Operation Condor (original title: Feiying Gaiwak)

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Alex Lau

Jackie Chan is back, and it seems like he never left. "Operation Condor" is the fourth Jackie Chan movie to be re-released in the U.S. in the last couple of years, following "Rumble in the Bronx," "Supercop," and "First Strike." So the big question is, can there be such a thing as too much Jackie Chan?

Well, if there is such a thing as too much Jackie Chan, this would be it. "Operation Condor" was written and directed by Chan, and he's the star, too. He's in almost every scene, and everything about this movie screams of his influence.

The humor gets pretty silly, too. You just can not take this film very seriously at all. For every awe-inspiring acrobatic move that Chan makes, there are a couple of eye-rollers as well. That was pretty common for a Hong Kong film circa 1991 (when it was originally made), but it doesn't play quite as well when it's dubbed in English in 1997

The basic plot sounds like something swiped out of a James Bond or Indiana Jones movie. Chan is a UN agent named Jackie, who is asked to retrieve some stolen Nazi gold in the Sahara desert. He's accompanied by Ada, played by Carol Cheng, who's an expert on the desert surroundings, and Sasha, the granddaughter of the German soldier who buried the treasure. The three of them have to battle the weather, several sets of thugs, and each other, before they finally reach the treasure cave.

Then again, it's a Jackie Chan movie. Plot is almost immaterial. What does matter is that you get everything you expect from a Jackie Chan movie. Jaw-dropping chase scenes? Check. Fight sequences where Jackie has to fend off dozens of bad guys? Check. Slapstick comedy, with Jackie being the fall guy as often as not? Check-a-mundo.

It's a bit of a guilty pleasure, but "Operation Condor" is worth catching on the big screen. And you'd better hurry, it probably won't be long before another Jackie Chan movie comes around.

© 1997 Alex Lau Air Date: 7/23/97

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