8:15 PM, 11th September, 1999
A Jackie Chan film where possibly the best acting comes from Jackie Chan himself. Fortunately, I know of no-one who goes to see a Jackie Chan film for the acting, or the dialogue much either. This film is directed by Sammo Hung, a contemporary of Chan's at the opera school in which their style of impossible theatrics and martial arts was taught, who gives himself a bit of a cameo as well. He directed many of Chan's earlier comedies such as My Lucky Stars and Winners and Sinners and the two of them have returned to those days of slapstick and odd humour in this film.
Jackie plays a TV chef who does his damnedest to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately, a tape that contains footage definitely tying an organised crime boss (Norton) to drug dealing ends up in, or thought to be in, his possession. This gives them the opportunity for Jackie to run away from lots of bad guys and occasionally beat up on lots of bad guys and end the film with a very much-trademarked climax. For all fans of the god.
8:30 PM, 11th September, 1999
Who am I? is a fast-paced, action-packed carnival of martial arts, car chases and dangerous stunts. Who am I? is a Jackie Chan film. If the previous two sentences don't mean the same thing to you, then it's about time you discovered Jackie Chan.
The plot, as usual, is essentially irrelevant. Jackie loses his memory after a helicopter crash, and for the rest of the film he tries to tie together exactly who he was and what he was involved in. Luckily for us, he was somebody important enough to be chased halfway around the world by a myriad of potential enemies. Equally fortunate is the fact that he didn't lose his abilities to run, jump, climb, fall, punch and kick to outwit, outfight and outrun said enemies.
As Chan films go, Who am I? is a throwback to his earlier work in films like Police Story. Less Hollywood than his more recent films, it has a much higher concentration of action-ranging from a brilliantly devised car chase to an extended final fight scene which rivals the finale of Drunken Master II. This is the Jackie Chan that the purists want to see-no loudmouthed sidekicks or hovercrafts, just Jackie doing what Jackie does best. If you want to see what Jackie Chan movies were like pre-Rumble in the Bronx, this is a film to see. And as usual, stay around for the credits to see the out-takes and ill-fated stunts.