Director: Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang
Writer: Lo Kin, Edward Tang, Barry Wong
Producer: Leonard Ho
Cast: Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Lola Forner, Rosamund Kwan, Ken Boyle, John Ladalski, Bozidar Smiljanic, Wayne Archer, Kenny Bee, Anthony Chan, Clarence Ford, Carina Lau
Running Time: 98 min.
By James H.
I see this movie (along with “First Strike”) as kind of a ‘what if’ movie. I can see the big producers sitting around their conference table and someone probably said, “What if we had Jackie as Indiana Jones?” So that’s what we get: Jackie Chan playing Indiana Jones for 90 minutes. And they did a great job. The goes like this. Jackie is hired by old friend Alan Tam to rescue his his fiancee from a group of evil monks. In exchange for the girl, the monks want ‘the armour of God’.
The film is a little slow to start, but after a half hour or so, it picks up the pace. There is a great car chase amongst the goings on of the film. There are only two real fights and they’re at the end. The one with the amazon women is great, but the one preceding it is better.
Now as you may, or may not know, Dimension films released “Armour of God” in November ’98 (straight to video) as “Operation Condor 2: The Armour of the Gods”. What the fuck is that? Why did they deem it necessary to call it “Operation Condor 2”? Does the company really think that the general North American public is so fucking dumb that they won’t rent it if it isn’t a sequel? But really, the only things that I didn’t like are superficial. The title and the credits sequences. The credits looked very kitschy, like a bad made for cable action flick. Other than that I highly recommend this version over the original.
After viewing though, all of the above doesn’t really matter. What we have here is possibly the best Americanization of an HK Jackie film. Why do I say this? Well, for starters it wasn’t butchered (it’s been cut by at most 10 minutes). The dubbing is great. The picture quality is perfect and the music is great. The score is above average, not the shitty music from “Mr. Nice Guy” or the new “Police Story”. And as a bonus, they left in all of the original songs, with the exception of the’Losers’ sequence at the beginning.
James H’s Rating: 8.5/10
By Vic Nguyen
This film ROCKS!!! Jackie has never been better!! (except in Police Story and Drunken Master 2) This is a film that would put the fedora hat wearing Indiana Jones to shame. Jackie plays Asian Hawk, a Chinese Indiana Jones with an attitude. With the help of his trusty sidekick (Played by superstar singer Alan Tam), Jackie kicks and punches his way through dozens of bad guys in order to save their kidnapped friend. And while doing that, why not retrieve some important artifacts Indiana Jones style, only better!
Did I mention that this film rocks! From the beginning stunt filled fight with a whole load of angry tribesmen, to the final fight with the weirdest of bad guys, including monks and 4 tribes women who looked like they were rejected from the cast of “Waiting to Exhale”, this film refuses to give up. This film is also famous for being the film that almost killed Jackie Chan. A simple stunt from a tree cost him a trip to the hospital and a hole in his head, but he came back filming the rest of the film only weeks later! Again, this man is willing to go through anything to please his fans.
This might be overused, but I still agree that this film rocks! See it at all cost or hang your head in shame for being called a Jackie Chan fan.
Vic Nguyen’s Rating: Take a guess!
Action-wise, 1986’s Armour of God engages willingly and successfully, but plot-wise this film suffers. In any case, Jackie sets out Indiana Jones-style for the titular “Armour of God,” ritualistically (but welcomely) running into the usual baddies, this time in the form of evil, black-cloaked monks who want the Armour for their own (evil) purposes. To save the world, Jackie enlists the aid of Alan Tam and Lola Forner, neither of which really hurt the film, but neither of which carry the film very far.
The beginning sequence is a real thriller, combining neat acrobatics and some cool sweeps against native warriors, leading into the rest of the film, which is slower paced with a sporadic fight scene thrown in for the mix. The middle of the film is certainly nothing to right home about, but it could have been worse. Just your normal “filler” in most of JC’s films. Anyway, a car chase through the streets ensues, which is pretty standard stuff by Jackie’s standards (is that possible?), leading up to the much-awaited finale. Let me stop here and say that, up to this point in the film, looking back, the rest of the movie isn’t exactly a masterpiece, but it should entertain the casual viewer.
The finale is great, one of Jackie’s best film sequences, as it seems to cram all the action that should have been included in the rest of the movie. Jackie first fights a dining room full of angry worshippers, some of which can be recognized as members of Jackie’s stunt team, kicking and throwing them pretty much off the walls. Great choreography in this scene. Next come the four angry amazon women, high-heel-clad and very interested in kicking JC’s frail body all over the place, which they succeed in doing for the most part. Again, great scene (with some inventive use of wires). And to top it off, Jackie’s flies through the air onto a hot air balloon (even though done in more than one take, I enjoyed it nonetheless).
Classic as far as stunts and fighting goes, but it’s no Godfather Saga. The sequel is much better.
S!DM’s Rating: 7/10
OK, to set the record straight – if you rent this at your local Blockbuster, it’s boxed and labeled ‘Operation Condor II: Armour of God’ by New Line Cinema. It’s NOT! It was produced in 1986. Operation Condor is actually the sequel (but since the sequel was released to the American public before the original, New Line Cinema probably thought they were making it easier – HUH!)
Jackie plays a sort of Indiana Jones type, except he sells the artifacts for huge profits. He turned to this after his rock group broke up when Laura (the girl he and his best friend, Alan, both loved) got engaged to Alan. It’s kind of fun watching him play a scoundrel for a change. (Of course he’s not completely bad, how could he be?) Evil monks kidnap Laura to force him to steal pieces of the collection ‘Armor of God’ for them. He, Alan and a rich girl team up the get Laura back, using the girl’s father’s collection as bait.
The girl is played by the beautiful, but Thespis-challenged pickpocket from Wheels On Meals. She and Jackie have this sexual tension, “I hate you, but I’m attracted to you” thing going on and it looks like we’ll get a full-blooded romance for a change, but alas, it’s not to be. Just more of his usual ‘Kissing 101’. I might be wrong about this in the Chinese version, since I got the distinct impression that scenes were cut from the New Line Cinema tape I saw (there were scenes in the outtakes that weren’t in the film – a shot of Laura and Jackie in his bedroom for instance).
All that aside, the movie is a lot of fun to watch. Full of humor, incredible action and lightning fast fighting. The sequence where he cuts from Alan’s concert back and forth to Laura’s kidnapping really jacks up the tension and shows off his directing skills. But what’s up with the different hair cuts? It goes from uncharacteristically short to medium, to medium long. I read somewhere it had to do with the accident, but if you look at the outtakes, his hair was short when he broke his head open! Are the rest wigs? P.S. Jackie dubs his own voice. This is absolutely one of my favorites!!!
Ro’s Rating: 10/10
This movie is a blast to watch; well maybe the last parts of it. This movie is the one where Jackie nearly killed himself in the opening sequence/stunt. The beginning and middle scenes are kinda boring with too much talking. I forgot the name of the band in it but they are funny. The movie starts picking up pace when they follow the sex-loving cult back to their hideout. This is where Jackie fights big Amazon Women, and straps dynamite around his body where he accidentally lights it (it is HILARIOUS.) The movie ends where Jackie leaps for his life off a cliff and lands on an air-balloon(it is AMAZING!)
Overall I’d say the last scenes kick ass. Everybody should watch it. It is very, very entertaining, and a milestone Jackie’s long, but amazing career.
Michael’s Rating: 9/10 (it starts out slow, but gets better later on)