12 Jackie Chan movies including Drunken Master and The Karate Kid that are must watch
Planning to have an action movie marathon at home? Check out this list of best Jackie Chan movies you must watch.
If you are a fan of action films, we bet you are going to love this list of the best Jackie Chan movies. Known to be one of the biggest action stars of his generation, the actor has managed to entertain audiences with his skilful Kung-fu style of fighting in over 100 movies. His influence on the genre is noteworthy and the fan appeal and adoration that he has received over his illustrious career is certainly unmatched.
The Hong Kong-born actor started out as a stuntman in Bruce Lee's films, Fist of Fury and Enter the Dragon, at the time he used a stage name known as Chan Yuen Lung. The 67-year-old actor has on many occasions spoken about getting a chance to work for Bruce Lee, whom he revered from early on. As for his own journey of taking Hollywood by the storm, the road wasn't an easy one and after first making a mark in the Hong Kong industry with movies like the Armour of God followed by its sequelÂ Operation Condor, Young Master and many more, the actor then moved on to roles in the West. His first Hollywood film was The Big Brawl in 1980 followed by The Cannonball Run. Although it wasn't during this time that the West had fully unutilised the talent of the action star.
The action star's major Hollywood breakthrough happened in the early 1990s after he starred in films such as Rumble in the Bronx. It was from then on that the actor found the perfect balance between not getting stereotyped while also making the most of his kung fu talents. From then on, we saw the actor churn out some of the biggest hits of his career including the famed buddy cop movie Rush Hour with Chris Tucker, Police Story 3: Super Cop among others. If you have been a fan of the actor, there are some films we bet that never get older in their appeal and hence if you're planning to have a movie marathon anytime soon, we suggest you take a look at this rundown of what we think are best Jackie Chan movies ever.Â
Here's a compilation of the best Jackie Chan movies of all time:
Directed by Woo-Ping Yuen, the 1978 film stars the actor alongside Yuen Siu-Tien and Hwang Jang-lee. Considered to be one of the most significant films in the martial arts comedy genre, Drunken Master revolves around a protagonist named Wong Fei-hung who is known for his mischievous attitude. To teach him the importance of discipline, Wong Fei-hung is soon sent over to Beggar So (Yuen Siu-Tin) for stricter martial arts training. While initially struggling to keep up with the rigorous training and almost giving up, we later see the protagonist committing himself to the Drunken Master's training program. The film boasts of some iconic scenes when it comes to the training sequences and it's one of the earliest films where you will realise the sheer talent that Jackie Chan has.
Directed by the action star himself, this 1985 film which later turned into a franchise consists of some of the actor's best action sequences ever and is one film that is utmost loved by the actor's fans. With a perfect mix of action, drama and comedy, Police Story suffices the cinematic needs of every movie-goer as it promises unadulterated entertainment. Both the action and comedic choreography in this film are worth lauding. The film's storyline remains simple with the actor playing the role of a cop who is dealing with some villainous forces who are trying to manipulate the legal system. If you're ever stuck on a deserted island, a film like Police Story should be your choice of entertainment to have for the rest of your days.
Rumble in the Bronx
His Hollywood breakthrough happened in the early 1990s and among them, one of the best movies of Jackie Chan in the US market was Rumble in the Bronx. The film is an absolute blast when it comes to celebrating the actor's action talents. There's no other film that captures the NYC neighbourhood get as exciting as this one though a fun fact about the production of the film is that it was actually largely shot in Vancouver, Canada. In the film, we see Chan's character get on the wrong side of a few ruffians, thus resulting in some amazingly chaotic action sequences. It never gets old to marvel at the ease with which the actor fights off goons with any and every object in his reach. Directed by Stanley Tong, the film casts Chan alongside Anita Mui, Françoise Yip, Marc Akerstream and more. With its worldwide appeal, the film became the most profitable movie at the time of its release.
The 2000 film saw the actor team up with industry A-lister Owen Wilson for a film that makes for an enjoyable watch with both actors bringing their A-game when it comes to showcasing their comic timing. Set in the Wild West, the film chronicles the unlikely friendship formed by the lead characters. There are plenty of iconic sequences in the film and one that will go down in history is definitely the horseshoe fight scene. Making his directorial debut, Tom Dey helmed the project as the film received much applause from the critics and performed well at the box office as well. Following the buddy-cop genre, the film revolves around Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) who ventures to the American West in search of a kidnapped princess. He joins forces with rail thief Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) to take on a Chinese rogue and his crooked boss.
An absolute classic when it comes to the buddy-cop genre, Rush Hour is a movie that's watchable on any given occasion. The film follows Chris Tucker and Chan's characters of detectives being assigned a case to find a Chinese consul’s kidnapped young daughter. With a perfect blend of action and comedy, the film consists of some action scenes that remain memorable such as the one where Chan's character holds a delicate vase while fighting off villains and well, it doesn't break. This film undoubtedly deserves a place to be among the best Jackie Chan movies. Directed by Brett Ratner, the film became a name-tagger for Chan after the success of the film. Besides Chan and Tucker, the film also stars Tzi Ma, Tom Wilkinson, Ken Leung, Mark Rolston, Elizabeth Peña, and Rex Linn in supporting roles, though taking your eyes off the duo will surely be a hard task to follow. The commercial success of the film expanded it into a franchise consisting of two other sequels which came out in 2001 and 2007.
Both Project A and its sequel Project A 2 are films that tried to think outside the box when it comes to Hong Kong cinema. The film consists of Chan having a face-off with pirates and to fight them off, we see the actor's character joining the marine police force. With an unconventional storyline, the film isn't one of the most popular works by Chan but certainly deserves a mention in the list given that are some gripping action scenes. The film was directed by Chan himself and he was also the co-writer on the project with Edward Tang. This 1983 release casts Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao alongside Chan. A particular scene in the movie stands out from the rest in which Chan dangles and eventually plummets from the hand of a 60-foot high clock tower, tearing down canopies before striking the floor. Though not Chan's most raved about the film, it holds the incredible charm and impeccable comic timing that is sure to entertain you to your heart's content.
Police Story IV: First Strike
The fourth instalment in the Police Story franchise successfully continues the legacy of its previous films. The film finds itself taking inspiration from the James Bond films and it's evident in the film's action scenes. From underwater fight scenes to fight sequences in other terrains such as snow, the film has plenty to offer in terms of delectable action. Thanks to its amazing fight scenes and stunts, this film finds a definite place among the best Jackie Chan movies. Another Stanley Tong directorial, the movie casts Chan with Jackson Lou, Annie Wu, Bill Tung, Yuri Petrov, and Nonna Grishayeva. The movie follows Chan who reprises his role as a CIA-trained Hong Kong cop tasked with tracking down and apprehending an illegal arms supplier, Jackie soon understands that things are not as they seem, and he discovers himself a pawn of a sham Russian spy agency.
The inclusion of the 1988 film on this best Jackie Chan movies list may leave you surprised given that it promises much less action than expected in his signature movies. The actor essays the role of a lawyer in the film and while we don't see him in his element for a large part of the film, things do get edgier toward the end when there's a stunning fight sequence that takes place on a yacht. While the film doesn't come as close to being an iconic one as the other ones on this list, it does showcase a different side of the actor. Directed by Sammo Hung, the film takes Chan on a ride alongside co-stars Yuen Biao, Deannie Yip, Pauline Yeung, and Crystal Kwok. This project marks the last appearance of the iconic trio Hung, Chan and Biao together as Chan started focusing on his solo career after the release of the film.
Drunken Master II
Much like the Police Story franchise, Drunken Master is another film series that went on to become massively successful. Many fans of Chan argue that Drunken Master II was a much better film than its original. The film scores high points mainly due to its brilliantly crafted fight sequences in unusual locations such as beneath the train and also in the teahouse. One of the film's best moments also comes during its climax when Chan fights off Ken Lo. The production was helmed by director Lau Kar-Leung as the film witnessed Chan reprise his role as Chinese martial arts master, Wong Fei-hung alongside Ti Lung, Anita Mui, Felix Wong and more. Unwittingly, Wong Fei-Hung becomes embroiled in a conflict between smugglers seeking to steal historic Chinese antiques and loyalists determined to prevent the artefacts from departing the nation. The film was highly appreciated for its action sequences and was even listed among the ten best action movies of all time by the British Film Institute.
The Karate Kid
Taking on from Pat Morita who famously essayed Mr Miyagi to Ralph Macchio's Daniel in the Karate Kid franchise, Chan gives it his own twist as he becomes kung fu teacher to Jaden Smith's Dre, a kid who moves from Detroit to China and faces a hard time dealing with bullies. The actor's training sequences with Smith form one of the most lovable bits in the film. It also manages to capture Chan in a different light as Mr Han whose sombre nature is captured perfectly by the actor. This 2010 release is directed by Harald Zwart is a remake of the1984 film and changes the martial arts from Karate to Kung Fu though the name has not been modified with his significant change. The film was highly appreciated by the audiences and scored big at the box office. Becoming a childhood staple, the film also holds immense nostalgic value for most gen-Z kids.
Another film that showcases how he's beyond his image of the kung fu legend is Martin Campbell's 2017 film, The Foreigner. Chan plays a serious role that is distinctive compared to any of his previous works. The film also stars former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan in a key role. What's truly impressive is that Jackie remains impressively agile even at the age of 60 and it's worth noticing the ease with which he performs in this film and hence it's no wonder that many consider this one of the best Jackie Chan movies of recent times considering it released just five years ago. Alongside Chan and Brosnan, the film casts Michael McElhatton, Liu Tao, Charlie Murphy, Orla Brady, and Katie Leung. The film was inspired by Stephen Leather's 1992 novel The Chinaman. The storyline focusses on Ngoc Minh Quan, a British restaurateur, who is looking for the identity of the terrorists who killed his daughter for political reasons. He'll go to any length to bring the murderers back to justice.
Going back to the actor's early days, the 1993 film has Jackie essay the role of a cop again but it's unlike the Police Story films. One of the main highlights of Crime Story is how well-executed and directed the action scenes are in the film. The movie also has an emotional undertone to it that adds to his remarkable performance. Crime Story is directed by Kirk Wong in a clever manner as it promises to be an action thriller with elements that will keep you on the edge. There's never a dull moment in this film and if you haven't watched this one yet, it should be on the top of your list, simply for its immensely enjoyable plot as well as performances. The film chronicles the life of inspector Eddie who is tasked with finding Wong Yat-Fei, a kidnapped businessman. His hunt leads him to Taiwan, where he must contend with formidable criminals and a corrupt cop.
Have any additions to this compilation of the best Jackie Chan movies? Share your views with us in the comments below.
ALSO READ: 12 best Will Smith movies of all time
Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". Currently making web more...