Project A (1983)
Reviewed by: dragyn on 2001-02-18
Summary: Classic Chan
"Project A" is the quintessential period action movie: great stunts, great fights, great period set peices, never mind the plot. It even features a battle between pirates and coast gaurds, although only one very small scene is filmed at sea.

In my humble openion, "Project A" wouldn't stand as the timeless classic it stands as today if it didn't have Jackei Chan in it. The slightly thin plot and very thin charactization is covered up slickly by the bouncing, ebullient, energetic presence of Chan at his very best.

It is peppered with Chan's trademark comedy, and his tighly choreographed fight scenes. One fight that springs immediately to mind is the wonderful, comedic barroom brawl that pits Chan against in impossibly stretchy Yuen Biao, set against a backdrop of the complete coastguard fighting energetically (and messily!) with the entire police force.

And there are stunts. And what stunts! There is one homage to Harold Lloyd: a dangle from a clockface that Lloyd had done previously; however, Lyoyd used trick camera angles and mirrors to achieve the effect he wanted, whereas Chan simply went old-fasioned and did the stunt himself. There is also an impressive drop from the clocktower to the hard ground beneath, which Chan did no less than three times - ever the perfectionist. In the outtakes, you can see just how wrong it went, with Chan staggering away from the stunt in agony, supported by two helpers.

On another level, the movie works because of the obvious cameraderie and companionship between the three opera school brother who appear in "Project A": Samo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Yuen Biao. They are Hong Kong's equivelant to the Three Muskateers, and between them, they ahve helped to create movie history with classics such as "Project A" and "Dragons Forever".

In short, "Project A" is an action classic made by the best names in HK movies. A great movie.