The man, the myth, the legend known as Jackie Chan has graced our screens over the past 50 years. Many people know Jackie as an actor but he is so much more than that. He is classically trained in Kung Fu, as well as many other fighting styles.
He has his own foundation where he raises money to help the youth when they need medical services or scholarships. He has released over 20 albums singing songs in 4 different languages. He also has done his own stunts for years risking his body multiple times for our entertainment. April 7th was Jackie Chan’s birthday as well as the release of his new film, “Ride On”. It felt like a good time to look back and give my top 10 Jackie Chan films.
10. First Strike
In this fun action film, Jackie plays a CIA agent who is in charge of tracking down a mysterious woman. Along the way, he snowboards, fights underwater, and even encounters a shark. This is the fourth entry in the Police Story franchise but was renamed when released in the USA.
What makes this one great on top of Jackie’s comedic timing are two particular stunts. While Jackie is snowboarding, he goes off a cliff, hangs onto a helicopter, and falls into a frozen lake. I don’t know how this man is still alive. The other great stunt in this movie involves a ladder. Jackie is forced to fight some thugs and uses his environment. Ladders are not supposed to be thrown around like a tennis ball. It is definitely worth checking out for multiple reasons.
9. The Foreigner
Jackie Chan plays a small businessman who loses his daughter tragically during a terrorist attack. This awakens his past and he goes on a journey full of revenge.
This is one of Chan’s more recent films and it allows him to show off how good of a dramatic actor he can be. This is not your average revenge thriller as there honestly isn’t even much action in it. Instead, we get a well-written, well-directed smart political thriller that packs an emotional punch. When there is action it is quick and to the point.
I love the over-the-top action that Jackie gives us, but if there is ever a time that he wants to just do drama, it is nice to know we will be in good hands.
8. Operation Condor: Armour of God II
Jackie plays a secret agent hired to track down stolen Nazi gold hidden somewhere in the Sahara Desert in this action adventure.
This movie is a lot of fun and in my opinion, surpasses the original. This movie gives Chan the chance to be Indiana Jones. Jackie idolized a bunch of silent film stars and it shows as we get a lot of goofy slapstick throughout that makes for a fun time. There are many great stunts in this one including one where Jackie swings from a chain. This stunt caused Jackie to fall and break his sternum. You can see this footage and more in the bloopers at the end of the film.
The great thing about most of Jackie Chan’s movies is that there are bloopers at the end to show how hard these stunts can be. Operation Condor is great for anyone looking for adventure.
7. Rumble in the Bronx
Jackie plays a man on vacation visiting his uncle who lives in the Bronx. When a biker gang ruins his uncle’s store, Jackie decides to step up and fight for his family and the neighborhood.
First of all, this movie was not filmed in the Bronx. There are no mountains in the Bronx. There is nothing in this movie that looks like the Bronx but still, it’s a pretty fun time. Long-time Chan collaborator Stanley Tong directs this one and shows off the comedic action perfectly.
This was one of the first movies to bring Jackie to the US mainstream and it is a good one for those uninitiated to start off with. It also has an amazing stunt where Jackie makes a 28-foot jump from one building to another. The gang members in this are kind of silly but the well-shot fighting scenes definitely make up for it.
6. Dragons Forever
A few men come together to take on a chemical corporation that is up to no good.
Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung show off their fighting skills and comedic chops here in a fast-paced easy-to-watch story. It balances comedy, kung fu, and romance all surprisingly very well. There is a whole factory fighting scene that has to be one of the best ever to be put on film. The choreography is perfect and you feel every punch and every kick.
This is definitely one that fans should not skip out on Even after 30 years you would be hard-pressed to find better action sequences.
5. Project A
Jackie plays a marine here who discovers there are some crooked comrades who are working with pirates. It is up to Jackie and Sammo to take them down.
This one is full of action and anytime Jackie gets to work alongside his friends, it always seems to make for a better movie. There is a scene where Jackie is fighting on top of a clock tower. He eventually falls, hanging onto the clock tower, and slips crashing down to the ground through two awnings, Jackie injured his neck doing this stunt but the finished project is glorious.
Also, I have to mention that Jackie fights with a bicycle in this movie and it is just incredible the number of things he can fight with and make it look so natural.
Jackie stars alongside new Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as the pair go undercover to stop a drug lord.
This is easily one of Chan’s best and it is fun to see him with a partner that is on his level. Yeoh also does all her own stunts here including one where she rides a motorcycle onto a moving train. Their chemistry is strong here and the comedy is at its best.
The finale is impressive as we have many cars, trains, and helicopters. Jackie even jumps from a building and hangs onto the rope ladder of a helicopter as it flies all over the city.
3. Rush Hour
Jackie plays a cop from Hong Kong who is searching for a kidnapped little girl. He meets up with Detective Carter and the two do what they can to solve the case despite their differences.
This is still one of the funniest movies I have ever seen and one of my favorite movies in general. I can watch it all the time and never get tired of it. If Rumble in the Bronx introduced American audiences to Jackie, Rush Hour showed the USA that he was a star. The movie became Chan’s highest-grossing film at that point.
Jackie and Chris Tucker have so much chemistry together and their line deliveries are perfect. The action and fighting are also very well done. A couple of sequels followed with news of a fourth film on the way making this one of Chan’s most successful franchises.
The soundtrack is great, the script is funny and it has one of the best tag lines ever. “The fastest hands in the east meets the biggest mouth in the west.” GOLD!!
2. Police Story
The story is simple here. Chan plays a cop who really just wants to keep the bad guys in check.
What makes this film so special is how it influenced other films and the fact that Chan gives it his very all. The opening sequence of this film is one of a kind with nonstop stunts and action that many films that came out after borrowed segments from this,
The finale of this film takes place in a mall where there is a ton of glass breaking and merchandise being destroyed left and right. Chan even jumps off a top floor and slides down a pole full of lights in a sequence that needs to be seen to be believed. You don’t get much better than this when it comes to comedy mixed with stunts.
1. The Legend of Drunken Master
This in my opinion is Jackie Chan’s best film. Jackie plays a disappointing son who finds out there are British folks trying to steal Chinese artifacts and does what he can to stop them. The problem is that Jackie can really only fight when he is drunk. Think of Popeye and his spinach.
The comedy here is the best as Chan doesn’t want to hurt his family with his drinking but needs to in order to protect them. The slapstick and physical comedy really stick out as Jackie is falling over just about everything while still destroying everyone.
This movie also has the best ending fight scene that I have ever seen in a movie. Jackie takes on the villain(Chan’s old real-life bodyguard) in a steel factory where punches and kicks never end. It is brutal and you cannot take your eyes off it. They even fight on top of hot coals(Jackie burned his hands pretty bad filming this). Once Jackie drinks some industrial alcohol to make himself stronger, we get a man that can’t be stopped. It truly is a perfect film.
- Wheels on Meals
- Who Am I?
- Shanghai Noon
What is your favorite Jackie Chan movie? Are there any that I missed? Leave a comment below.