Jackie Chan: Action Auteur

This is an article I wrote about the Jackie Chan films Police Story and Police Story II for an unfortunately now defunct site:

Jackie Chan: Action Auteur

Tons of ink and digital pixels have been spilled talking about how Jackie Chan risks his life to please his audiences, and for good reason. Are his stunts amazing? Yes. Without question. But whenever anyone talks or write about Jackie, all they focus on is the action. This is a huge disservice to the man. What is missing in the conversation is Jackie Chanʼs immense talent and ability as a filmmaker, a director, an auteur. Thatʼs right. Auteur. The snooty French auteur theory talks about how even in a collaborative medium such as film, a singular voice can influence and imprint a movie with their vision and style. In Police Story & Police Story II, Jackie Chan was the director, co-writer, star and stunt coordinator.

How better to define singular vision and influence on a picture?

Prior to Police Story, cop movies had degenerated from intense thrillers and dramas such as The French Connection and Serpico into hackneyed procedurals that resembled something on television, only with bigger budgets, movie stars and excessive macho posturing. The genre had become so worn out that the only way to make a cop film stand out was to combine it with another genre like comedy (e.g., Beverly Hills Cop). Enter Jackie Chan.

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