Monday, January 11, 2010

Movie Review: Operation Condor

The restarted Jackie Chan Film Festival reaches the 1991 sequel to Jackie's 1985 film, Armour Of God. He is apparently playing the same character (although my English dub called him "Jackie", while the first film called him "Hawk"), an archeologist with no apparent archeological skills. This film has a prologue where he just kind of bumbles into a cave full of natives and starts grabbing crystals at random - he only invokes their anger when he drinks their sacred water. In the end, he loses the crystals (come to think of it, he doesn't actually succeed at anything in the movie. Nor in the first one either. Hmmm.)

This one is played strictly for laughs - that is, the usual overly-broad laughs found in many Asian films. No one is played seriously; just about everyone in the movie is pretty appallingly characterized - the various natives are loincloth-draped dancing savages, the Arabs are Allah-praising idiots, and the females are constantly needing rescue (except when their towels are being yanked off).

There are several nice stunt sequences here, particularly a motorcycle chase early i n the film, and of course, the big finale set in an underground German wind tunnel (why a wind tunnel in the middle of the desert? Try not to think too much). This isn't one for impressive fight sequences - there are a few, but they tend to be short and more about the stunt-work than the fight moves.

As usual with the films of this period, if you can switch off enough brainpower to deal with the plot inanities, there's a lot of decent action work to be had. Three stars. Next up: I'll need to take that advice even more to heart, as we go full-on comic weirdness with City Hunter.

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