First Strike (1996)
Directed by Stanley Tong

Artistic Value: * *
Entertainment Value: * * *


Synopsis & Analysis
First Strike is a fairly typical Jackie Chan film. Here Chan plays a Hong Kong police officer searching for a stolen nuclear missile. In the course of his investigation, he is caught up in a conspiracy involving the Russian Mafia and a rogue Hong Kong cop, manages to rescue the latter's sexy but helpless sister, and travels from Asia to Russia to Australia.

As usual, Chan displays considerable ingenuity at performing elaborate action set pieces with a variety of unusual objects. In one scene, for example, he fights off a large group of opponents using only a ladder. The acting, script, and production values, however, vary from average to poor. Chan himself gives the kind of pleasant performance that one would expect from him. While never a notable actor, he has a likeable on screen persona that makes watching him a delight.

Although it is no masterpiece, First Strike was not intended to be a work of art. It is an action film with some light comedy, and, despite its faults, the film does succeed at entertaining.

Review by Keith Allen

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