Just a list of Asian films I've seen so far. As complete as I can remember them/have them logged on…
Armour of God II: Operation Condor
On his most dangerous mission ever, the world's toughest secret agent isn't going in alone.
Agent Jackie is hired to find WWII Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara desert. He teams up with three bungling women (the 3 stooges?) who are all connected in some way. However a team of mercenries have ideas on the ownership of the gold. A battle / chase ensues as to who gets there first. Lots of choregraphed Kung-Fu and quirky Chan humour.
African vampires don't like Chinese blood.
-Asian Hawk/Jackie Condor
My first time revisiting this film in over a decade and my first time viewing the original cut with it's Cantonese audio. Incredibly it lived up to my fond memories of it's slapstick take on Indiana Jones with martial arts film making sensibilities.
The film was made five years after the original, but more importantly Jackie Chan had the chance to direct four other films during that period and the gained experience behind the camera shines through here. There is a huge difference in the quality and overall confidence in the directing compared to Armour of God, a film I actually enjoyed a great deal regardless.
Other then the stunts and…
The Raiders/Jonny Quest frame of reference means Jackie can go even more fantastical than usual with the action scenes, and the marriage between his style and cliffhanger adventure is a heavenly one. As a director, though, he doesn't quite have Spielberg's knack for comedy, so a lot of the attempts to hit that Indiana Jones comic adventure tone feel a bit awkward (I'm sure a lot of that is also the fault of the Dimension English edit I watched). Still, I was having a shitty day and this really hit the spot, so much so that I don't even care that apparently I unwittingly watched the sequel first.
You know what's confusing? How Operation Condor is also known as Armour of God II, and Armour of God is also known as Operation Condor 2. And how in the previous film, Jackie was known as Hawk, yet in this sequel he's called Condor. There's just no bloody consistency in the American releases of Jackie Chan's classic HK action comedies!
As it happens, Operation Condor was a huge step up in quality from the disappointing Armour of God. The pace is not necessarily quicker, just less clumsy. The plot still makes very little sense overall, but at least the twists are worked in with a bit more thought and care, despite lacking precision - as they so often do.
Released in the US simply as Operation Condor, and another Jackie Chan film I had no idea was a sequel.
There's a moment in Operation Condor in which Jackie Chan is fighting two henchmen on a very dangerous platform. They pause a moment, look down at the gruesome death they are dangerously close to falling into, and look at each other. An understanding forms between them, a silent agreement, and they all safely and calmly move their fight to a less hazardous location. This brief moment doesn't feel like the broad, goofy humor that permeates the movie, this feels like a rare portrayal of honest humanity.
"It's so dark in here, where can I turn on the light?"
"Armour of God II: Operation Condor" sees Jackie Chan in a globetrotting adventure in the style of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with a big injection of martial arts fights and slapstick.
At least that's the surface. The subtext heavily implies this is Chan's profound statement on the trouble women will cause whenever they enter your life.
Because Agent Jackie is not just hired to find Nazi gold, he also teams up with three somehow likeable yet hilariously hysterical women who try to help him find the gold. At least I think that's what their intention is.
"Armour Of God II: Operation Condor" is full of stunning setpieces,…
And here we are again with one of my childhood favourites. This is Jackie Chan in his prime doing what he does best. While his later movies tended to be a little too wacky for me, this has the best mix of light and dark. Not only has it my favourite Jackie Chan fight scene choreographies, he also put in the extra edge to amp up the slapstick. This is pretty much perfection.
The darker parts are mostly conveyed by the story. The bad guys occasionally kill some people and in the end Asian Hawk is on the hunt for Nazi gold in the desert. The lighter parts are legendary for Jackie teaming up with 3 completely useless women. It's…
Armour of God II: Operation Condor is one fucking rollercoaster ride with laughter and great action!
It's Jackie Chan at his best. We've got a Indiana Jones like story with Jackie Chan humor and action. It's fun, it's great and I can rewatch this any day. That superman punch is just epic! The towel scenes are great and this is one of Jackie finest ones in terms of humor! At least for me. I had to laugh the whole way through!
I also liked Carol Cheng! She was fun too. The scene with the girls fighting with army helmets was great! And well, it's one of those Jackie movies you have to see to believe!
This used to come on most weekends on some movie channel when I was a teenager, so I've watched this a lot. Jackie Chan kicking ass and fighting Nazis. Definitely an underrated film for the great action star.
Note: I watched the truncated American version on Netflix. Based on how I felt about certain aspects of this movie I don't think I missed much.
The action is much more impressive in this sequel. More variety and a bigger budget really help move things along. I like the way Chan disarms people and there are several unique locations and conditions to the various fight scenes. The big problem for me is that it still relies way too much on slapstick and broad comedy. It is handled better than Armour of God but I found most of it unfunny and annoying and it clogs up way too much of the runtime. Still, I respect Chan enough for his ability and this was entertaining enough.
Operation Condor doesn't quite hit the same batshit insane heights as its predecessor, but the bigger budget and far greater amount of polish allows Jackie Chan to pull off some really impressive set pieces and stunt work that shows off his prowess as a director as much as his ability as a performer. When throwing someone off of a mountain in a giant inflatable hamster ball is the first thing you throw at the audience and it's not even close to being the most impressive thing the movie pulls out, you're in for a good time.
Maybe not as good as the first one but still entertaining and enjoyable. Even though my actual score is 3.75, I would gladly love to give 4.
What amazes me about the Jackie Chan films that I've seen is that there is at least one pretty creative chuckle in each of his films and there's at least one action sequence that is worth the price of admission. Such is the case with Armour of God II (I haven't seen the first!). While it can be pretty mundane, Chan's charisma gets you through any tedium and will always send you out with a smile. There's nothing GREAT about this film, but it's good fun.
Another thing that I've come to love about Chan's films are the credits where you see bloopers and realize that some things were actually pretty dangerous / you see that stunts were being done by Chan etc. These are how blooper reels should be made.
+ Jackie Chan directs way better than in the first one (everything is a lot more tighter)
+ Great funny scenes and dialogues, kind of a chinese "Indiana Jones" vibe going on there
+ Ambitious action scenes and crazy stunt work
+ Story is very simple and goofy but never takes itself seriously
- The three girls become quickly annoying after a while (screaming contest)
- So many bad guys that you get lost between the different characters
- The Riyad scene is very long and confusing
Unfortunately, the version I watched was the 1997 Dimension Films release. Because of this, the dubbing and editing are pure crap. However, the action scenes are still enjoyable.
Even though Jackie is one of the most famous action stars in the history of film, sometimes I still think he's somehow underrated. You can never take your eyes off him and I always catch myself rewinding to get a second look at all the crazy shit he's able to do.
The films listed in Stefan Hammond and Mike WIlkins' "Sex and Zen & A Bullet in the Head: The Essential Guide…