10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A great movie, but a very poor DVD,
This review is from: Operation Condor - Armour Of God 2 [DVD] (DVD)
Jackie Chan's hugely enjoyable romp Operation Condor - Armour of God 2 sees him on the trail of Nazi gold in the desert in a plot that's no more than an excuse for several spectacular stunts - and this contains some of Chan's most impressive stuntwork.
In the past, Jackie Chan's plots have had enough holes to drive a Mack truck through: this one could take their entire production line. This spectacular example of the just-one-damn-thing-after-another school of filmmaking insults your intelligence almost as much as a Michael Winner film. Characterisation is elementary at best, stereotyping runs rampant and logic frequently flies out the window, but who cares? This is still one of the best audience pictures of the 90s, with incredible stunts no western star in the world (or his stuntman) would attempt.
Whereas Schwarzenegger or Stallone are pure brute force, Chan is the Buster Keaton or Donald O'Connor of action movies, with a slapstick acrobatic versatility that is astonishingly fluid. When did you last see them knock down a baddie then catch his gun in mid-air while doing a somersault over him, all in a single take? Like great dancing, it is not a series of choreographed moves in succession but appears to be one constant movement, and Chan knows how to place the camera to a stunt's best advantage.
The most expensive movie ever made in Hong Kong up until that time ($100m Hong Kong), his take on the Raiders movies is pure knockabout stuff. The hook is a search for Nazi gold buried in the desert, but that's just an excuse for some great prolonged and imaginative setpieces that mix broad physical comedy with action to breathlessly entertaining effect - you'll constantly be hitting the rewind because you can't believe what you've just seen is physically possible, while he hyper-kinetic editing will make you hit the slo-mo too. Put your feet up, your brain on hold and you'll love it. It ain't art, but it is fun, and some of the stunts in the massive underground set have to be seen to be disbelieved.
Unfortunately, this is a disappointing DVD. It's not just that Hong Kong Legends' excellent Hong Kong DVDs have raised the bar in terms of extras and picture quality, more that Entertainment have put no real effort into this release. Like their earlier video release this is uncut (Miramax typically cut more than 20 mins for the USA version), but only offers the dubbed English soundtrack and, as well as having no extras, is a disappointing 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. A budget title in every sense of the word, you're better offseeking Fortune Star's superior Hong Kong NTSC DVD.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 Aug 2011 21:20:43 BDT
Are you sure this is uncut? The original film clocked in at 106 mins, Amazon's summary has it in at 80 mins. In addition to everything else, has the DVD got the wrong time on it, or have Amazon maybe simply copied the details over from an earlier, shorter print?
I think we should be told.
In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2011 21:39:20 BDT
Trevor Willsmer says:
The problem is that Amazon put the same review on all versions of the film, so I'm not sure which version you're looking at. The Entertainment UK DVD release is the full version but dubbed and far from terrific quality; the NTSC Miramax release is heavily cut and rescored; the Asian DVD is uncut and in the original language.
Posted on 19 May 2012 16:33:18 BDT
Is it the english dub before they re-dubbed it with Jackie Chan's actual voice?
In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2012 21:11:01 BDT
Trevor Willsmer says:
It's a chirpy American who doesn't sound anything like Chan on the UK Entertainment release.
In reply to an earlier post on 19 May 2012 21:15:23 BDT
Great that is all I need to know thanks and its a buy
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