Project A

Project A ★★★★

The key film on the development of Chan as a director and star moving him beyond the terms set by his two breakout 1978 Yuen Woo-Ping martial arts comedies. Rewatching it today in the middle of multiple HK films for the classes I'm gonna do in my HK retrospective, I start to think about the key differences between Chan approach to action and that of most other main action directors from his generation (Yuen Woo Ping. Sammo Hung, Ching Siu-Tung, Corey Yuen) and that is a matter of masochism. Chan during his peak years in the 80s/early 90s seem to believe that he wasn't doing right by his fans if he didn't broke at least a bone during a shooting. While all those filmmakers in their different styles are true disciples of Lau Kar Leung and their work asks the question what the human body can do? Chan seems to be asking what the human body can endure? There is off course lots of great action choreography throughout Project A, but the emphasis is always less on the quality of the choreography than in the quality of the stunt work. While Sammo wants to show people flying, Jackie wants to show people falling. I'm sure someone must have wrote in depth about that by now, but it never been highlight for me quite as clearly than today.

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