Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Master Of Comedy/Action


Combining the comedy chops of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd with martial arts and acrobatics skills learned at the China Drama Academy, Jackie Chan is the finest practitioner of action and comedy in film.  THC has been a huge fan ever since seeing Rumble In The Bronx many years ago which prompted him to go back and watch the catalogue of Jackie's China-made films.

While he's enjoyed Jackie's more recent American-made films, particularly his partnerships with Owen Wilson (Shanghai Noon) and Chris Tucker (Rush Hour), they felt less satisfying than his China movies because of the truncated action scenes.

Now thanks to this primer (brought to his attention by the THC Son) we can understand better from a technical perspective how Jackie combines comedy and action and why his American films are so different from Hong Kong-made classics like the Police Story series and Legend Of Drunken Master.  Jackie himself appears in the video to explain.  The key differences; camera placement, editing and the extraordinarily long time he is allowed to take perfecting action and comedy sequences for the China films.  Plus, one factor not mentioned - insurance coverage in the U.S. will simply not allow him to take the same risks as in China.

The video also features some of his best action/comedy sequences including, at 7:27, the climax of the first Police Story movie featuring one of Jackie's craziest stunts, sliding down a pole festooned with lightbulbs and the electricity on (yes, he was injured)!

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