Tuesday, March 23, 2010
'A' gai wak; action comedy, Hong Kong / China, 1983; D: Jackie Chan, S: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao, Lee Hoi San
Hong Kong, 1900: pirates rob ships and bribe corrupt politicians to sell them weapons and valuable information. After some time, the pirates even destroy the ships from the navy which gets defunct due to failure, leaving all members unemployed, among them the honest Dragon Ma. But they are used to form the police who are lead by the unpopular, rigid leader. In a distinguished bar, they capture a criminal, but Ma quits due to corrupt politicians. Only after he meets a friend, the fat thief Fei, does he decide steal the arms delivery to the pirates. He evens disguises himself and meets their leader, arresting them all with the help of the police. Together, they sail home.
With his 4th directorial work, the fun comedy "Project A", Jackie Chan achieved one of his greatest and most complete films, which also proved to be a box office hit. The story, which is just a facade for good vs. evil fights, suffers from a lingering start, but when the action sequences start some 20 minutes into the film, for Chan typically virtuoso crafted, they bring down the house and begin a hilarious action fun. In his first scene, Chan jumps from a bicycle which continues to drive to the barrier, whereas the bicycle chase in the middle of the film is also great, especially when he passes by the door, knocks on it and then someone opens it and hit his persecutor. Among the spectacular moments is also the one where the policemen throw people and sofas in the air during a fight, but the passive scenes during their drill-training are also neat (as a punishment, one of the recruits has to say that he respects women a 1,000 times, so the hero slaps him during the night to finally shut up). The finale where Chan is disguised and pretends he is the friend of the pirate leader is probably the highlight of this simple, thoroughbred style. It maybe a slightly obvious attribute, but "Project A" is really close to deserve grade A.