Wednesday, November 22, 2006

[1980] THE BIG BRAWL: This has to be the oddest film in the Chan catalog, right? It starts off in a Prohibition-era Chicago that entertained itself with an early form of roller derby--which is of course not dramatically weirder than (say) the day-glo street gangs in Rumble in the Bronx. But the fights are so unlike any other Jackie Chan movie, since he's either fighting character actors or professional wrestlers. So the fights are slow and ungraceful without being especially brutal, and there's little opportunity for Jackie to do his thing. On the other hand you have Jose Ferrer (complete with foul-mouthed mob grandmother) and Mako chewing the scenery with gusto. It's not nearly as bad as its reputation suggests, but its also the most atypical Jackie Chan movie that I've seen. Clouse could not quite figure out what to do with him.

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