Jackie Chan’s First Strike

He works hard for his money.

Maybe more than any action star of his era, Jackie Chan sacrificed for his fans, repeatedly putting his body into the danger zone for our thrills and amusement.

Here, he jumps out of helicopters, swims with sharks, and gets into a knock-down brawl involving ladders, and never flinches once.

Or uses a stunt man, since Chan, in the tradition of Asian martial arts stars, has almost always done his own work — and has the x-rays to prove it.

Working with director Stanley Tong, a frequent collaborator, he delivers another winner with this one.


Rumble in the Bronx

Welcome to America.

Jackie Chan was already a battle-hardened movie vet in 1995, but when this hit American theaters, it introduced him to a whole new fan base.

What they got to see was a dude who did all of his own stunt work, combined knock-down brawls with comedy, and was as resilient as they come.

Chan badly injured his leg jumping onto a hovercraft during shooting (as seen in the outtakes at the end of the film), but kept on going, wearing a cast designed to look like a tennis shoe.

Death to a tendon, birth of a legend.


Wheels on Meals

A+ for action, D- for dubbing.

Released in 1984, before Jackie Chan was allowed to speak for himself, this oddly-named romp still holds up for its slapstick comedy and busted-knuckles brawls.

The highlight in this Sammo Hung-directed flick shot on location in Spain is an extended, late-in-the-game showdown between Chan and kickboxing titan Benny Urquidez.

At one point, a spin-kick is so fast it blew out a row of candles for real.

And the film’s title?

It was flipped from the more conventional Meals on Wheels, because the studio had two straight titles that started with the letter M flop.


Jackie Chan’s Who am I?

Fear the foot.

This fast ‘n funny tale of a spy with amnesia features one of my favorite film fights.

It takes place on the roof of a skyscraper, with Jackie Chan facing a pair of deadly assassins, one of whom stands on one foot, waving the other leg in the air before unleashing killer kicks.

It’s vintage Chan, as he plays up the comedy side of the biz before unleashing his own deadly moves.

Then he caps things with a spectacular slide down the outside of the building, a perfect testament to his “look ma, no safety restraints” credo.