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Review First Strike a.k.a. Ging chaat goo si 4: Gaan dan yam mo (1996) Jackie Chan goes the James Bond route!

genre: action, martial arts, comedy, espionage

To be honest I am a little puzzled as why First Strike has to be seen as part of the Police Story franchise. Apart from Jackie, Uncle Bill (Bill Tung) is the only returning character. Not even a reference to the older parts.

Tonally it is also a very different beast. First Strike is far more comedic than Police Story I and II. And both films were very serious of nature but had comedic moments in them. Perhaps it's on par with Supercop (Police Story III) except that film was intertwined with serious action. First Strike while definitely bringing you spectacular action is mostly goofy and silly. Mind you it's the kind of goofy I appreciate and love but still it might be a required taste for some. I guess it makes sense for Jackie and co to venture into espionage but I wished he had taken it a little bit more serious. And with that I mean thrill and suspense wise. How could he had achieved that? By making the villains ruthless as hell and leave a high body count. '

Normally the Police Story films have a little more plot and characterization than the usual Jackie Chan film. In this part they can't be bothered. Not once do they establish that Jackie's character Ka-Kui is a super cop and that he is very competent. For the most part he is considered a wild card as he is not really being taken seriously. It doesn't help that at least in the version I watched that Jackie's own voice dubbed sounds horrible. Then again what does it matter if you get to witness Jackie Chan at his best doing all kinds of crazy stunts and fighting. Now I think about it, the film moves in quite a fast pace. Personally I would have loved to see more fights but perhaps that would not match that well with the James Bond route. 

Overall this is a very entertaining Jackie Chan film and I wished he would do more of these although a bit more serious in tone.

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