Film Score: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Released by Golden Harvest
Release Date: December 22nd, 1983
Starring: Jackie Chan, Yuen Biao, and Sammo Hung
Written by Edward Tang and Jackie Chan
Directed by Jackie Chan
Rated PG-13 (Violence)
I know that you are looking at the last sentence and saying to yourself “How is Chan a master at directing?”. Am I right? I know I am because I asked that same question when I started watching Jackie Chan films. Tony Zhou, who is a YouTuber whose channel Every Frame a Painting, has a video that I think anyone who is a Jackie Chan fan or loves film, should watch. In it he talks about how Chan frames his fights in a way that the audience never gets lost, and provides some foreshadowing, and edits his fights for the reaction, not the hit. American directors edit on the hit, so we never see the impact, it is only implied. Chan lets the cut be dictated by what is happening. He shows the whole thing, which means that we get to react to everything in a far more enjoyable way than we do with most American films.
The above scene shows everything that Chan is good at. The scene is exciting. We have no idea how the scene will end. The scene has some laughs. While doing some tricks on a bicycle while running away from the bad guys, the seat on the bike is set loose and Chan sits down on the pole. A crude joke, yes, but it is still pretty funny.
Chan isn’t the only star of Project A. He also gives Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao big roles. Hung plays a thief and a friend of Chan’s character. Hung is a gifted performer and has some of the best lines in the film. Yuen Biao is Chan’s boss and is the straight man of the film. Biao gets to shine in a scene or two, but has had bigger roles before and after Project A. This is the first film where the Three Brothers (known as such because they grew up together in the Peking Opera) and they have a lot of fun in the roles. They do even more in Wheels on Meals and Dragons Forever.