If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) is assigned to a local police force to try to clean up a crime-infested suburb. He ruffles plenty of feathers trying to get his corrupt department to go straight, but things really start to go bad when he gets caught up in the scheme of some Chinese revolutionaries and the royal officials who are trying to take them down.
Project A 2 is a woefully uneven film. Storywise, it is just all over the map, and is at parts a little hard to watch. Part of that I blame on Maggie Cheung who is gorgeous but really just awful at acting in these old Jackie Chan films. Project A 2 suffers from an overall lack of Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung. Seriously. Why bother making it if they were busy shooting Eastern Condors? And with Uncle Bill Tung picking up a great little role too, this feels more like a Police Story 1.5 than it does a Project A film. The "Night At the Opera" sequence where everyone is ducking in and out of hiding places in Maggie Cheung's house just goes on forever. When they start singing I'm just like "Ok somebody punch something already." It's more played out than it is actually funny. And if you wanted to give Uncle Bill the commissioner role, why even bring back Hoi-San Kwan? He hated the Navy in the last movie, but now he's in charge of it? Also the dubbing I watched had the most ridiculous Dick-Van-Dyke Cockney accents on half the characters. I know that's not Jackie Chan's fault but come on!
Where this film really shines is the stunt work. It is across the board phenomenal. My favorite overall stunt was probably when Jackie was running down the backside of the falling wall at the end of the film. That was amazing... but there's so much amazing stuff that it's really hard to choose one thing to look at. There's a great fight where he pulls a tablecloth off a table a guy is standing on. The guy falls to the ground, but all the dishes stay on the table. It is seriously impressive. And these aren't even the stunts where people get hurt. Jackie gets the crap kicked out of him in this film. He gets thrown down stairs and off of ledges and hung from handcuffs... (the best comedy in the film is this fight sequence. It's brutal and hilarious.) The fight work and the stunts in this film are hard-hitting, impressively choreographed and display the sort of inventive creativity that made Jackie Chan the star he is.
The biggest fault of the film is that it takes too long in between fights until the end. There are sequences that are almost unforgivably long and boring that Sammo would've saved by just dousing in slapstick. It's like a three stooges film with only one stooge. Jackie doesn't really have the storytelling chops at this point in his career to carry the film. But he definitely does have the technical skill. The fights and stuntwork are at the top of his game, and he beat the crap out of himself for this film. It should not be missed.
Upcoming requests include Lone Wolf and Cub Series, Beast Cops, Seven Swords, Battle of Wits, Breaking News, Space Battleship Yamoto, Tae Guk GI, and Assembly
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