Flicks & Folios – The Accidental Spy

Well well well:I’ve found my favourite Jackie Chan film! Hilariously, his character Bei is a failed exercise equipment salesman. He becomes a spy by foiling a jewellery heist. This leads him to Liu, a private investigator who convinces Bei he is actually the long-lost son of a wealthy Korean businessman. He’s soon involved in an international conspiracy revolving around the cure to a lung virus.

What makes this film better – or just different – from other Jackie Chan films is that there is so much mystery and suspense in it. The scenery is breathtaking and there is more serious content. This is no doubt because Jackie produced the project at a cost of 25 million dollars – the largest amount ever for a film in Hong Kong (at that time) (Cinecom).

This film is so opposite to Jackie’s usual work, which features constant comic antics and lightweight plots. Don’t get me wrong … I ADORE Jackie’s antics. I bought First Strike simply for the great comic touches throughout. The shark scene with a bad guy and knives was hilarious. When the knife wielding foes sliced one another’s thumbs open – a dangerous condition when sharks are about – I nearly collapsed laughing; the scenes of Jackie chasing bad guys wearing a hilarious kid’s white polar bear hat made me grab for the Kleenex. But, when all is said and done the Accidental Spy showing on local Alberta movie channels is enough to take the cake.

Shot in locations like Hong Kong, Korea and Istanbul it is the most scenic film I’ve seen him do.

Jackie’s character is highly intuitive and keeps combating crime with his martial arts training and flashes of intuition. Since all that activity puts him in the limelight, he finds out his birth father is dying in Korea and is wealthy. Surprise, surprise! Dad wants to leave his money to his birth son but needs some proof. Jackie goes there and soon the bad guys follow and a crackerjack fight scene using defibrillators ensues. I was in danger of falling off the couch with that one! The king of martial arts is known for his unique fighting props but still the medical content and the “damage” they did was just too much laughter for one time!

Hmmmm:I guess I should include a bit more plot! Well, let me see. Dad was a Christian and left his son: no, not millions: a check for ten grand, a box and mystery. The box, we find out, has dad’s cross, and a key in it. The key isn’t for a house. Jackie goes to his mother’s grave and notices a dried tulip and below it an inscription:in English, “WAIT FOR ME.” It takes just a short while for Jackie to figure the inscription has enough letters to be a phone number. It has to be Istanbul according to the plot connections. The phone number leads to the Bank of Istanbul. Well, he quickly finds out the cross has his personal stamp on it and the key is to a safety deposit box. Inside the safety deposit there is a book and a pile of money.

Time for some fun … there is a chase and round up with taxis that was quite unique, especially when he fights the bad guys through the back window of the taxi! Trust Jackie to make me wonder how on earth he does that! Later he gets away and goes for a “relaxing” Turkish bath. Hehehe, of course — not quite! I laughed just as hard at Jackie sliding across the marble tops of ancient Turkish baths. Too funny! Soap, sliding, and martial arts! Take a look at the film just for those clever defence moments.

As Jackie escapes, he gets into a market and we get the “gratuitous” nudity that gave the film a PG-13 rating. HAH! The Chinese are so tame! I can hear everyone in Hong Kong wanting more, but blushing as they do so! His butt is cute but we’ve seen it before, so after an extended scene with locals pulling his “cover ups” off and his quick move replacements I didn’t expect him to dazzle me. He turns a corner into an alley and finds a huge white cloth hanging to dry. He pulls a hole for his head and begins to spin. It’s not a simple as that and it’s amazing to watch. Something seems almost spiritual or otherworldly to me as he pulls this off. I gasped. I am amazed. And then of course I roar when women walk by dressed exactly as he is — to a tee.

Also amazing is Jackie being in a film with a pretty lady who is addicted to a super drug – a derivative of opium.

I really recommend this Jackie Chan film — especially if you’re open to a change in his style.

Laura Seymour first published herself, at age 8. She has since gone on to publish a cookbook for the medical condition Candida. She is working toward her B.A. (Psyc).