This is also the only film I know of where Jackie John Carpenter or George Romero’s himself, as in “Jackie Chan’s First Strike”.
As if whacking his face on the cover of the DVD wasn’t enough?
Anyway in this by the numbers Jackie flick they use Australia and Eastern Europe to provide overseas appeal, although I think it was more to cut costs, as this reeks of quick-cash.
It looks like they greenlit the thing with only a skeletal plot and thought “That’s enough, we’ll let Jackie think up some action sequences along the way”.
Jackie is called in to tail a suspect to the Ukraine, it should be an easy job. Of course this isn’t the case and after a pretty nifty snowbound chase scene the guy Jackie was eventually tailing escapes, and Jackie must head to Australia. Once again they complicate matters unnecessarily by getting him to use both a helicopter and a submarine to get to Australia so that the film feels big! Also they have to pad out an 80 minute running time somehow!
In Australia they roll out the clichés, Oztrayans speak with a ludicrously thick accent (I live in Australia and am Australian, I know this) and for some reason he is put up in the flashest hotel room in the country, complete with an in-room personal Koala!
I shit you not, there is a fucking Koala sitting in a tree in his hotel room.
The first fistfight happens about half way through the film and isn’t that impressive anyway, a later fight is much better though, and lets Jackie do his thing while twirling a ladder around for a while.
The big finale involves stilts, a pretty crappy animatronic shark, and as many gimmicky things as you can dream up for a “Sea-World type park, which in this case is too many.
1/ Are there any “WOW!” fights?
Only the fight with the ladder is memorable, and it isn’t massively good anyway.
2/ Are there any “WOW!” stunts?
The snow-chase went pretty well, there were some good crashes at least… and did I mention the ladder?
3/ Which Jackie is it? Serious / Whimsical / Cocky…
Sleepwalking. Jackie could (and unfortunately did for a while) churn these out without trying.
4/ Does he get to use Jackie-exclusive toys?
Only some desperate gimmicks.
5/ Do stolen relics come up?
6/ Are there hot chicks (that usually can’t act)?
The main chickie is OK, but not really.
7/ Is there a blooper reel over the credits?
8/ Were there injuries on the shoot? Severity?
Generally minor yet painful stuff. The ladder again, in retrospect they should have put it on the poster as the co-star!
9/ Has he still got it?
Yes, but he just ain’t using it.
10/ Is it a “Jackie Chan” film, or just one he is in?
It’s Jackie, but he’s coasting in this. Less kick-y, more escape-y than I would prefer.
Final Rating – 6.5 / 10. Too much gimmickry and too much money spent on trying to look like they spent more money!?! Simply not enough action.