part after Rumble; but hey, as long as there are no BIG YELLOW HOVERCRAFT (TM) (Union rule, have to write it in), who cares. Recommended.

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

Excellent Jackie Chan flick... not one of his best but great none the less... some amazing martial arts... however this movie is low on Jackie stunts... this is a sort of a more Americanized Jackie Chan movie... with more violence and less humour... should do great with American audiences if it is ever released over there...


[Reviewed by Andrej Blazeka]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999


[Reviewed by Brandon S. Ou]