Operation Condor is a very funny Jackie Chan movie which is the ‘true’ sequel to the 1987 film Armour of the Gods. The production values are far glossier than his earlier movies – this one is shot on location in the Phillipines, Spain and Morroco. In the film, Chan and three female friends (one Japanese, one Chinese, one German) journey into the desert to find hidden gold – and get into comic scrapes. A scene where Chan flees on motorcycle from the villains through the cramped city streets is one of the most exciting chase scenes on film. Chan gambles with his life in every stunt and action sequence making for an exuberant film that must be seen to fully appreciate Hong Kong action cinema.
Jackie Chan does a great job here, with great camera work, fantastic angles, and keeping the film at a very fast pace! Of course if the scene in the Nazi war room fighting a dozen mercenaries doesnt do it for you, nothing will. Jackie also shows off some cool gadgets along the way and this movie is regarded as the most expensive to make of all his films. I really like Operation Condor, because of some scenes which are so refreshing in this world of rehashed Hollywood. The wind tunnel scene has already been mentioned in other reviews, but it really is amazing to watch. It captures the thrill of travel and adventure much better than a James Bond movie, because somehow the adventuristic ambience is more strongly felt if that makes any sense. I feel it captures it better than even an Indiana Jones movie. The reason being that unlike a Bond story, or Indiana Jones story – you really do get a feeling that Jackie is on a “free and easy”, whereas Bond/Jones is a “package tour” if you know what I mean.
As a government agent, Chan is sent out with a female desert guide to search for the tons of lost gold in a buried WW2 Nazi base in North Africa. Along the way, Chan picks up another female accomplice, the German granddaughter of a former base officer. Several other governments are also aware of the gold, but don’t know its location. They either fight Chan or try to follow him to the gold. Good, believable story. Apart from Rush Hour you wouldn’t usually associate Jackie Chan with doing much comedy only martial arts but he does it like a pro and it doesn’t stop till the very end. I can go on and on for years and years watching this and you never ever get bored as there is so much to take in and not enough time. As soon as it is finished you’ll be dying to go back for more and watch it on repeat viewings.
Although there is no one standout fight scene, all the action is good and enjoyable making use of objects in ordinary ways – it’s hard to find fault with Chan, but he has set his own bar high meaning that stuff like this, which is good, often appears to be average for him. One of my favorite pop-corn movies, very entertaining, a must see for newer Chan-fans who missed it. After seeing this film you will agree with me that Chan’s new films can not compete with the ones made in the early 90’s when he was not yet a star in the states. With a healthy dose of Kung Fu action and kickass motorcycle chases, as well as gunfights and ample doses of comedy, Operation Condor is a must own for any Jackie fan.