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Overall Rating
3.8

Awesome: 24%
Worth A Look56%
Just Average: 8%
Pretty Crappy: 0%
Sucks: 12%

1 review, 19 user ratings


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Operation Condor
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Not Jackie Chan at his best, but still entertaining."
4 stars

François Truffaut once wrote, "I demand that a film express either the joy of making cinema or the agony of making cinema." Truffaut might have enjoyed the cinema of Jackie Chan, whose films satisfy both demands.

Chan does all his own stunts, ranging from dangerous to suicidal: While shooting his 1986 Armour of God, he jumped off a cliff, landed on his head, and was left with a permanent dent in his skull. Watching the movie, we see the joy of Chan in action; at the end are outtakes, and we see the agony of Chan breaking his bones when a stunt fails.

Operation Condor, billed in 1997 upon its American release as the "new" Jackie Chan movie, was actually seven years old at the time; it's the 1990 sequel to his head-denting epic Armour of God, though you don't need to have seen that movie to follow this one. Not that there's much to follow. As I've said before, you watch an Astaire and Rogers musical to see them dance, and you watch a Jackie Chan movie to see him fight and clown around and risk his life. In both cases, the plot is perfectly irrelevant.

This movie's plot, in fact, is the whole Indiana Jones trilogy in condensed form. There are car chases and deadly crawly things; there are vast treasures hidden in the desert and pursued by Nazis and Arabs; there are elaborate death machines set in motion; there are also not one but three women who can be relied on to shriek, flail, and generally be all useless and girly when confronted with danger. Sheesh, even Indy (and feminist viewers) only had to endure one such damsel in distress; this movie is like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom with three Kate Capshaws. I point this out not to be overly PC, but to warn fans of Chan's Supercop that the gun-toting women in the ads for Operation Condor are not cut from the same cloth as Supercop's Michelle Yeoh. Now there was a woman who more than held her own alongside Chan; her formidable exploits spoiled some of us for the retro "Eek, a mouse" stuff in this movie.

Aside from that (and occasionally murky photography that detracts from a few of the fight scenes), this was far and away 1997's best comedy. (I laughed more during any given five minutes than I did during the entirety of Men in Black.) Chan, as always, is a goofy and endearing presence; his small frame and expressive features link him with the great silent comedians he idolizes and also make him a plausible action hero. That's what he does as a director, too. He sets the tone right away: when he escapes some irate natives by running inside a large inflatable ball, there's a hilarious long shot of the ball bouncing down the side of a high cliff. There's a great sequence set in a hangar, where a huge fan alternately blows and sucks Jackie and his enemies all around the room.

The major studios can learn a lot from Hong Kong. Jackie Chan, John Woo, and others like Ringo Lam and Tsui Hark understand the action genre better than Hollywood does. They hire appealing actors, and they stage action cleanly and with imagination and excitement. They don't need $100 million, they don't need computer effects, and they don't need stars — except Jackie Chan.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1437&reviewer=416
originally posted: 05/22/06 15:20:08
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User Comments

8/27/15 NojEsco Amazing stunt and action and great humor. Probably the best way to introduce yourself to JC 5 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner Intense Action! 4 stars
6/09/06 Somsany Its funny and awesome 5 stars
5/24/06 Gavin Bamber Mindless action is fun. 4 stars
1/23/05 keithers.. Kickass Chan...not as good as his 80's movies but a decent Chan film 4 stars
5/05/04 dead next door not jackie chans best,actueally i think it suck. 1 stars
11/20/03 rony it was aight!!! 4 stars
6/21/03 Zargo wonderful fun, but the proper title is 'The Armour of God II: Operation Condor' 5 stars
2/07/03 Charles Tatum Really fun and funny 4 stars
5/17/02 Priscilla Postlethwaite Action packed & beautifully photographed; if you can decipher plot, call it awesome. 4 stars
1/20/02 keith langman fun to watch neat idea 4 stars
11/29/01 Rutt13 Cheezier, but more exciting than the original, which is great 5 stars
8/07/01 Mr. Hat One of my favorite Jackie Chan movies. 4 stars
5/31/01 mjm103171 were the three women charlies angels or josie and the pussycats? 5 stars
12/02/00 The Evil Penguin nice martial arts, mediocre plot 3 stars
7/25/00 homer simpson not one chans best films,still there is good action 3 stars
2/27/00 arnold great action 5 stars
1/18/99 Yo Momma What happened? This movie is totally screwed. Unbelievable! 1 stars
1/07/99 Jo Mama oh jeez...worse made-for-tv flick i've ever seen. may i have a plot please? 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  18-Jul-1997 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1998 (PG)




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