First Strike - * *

This latest action film from Jackie Chan (actually the fourth in his Police Story series) has one good action scene, but doesn’t quite live up to the standards of his earlier films. Jackie again reprises his role as the heroic Hong Kong police officer, this time on special assignment for the CIA (Why?…because it fits the plot.) Anyhow, a simple mission to observe a woman on a flight to the Ukraine becomes more involved, and Jackie gets caught in a scheme by the Russian mafia to recover stolen nuclear warheads. As in most of Jackie’s films, the plot is secondary. This time, not surprisingly, it’s feather-light and does not require the use of many neurons. However, the essence of Jackie’s films are his super-choreographed fight scenes. Unfortunately, in First Strike, there is only one knockout fight, and it is completely secondary to the plot, seemingly thrown in as an afterthought. Rather, most of First Strike involves Jackie partaking in the James Bondian role of international secret agent. The result: a couple of interesting action scenes, but we’ve come to expect more from Jackie. At least this time out the dialogue and soundtrack is less distracting than his previous two dubbed films (Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop). For those wanting a Jackie Chan fix, First Strike will deliver, but unfortunately, it’s not as powerful as it could have been.

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