4. Drunken Master 2
If you were to ask me my favorite Jackie Chan movie overall, it’d have to be Drunken Master 2. The sequel to the comedic action film that made him famous, DM2 was a throwback with some fast-paced kung fu bolstered by Jackie’s particular brand of stuntwork. It opened up Chan’s martial arts to a new angle of grittiness without sacrificing the humor, or the risk of being lit on fire.
Chan and the director, Chia-Liang Liu, clashed on production multiple times, and Chan took over directing for the final fight scene. That explains why it has more traditional crazy stunts, like Jackie’s crawl through coals, which he filmed TWICE. The final fight might be the best in kung fu history, though don’t underestimate the other, less injurious fights. However, the most pain inflicted by Drunken Master 2 was its horrendous 2005 localization.
3. Rumble In The Bronx
Back in February 1996, this was the movie that made Chan a star in the US, which is funny because Rumble In The Bronx was clearly filmed in Vancouver, Canada. Eh, but whatever, the crew was too busy throwing bottles at Jackie and tearing apart convenience stores to give a rip about Canadian mountains in NYC. Not to mention all the broken bones. Oh and please forgive the horrible credits song below – clearly Jackie Chan himself is the only person who should sing over his credits.
During production, Jackie broke his ankle on a rather dangerous jump, and as you can see they had to put him in a cast and paint it over for certain fight scenes. Though the motorcycle crash shown in the credits was even more calamitous, as that gaffe broke the bones of one of the lead actresses and several other folks. That’s a bit worse that getting hit on the head by a pinball table.
Technically the third Police Story (though not called that in the US), Jackie had a fellow star to share the burden of showcasing injuries during a credit sequence. Michelle Yeoh returned to martial arts films with Supercop and was clearly ready to keep up with Jackie. Without green screen or CGI, she jumps a freaking motorcycle onto a moving train. A MOVING TRAIN.
Not that Jackie didn’t take the usual amount of lumps too. Chan hanging from a helicopter was the most dangerous looking moment in the film, though based on the credits it was bumping into the chopper that hurt much more. And I’m not sure what happened with that whirly thing moving behind him, but it sure looked like it stung. On the plus side, at least he had Yeoh there to suffer with him.
1. Armor of God
If you’ve ever wondered “What was the film that came closest to killing Jackie Chan?” this is the likely winner. Following Police Story, Chan wanted to make a globe-trotting adventure film a la Indiana Jones. Armor of God (known in the US as Operation Condor 2: Armor of God, which is too confusing to explain), has the usual dangers for Jackie, but it was a relatively simple shot that literally shattered his skull.
On a second take of jumping from a wall onto a tree branch, the branch broke. Chan fell about 16 feet to the ground, breaking his skull on a rock. A piece of bone had to be removed from his brain, leaving a hole behind his right ear that had to be plugged with a piece of plastic. That near-death experience makes all those other outtakes with gum seem pretty tame for Armor of God, doesn’t it?
What’s your favorite Jackie Chan stunt? Are there any other actors or actresses who you’ve seen do some crazy stunts to improve a movie? Sound off about them in the comments!