Ever since I opened this website more than three years ago, I received a very big education in the names and licensing of foreign films to western shores. I learned that names aren’t always what they appear to be. First of all, it’s not a sequel to “Operation Condor.” It’s actually the other way around–“Operation Condor” was a sequel to THIS film. Echo Bridge Entertainment finally brings over, in my opinion, one of Jackie Chan‘s best films because it proves that Chan is a one-man moviemaking machine with this one. The basic set-up is that an evil cult who wants all five pieces of the armor of God know that only one person who is able to get the pieces, the “Asian Hawk”! They only have two pieces of the armor and to get Jackie to get the other three pieces, they kidnap his former girlfriend.
There are some incredible sequences at the start (an action packed chase) and at the end of the film (infiltrating the enemy base and a crazy escape plan). In between is some so/so comedy romance moments, the interplay between Jackie and Alan works really well at times producing some great comedy moments Alan’s unwillingness to fight and his clumsiness when he does so really add to Jackies clowning. However, this is not a movie about friendship. In fact, it is not really a movie about anything beyond Jackie Chan’s stunts. In fact, one of the stunts that he did, a stunt that wasn’t very difficult, and had already been done once successfully, almost killed him. Don’t expect anything like Legend of Drunken Master or Who Am I, but there is still a lot of great classic action that you won’t find in today’s Chan films. The trouble is that likable though its characters are, they aren’t believable or that compelling, and the films pace is off, meaning that there is somewhat less in the way of excitement than expected.
There were some very good landscape/skyline shots here, as well. The photography was well done, as the blu-ray copy I have is clean and clear, and the filmography was nicely done, giving you good, interesting angles and the like. There are many memorable scenes, the ones where Chan uses a huge log to fight off the monks, the huge food fight – where chan must face the monks in his typical, and breathtaking – one man vs the world fighting style…the 4 blaxploitation amazon women in skimpy leather outfits – which chan has to fight (see below video to watch). People watch Jackie Chan movies not for deep plot but for superhuman feats of agility. Am I right? This film proves to be satisfying in that manner.
The Armour of God is one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies, and I had the good fortune of actually getting to see it on blu-ray for the first time. For much of the time there’s more clumsy comedy and farce than action, but just as you’re almost ready to give up on it it throws in a half-hour finale with some of Chan’s most impressive stunt fighting, all performed at the height of his ability. Armour Of God is a good example of a Hong Kong action film. The 1980s was a great decade for Asian cinema. It’s a shame really that the U.S. doesn’t understand Jackie Chan films for what they are- Chan films are meant to be enjoyed, they are at times self mockery or fantastic to watch – and if Chan doesn’t do that – then I’m sure its hard to find anyone with the heart, commitment or desire for film-making that he shows so well on screen.