This 1998 Jackie Chan comedy is packed with good stuff. I’m not sure if I lost a lot of time getting to know the masterful Chan or if the serious lack of jest and comedy in today’s world makes him all the more valuable, but I really liked this movie. It is funny and smart and strong.
Within moments of the opening scenes, there is a flurry of completely inappropriate word choices. Wokeness be damned! Both actors (Chris Tucker is an excellent sidekick) are gifted in comedic gestures and facial expressions which simply amplify the use of cancellable verbal offenses. It’s so delightful.
Chan is endearing as he draws a laugh through self-deprecation and physical faux pas– but don’t let his warm-up show fool you. His use of trips and slaps and fake punches is there to set the bubbly laughter adrift in his audience. Once everyone is relaxed and ready to let go of a noisy guffaw, giggle or snicker, then Jackie Chan will show off his real moves. And they won’t let you forget the strength of this martial arts performer.
He also holds the film together with a credible yet not wholly predictable plot and lively scenes across neighborhoods, Burroughs, and architecturally interesting buildings. I loved the clips from pre-China Hong Kong.