27 December 2010 | mjneu59
Hong Kong's answer to Buster Keaton?
Many films claim to be like riding a roller coaster, but this more or less typical adventure from Asian sensation Jackie Chan is the genuine article: a fast, furious, and totally physical wide-screen action comedy. The convoluted screenplay, picking up right where Part I presumably ended, follows an incorruptible turn-of-the-century Hong Kong cop forced to contend with powerful mobsters, dangerous revolutionaries, crooked policemen, and a scruffy crew of pirates, separately and often all at once. But what passes for a plot is only an excuse for several hair-raising (and nicely choreographed) combat and chase scenes set (almost literally) at a breakneck pace, and performed without the benefit of doubles or trick photography. The writer/director/actor (and title song singer) single-handedly legitimizes the concept of mindless entertainment, at the risk of bruises and more than one broken bone, but never mind: the film is exhilarating, exhausting, and just plain fun.
(postscript: fifteen-plus years after seeing 'Project A II' I finally caught up to the first chapter, which is even more energetic than its sequel...)