So I think I may have mentioned this before. Perhaps once or twice, I don’t go on about it…honest…but I’m a massive Jackie Chan fan, particularly his Hong Kong films like Project A, Drunken Master, Wheels on Meals etc, etc
Today came the sad news we all (I mean ‘we’ as in Jackie Chan fans) knew was coming but didn’t really want to arrive. The day when JC himself said his next role will be his last action movie.
Chan said in a press conference: “This will be my last big action movie.” The Hong Kong-born actor, 58, added: “The world is too violent now. I love fighting but I hate violence. I don’t just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. So for the last 10 years I’ve done other films like The Karate Kid, where I’d rather play an old man.”
Now his final film should be a real cracker, seen as how it’s Chan doing what he does best: starring in, directing and writing the movie himself. Plus it’s the final in the Armour of God trilogy which sees Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) hunting for some lost artifacts and kicking ass along the way.
But this is still a sad day. No-one is behind JC to take his mantle, we have had up and coming action stars, some Asian some not, but none have really ‘stuck’ like JC. And none, not one single one, has managed to combine the comedic aspects of movie making and action onto celluloid like Jackie Chan.
We’ve had Tony Jaa attempt the break-through with the Ong Bak films, he had great potential but didn’t seem quite right in the head after the first movie, making all sorts of demands etc. We have the Gareth Evans found Iko Uwais, star of the upcoming The Raid, who looks like he could be a contender but doesn’t look like we’d get much comedy from him. But, from what I’ve seen, his action seems good and again from what I’ve heard Evans seems to be of the CORRECT way of directing action which is: let the guys kick the crap out of each other whilst the director stands back with a wide shot so movie goers can actually see what’s happening.
It can’t be underestimated just what Jackie Chan has brought to cinema over the years in his action movies. No-one has managed to do what he has done, he is the biggest action star in the world and his movies regularly break records in Hong Kong when they are released.
He has, with a few movies, already tried to step away from the action persona that surrounds him. He made 1911 about the founding of the Republic of China, a movie I didn’t really get given that area of history is completely unknown to me but you could see was a good performance from Chan. He also starred in the remake of the Karate Kid movie, a vehicle for Will Smith’s son Jayden really but it was Chan that outshined everyone with a fantastic performance that won him yet more plaudits around the world.
But so far nothing has made audiences or critics see him as the De Niro he so desperately wants to be. I’m sure he can do it in his native Hong Kong, whether he can manage it in Hollywood is a different matter, personally I’ve never really understood Chan’s desire to move into Hollywood. For starters they don’t deserve him, but also he doesn’t have anything to prove to them.
We know he can make fantastic movies, just because the US audiences won’t watch the original of a movie, instead having to have them Hollywoodised and remade, don’t believe me take a look at: The Departed, a remake of hit movie Internal Affairs, Let Me In, a remake of Let the Right One In, Old Boy, an upcoming (and very pointless) remake of the hit film Old Boy as just a few examples of the many hundreds of foreign films that are butchered regularly by Hollywood. (Old Boy is a particularly irksome affair given the original Korean Chan-wook Park movie is SO good, not to mention it’s the second movie of the vengeance trilogy. At least Hollywood didn’t go down their original route of putting Will Smith in the title role! Dear god!)
Anyway, I will remain a Jackie Chan fan for as long as he continues to make movies. I think the first few times I’ll still be expecting him to kick some ass at some point during the movie but hopefully, in time, that will pass. And, think about this JC fans, imagine seeing him in some of the low budget stuff we turn out here in the UK! There are some fantastic low-budget, edgier movies that I for one would love to have seen Chan get his teeth into. Maybe if I ever finish a script, it may be mine! A guy can dream…