Sunday Matinee: Chinese Zodiac

I’m a big Jackie Chan fan but it’s been a long, long time since he made a “real” Jackie Chan movie. Possible since 2001. Maybe even earlier. Once he started making Hollywood movies there was a huge decline in great films.

To define a “real” Jackie Chan movie, it has to made in with his Hong Kong company, with his stunt team and it has to feature many of the crazy stunts that made him a star. But after making over 100 films, Jackie is getting on in age (he’s 58) and he can’t keep doing the crazy stunt work. In the last few years he’s made a move to more dramatic work with films like Shinjuku Incident and 1911 but he has decided to make one last big action adventure film. A third Armour of God is coming out soon called Chinese Zodiac and it features a Jackie Chan that we haven’t really seen since 2001’s The Accidental Spy or possible even 1998’s Who Am I? A Jackie that’s back to doing insane stunts, that while made somewhat safe, still look pretty risky.

Armour of God was a 1986 film that was Jackie’s response to Indiana Jones. It was also the film that almost killed him. During a simple stunt where he was supposed to leap from a wall and into a tree, he fell and cracked his head open. He survived and he went back and finished the film which was about finding a fabled suit of armour. The film was a hit and in 1991 he released a follow-up called Armour of God II: Operation Condor where he went after Nazi gold.

The sequel was released in 1997 in the U.S. as just Operation Condor. They then released the first film as Operation Condor II: Armour of God just to make things confusing. I have no idea what the Americans are going to be calling this film in the U.S. They should probably just stick with Chinese Zodiac.

The first couple of trailers for Chinese Zodiac have been released, along with a brief look at the behind the scenes of one of the stunts. The movie opens in Hong Kong in December 12, 2012 and there’s no word when and if it will get an American release.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.