Remember a few years back when it seemed like a new Jackie Chan movie was coming to the theatres every other week? Ah… the good old days. It was what the American moviegoing masses needed. Action movies that stressed the action, not the musclebound egos or fake stunts or special effects. Real action. And Jackie gave it to us, every time. So why then, wasn’t Who Am I? released to the movie theatres?
Easily one of the best of Chan’s recent films, there’s a cohesive plot and the fight scenes are among the best Chan’s ever done. Chan plays a member of an elite special forces unit (is there ever any other kind?) assigned to kidnap three scientists who’ve discovered a new energy source. Of course, the mission goes awry and Chan loses his memory (hence the title). Chan tries to regain his memory, and gets mixed up with a journalist who may or may not be telling the truth (surprise).
But those are all insignificant, because Jackie knows what you want to see… fights and outrageous stunts. And the Chanster doesn’t disappoint. I don’t know if we’re sadists for watching Jackie put his life in danger with every film, or if he’s a masochist to keep doing it time after time. I suspect it’s a little bit of both.
Watch Chan defy gravity and the normal limits of the human body as he battles opponents in a pair of wooden shoes, dodging traffic and rescuing small dogs. Or watch him battle two men atop a skyscraper, nearly falling to his death, and eventually careening down one side in a mad tumble. Watch everyday items become lethal, albeit humorous weapons when they land in Jackie’s hands. Oh yes, it’s all there.
And people wonder why I hate American action films… Chan makes it look so easy, and his happy-go-lucky slapstick buffoonery is there too. Ah Jackie… when will the masses see the light???