Project A (1983)

Posted in Reviews by - December 06, 2014
Project A (1983)

Jackie Chan‘s most treasured and well-crafted film, little can dispel the magic of this rip-roaring adventure. Here, Chan takes the martial arts genre to new heights and is the perfect showman; an auteur who takes the reins in nearly all aspects of production. Alongside Sammo Hung, he is a confident director and, unlike his previous efforts, more conscious of narrative. As fight and stunt coordinator, he is in his element; Keaton-esque with explosions of great physical action. He intertwines the action seamlessly with the story and creates a few absolute humdingers along the way, including a clock tower homage to Harold Lloyd and a clever bicycle chase in tribute to his silent movie heroes. As optimistic 19th century coast guard Sergeant Ma, he is tasked with wiping out a resurgence of pirates patrolling the China seas. Chan gives something of a straight performance, less of the kung fu clown he made famous in his traditional action films and more of the idealistic hero he would later personify in his Police Story franchise. Project A was a box office hit and firmly established its creator as the hottest thing in Asia. One would be tempted to suggest that this is Jackie’s best, and definitely proudest, moment of his illustrious career.

AKA: Jackie Chan’s Project A; Mark of the Dragon; Pirate Patrol

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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