Sunday, May 16, 2010

Review: Armour of God (1987)

Jackie Chan is a fun guy to watch, and seeing him jumping around, kicking people is really enjoyable. The problem with this film is that, until the third act, we get to see hardly any of Chan in action. The openning sequence is fun, and there's a pretty good car chase in act 2, but the rest of the movie is people standing around, talking about their confused relationship problems. And all this stuff might have been okay, except Chan obviously has no real idea what to do with these scenes - they are almost allawkward and uninteresting.

Take Chan's relationship with the German woman - because this is an action-comedy, there needs to be a hot chick for the protagonist to fall in love with, and to provide eye candy when people aren't kicking each other. But their relationship is so clumsily handled, it feels as if the film is forcing these two together against their will. For example, the scene where she decides to go along with the hero and rescue the girl - why does she do this? The film gives no explanation. She doesn't really like Chan yet, we've seen no scene of her complaining about the tedium of being a spoilt rich woman or anything, we don't even get some token nonsense explanation. Just, "I'm going with you." "Alright." None of this would matter nearly as much as it does, if the film didn't spend a good half of its time talking about this completely pointless and incomprehensible relationship. Just get to the jumping and kicking, already. Jesus.

Even the relationship stuff that isn't incomprehensible and tedious is still pretty pointless. Like the "bedroom farce" scene, where every character is just wandering from room to room in a big hotel apartment, trying to find someone to sleep with. It isn't badly handled, exactly, it just seems totally out of place. And it does play somewhat like a mediocre episode of Frasier.

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