Project A (1983) – Review

3 Stars

Jackie Chan’s eagerness to entertain audiences is so palpable through-out his directorial debut, Project A. He’s a screen hero who doesn’t mind appearing vulnerable, scared or injured during the course of his massively entertaining movies. Sure, he can fight, but he always does so reluctantly and often receives quite a physical beating in the process. Chan doesn’t solely rely on fight sequences like his peers, the added interest of any Jackie Chan flick is the unveiling of a new outlandish stunt that is actually executed by the leading man. If James Brown was the hardest working man in show business than Jackie Chan has taken over that moniker with his gravity-defying stunt work and consistent cinematic output.

Project A was first released in its native country of origin back in 1983, it wasn’t until mid-2000 until Dimension Films (a division of Miramax specializing in genre fare) gave the picture a proper release in the States, albeit on home video. Regardless the voice work is cleaned up, the subtitles are fluid, and the soundtrack is modulated for better audio output. The film itself is typical of Jackie’s work during the early part of the 1980’s. In this vehicle he’s Dragon, a vigilant member of the Navy recently demoted to the rank of a civilian police officer, who is on the trail of stolen cargo at the hands of the pirate Lor Sam Pau (Dick Wei).

The “goods” in any Chan film is the action and Project A is brimming with martial arts, blood pumping stunt sequences and a lot of comedic interplay. A sustained twenty-minute long action set-piece that features Jackie breaking from handcuffs then eluding his pursuers on a bike and finally falling from a clock tower is spellbinding. Sammo Hung brings flavor as a rogue smuggler with a conscious. Listen for Danny Trejo voicing the role of Lor Sam Pau.

Director: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung
Stars: Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao

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