Thursday, 13 March 2014

Project A (1983)

Jackie Chan stars as a member of the Hong Kong Marine Police in a coastal town that has been trying to deal with a looming pirate problem, with the villains led by San-Po (Dick Wei). Unfortunately, the Marine Police seems to spend most of its time fighting with the standard Police Force, pitting our hero against the great Yuen Biao during the early moments of the film. It's not long, however, until Chan and Biao end up teaming up in their attempt to defeat the pirates, joined by Sammo Hung (playing a good-hearted thief who wants to help out while not getting himself killed).

Project A is one of those Jackie Chan movies that his fans love, mainly because it allows him to do what he does best - demonstrate some amazing moves in a number of action sequences that showcase just what a brilliant physical performer he is. Add in Sammo and Yuen and you have the dream team (Yuen Biao has been a favourite of mine since he blew me away in the finale of Dragons Forever).

It's pretty great, I can't deny that. It's just personal preference that leads to me rating this slightly lower than most people might, because I have other Jackie Chan movies that I prefer to this one (including the aforementioned Dragons Forever).

With moments that pay homage to Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, set-pieces that will make you wince while keeping a smile on your face, a riveting grand finale, and the presence of the lovely Isabella Wong turning the heads of the male leads, Project A has plenty to recommend it. If you've seen any documentaries or TV shows that used clips from Jackie Chan movies then the chances are that you've seen some excerpts from this one, be it the wonderful bicycle chase sequence or that daredevil clock tower stunt.

Chan also wrote and directed this movie, allowing him to create the best, and most creative, sequences for himself and his co-stars. While I like some of his other movies more than this, there's no denying that Project A deserves a place on the movie shelf of any self-respecting action movie fan.


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