Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Jackie Chan is a legend of the martial arts genre — here’s a rundown of 10 Jackie Chan movie moments that helped solidify his legend worldwide.

Jackie Chan is a martial arts movie legend who has delivered many great fight scenes and stunts. With a career in both Eastern and Western action movies spanning decades, Jackie Chan is renowned worldwide for his unique blend of comedy and action. Millions first saw the future action superstar without even knowing it during Chan’s brief on-screen appearance in Enter the Dragon, but his career since has been nothing short of historic.

Jackie Chan’s action scenes often include stunt work that has left him with innumerable injuries, with Chan also frequently fighting seemingly insurmountable martial artists portraying the villains of his films. In both his early movies and Jackie Chan’s Hollywood career, some of his best action scenes continue to stand the test of time, helping him become an icon of martial arts and comedy. Here are 10 Jackie Chan movie moments that would help make him a martial arts movie legend.

Drunken Master’s Training Montage

In martial arts films, training montages are just as much fun as actual fight scenes, and arguably the best Jackie Chan training montage ever is to be found in Drunken Master with Chan’s Wong Fei-hung training in the various forms of Zui quan, or drunken boxing. With eight drunken gods to go through, Chan’s athleticism and kung fu skill is incredible to behold. With Jackie Chan’s career still in its infancy in Drunken Master, his Zui quan training montage would help give life to it and his rendition of Wong Fei-hung.

The Clock Tower Fall – Project A

Few of Jackie Chan’s stunts are hair-raising as Chan’s clock tower fall in Project A. Even Jackie Chan himself would recognize the enormity of what he was putting himself through in the fall, with Chan reportedly taking days just to summon the courage to even get into position for the fall. With just a couple of awnings to barely cushion his fall, Jackie Chan’s terrifying clock tower drop in Project A shows just how crucial preparation is for his stunt work, even with the pay-off of one of the greatest stunts in cinema history.

Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow – Jackie Chan vs. Roy Horan

Jackie Chan’s first big break would come in his 1978 kung fu movie Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, which is also one of the more memorable appearances by ’70-s kung fu star Roy Horan. A Tae Kwon Do student of Hwang Jang-lee and the father of Celina Jade, Horan’s fighting skills and exuberant reactions to Chan’s attacks make the two’s fight scene a highlight of the film and Chan’s early career. Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow gives Chan strong opponents to adapt his comedic approach to combat in Hwang Jang-lee and Roy Horan, with Chan’s duel with Horan being a major stand-out in his early days.

Rumble In The Bronx

After years of trying to break into Hollywood, the 1996 release of Rumble in the Bronx finally put Jackie Chan on the mainstream radar in the West. Chan’s fight with a local gang on their turf is pure Jackie Chan magic packed into five minutes. One second, Chan is picking his opponent Tony (Marc Akerstream) apart with Wing Chun punches. The next, he is shooting his entire body through the swinging gate of a grocery cart. Rush Hour may have fully cemented Jackie Chan as a Hollywood star two years later, but that film’s success arguably would not have happened without Rumble in the Bronx becoming a sleeper hit first.

Jackie Chan’s Two Fights With Brad Allan – Gorgeous

Jackie Chan Stunt Team members are frequently called up to be his opponents in fight scenes, and one of the most memorable is Chan’s two kickboxing fight scenes with Jackie Chan Stunt Team member Brad Allan in 1999’s Gorgeous. The sheer speed of Chan and Allan in action is breathtaking, with the first fight and their subsequent rematch telling a story of Chan’s business mogul C.N. Chan learning to loosen up in both life and combat. While Brad Allan, unfortunately, passed away in 2021, his fight scenes with Jackie Chan in Gorgeous continue to be powerful with the energy both bring to it.

Armour Of God II: Operation Condor – The Wind Tunnel

A big element of what makes Jackie Chan movie’s so fun is the creativity of his action scenes that extend to the character’s encompassing environment, and Chan’s second “Asian Hawk” movie Armour of God II: Operation Condor, is one of the best such examples with its wind tunnel showdown. Chan and his opponents find themselves fighting a synthetic hurricane in their attempts to simply land one clean punch on each other, with Chan even aptly exclaiming “Superman!” as he soars through the air in the wind tunnel’s air rush. In all, Armour of God II’s final fight would provide another perfect combo of Jackie Chan’s action and comedy to help his breakout in the West.

Jackie Chan Vs. Hwang Jang-lee – Drunken Master

Jackie Chan has faced no shortage of incredibly challenging adversaries in his career, and legendary Korean super kicker Hwang Jang-lee is one of his all-time great opponents. As one of the most exalted Tae Kwon Do masters in martial arts movie history, Hwang Jang-lee’s kicks would make him a highly popular villain in Hong Kong martial arts films, with he and Chan first doing battle in Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Their rematch in Drunken Master would solidify both as martial arts movie legends, with Hwang’s agile and deadly kicks going up against Chan’s use of Zui quan in a whirlwind of a final showdown.

The Police Story Finale

No matter how much comedy goes into a Jackie Chan fight scene, there is always pain a-plenty, especially in his ’80s and ’90s heyday—case in point—the Hong Kong mall showdown in 1985’s Police Story. In between Chan and his opponents spin-kicking each other, they frequently find themselves tossed either through or into virtually anything made of glass in their immediate area. Additionally, Jackie Chan leaps into a near-fatal stunt by sliding down a pole covered in electrical lights. For all the pain that would go into Police Story’s finale, it is one of Jackie Chan’s all-time greatest achievements in his career.

Jackie Chan vs. Benny “The Jet” Urquidez – Wheels On Meal

In the mid-’80s, Jackie Chan would face another martial arts movie great, kickboxing legend Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, first in Wheels on Meals and later in Dragons Forever. Their fight in Wheels on Meals is frequently cited as one of the best fight scenes of all time, and for a good reason. Urquidez is simply a tornado going up against Chan — quite literally, with a spinning kick by Urquidez extinguishing a row of candles. Chan adapts to his opponent’s tremendous skill set in true Jackie Chan comedic fashion, which makes the finale of Wheels of Meals must-see viewing for all martial arts movie fans.

Jackie Chan Vs. Ken Lo – Drunken Master II

Drunken Master II is arguably the definitive Jackie Chan movie, with the movie’s incredible final showdown in an industrial steel mill being a significant reason why. With Chan reprising his role as Wong Fei-hung from the first Drunken Master, he faces a near-unstoppable barrage of kicks from the villainous John, played by Chan’s own former bodyguard Ken Lo. Chan and Lo’s final fight in Drunken Master II reportedly took four months to film, and the blood, sweat, and tears that the two put into it absolutely paid off. Even by Jackie Chan standards, the final fight of Drunken Master II is beyond jaw-dropping.

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