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Review Project A a.k.a. A gai waak (1983): A true Jackie Chan classic!

genre: martial arts, action, comedy

One of the early Jacky Chan films I had the pleasure to watch when I was very young. I loved it then and I love it now. From start to finish there is an energy to the film that never lets up. It's a constant flow of comedy, crazy fights and insane stunts. These are intertwined with a few moments of dramatic reflection. It's almost the perfect film. 

Naturally there is no such thing and obviously even this masterpiece has its flaws. But it's close. If an old film like this is still ticking all the right boxes and is never boring or slow, then you know you got a classic on your hands. There are a few key factors that made this happen. For one, the combined direction of Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung. On their own, they are capable of creating works of arts. It's no wonder that these two combined are able to do even more. But wait, like with most of the early films, Yuen Biao is not far behind. He is considered the bravest and most capable acrobatic wise. And yes, there is enough here to showcase his abilities. That being said, both Jackie and Sammo also display some super moves like it's nothing. There is one stunt in particular where Jackie's character has to drop from a clock tower, with very little to no safe net at all. What the hell was he thinking? He could have died. He apparently performed the stunt 3 times. That is A grade dedication right there.

Another element is the exquisite slapstick comedy. There have been older films of which I thought they were timeless and forever funny only to be let down when I viewed them now. Fortunately, this is not the case with Project A. And I think it has to do a lot with the energy and the actors involved. I guess everyone must have been having fun making this film. Even some ladies aren't spared. One especially is subjected to some graceful but obviously painful sliding. Funny as hell, though!

Last but not least, the spectacle. Or should I say the scale of the spectacle. There are a few big action sequences consisting of fights, chase scenes and heavy acrobatics. Naturally, these scenes are filmed individually. But they have the appearance of happening in real time. And what better to view this on the Eureka Blu-ray which is a 2K remaster. While not as good as the 4K remaster of Super Cop it's crisp, clean and very nice looking. Let's just say I am very happy to have been able to purchase it which also includes Project Part II. Apparently these Blu-rays are out of stock and hard to find.

Overall this film is one Jackie Chan's best. If you are a fan you owe it to yourself to own it. It's one you will enjoy over and over again.

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