The Essentials: Jackie Chan’s Greatest Stunts
Police Story 2: Bus leap through a glass window
During a chase scene in the sequel to the hugely popular Police Story, Chan leaps across several buses, dodging billboard signs and when he finally made the leap through a pane glass window he jumped through the wrong one, smashing through a real window instead of the prop glass that he was supposed to crash through.
The Legend of Drunken Master: Hot Coal crab walk
One of Jackie’s best films in my opinion and one of his funnest fight scenes to watch came from this beauty in 1994. The original Drunken Master launched his career as a leading man and this film solidified his position as the craziest S.O.B. to ever attempt a stunt. In this scene Chan crawls over some hot coals, and that is at the beginning of the fight. Enjoy!
Armour of God: Wall jump and Hot Air Dive
Here is a movie that I reviewed several weeks ago and while the actual stunt wasn’t as wild as some of the others on this list, Jackie nearly died completing it. In it, he attempted to leap onto a rampart using a tree limb like some backyard version of WIPEOUT but he ended up falling and getting a piece of his skull shoved up into his brain. Jackie still has a hole in his head (he probably plugs it with a stick of dynamite) and required brain surgery at the time but he was out jumping onto hot air balloons two weeks later. Crazy bastard!
Police Story: Way better than Bad Boys 2
You might recognize this scene from when Michael Bay tried to steal it for his Will Smith/Martin Lawrence films or when Tango & Cash stole another part of it for the Stallone/Kurt Russell flick but both versions pale in comparison to this masterpiece by Jackie Chan. A bus drives through a village before Chan hangs onto it using nothing but a crappy umbrella before finally jumping in front of it and forcing it to stop at gunpoint. The craziest thing about this scene is that it opens the movie and leaves you thinking, “What more can this man do?” Keep reading and you’ll find out that Chan wasn’t finished doing totally mental stunts just yet.
Who am I?: Skyscraper ass slide
Who Am I? isn’t exactly a masterpiece that I would go out and buy on Bluray, DVD, VHS, and digital HD but this scene gave me that weird feeling in my stomach like I just rode the world’s largest rollercoaster and it makes me wonder if Chan had to change his undies after this stunt. It took Jackie two weeks to get up the nerve to try this and after watching it, I understand why.
Police Story 3: Supercop: Helicopter Hang
Michelle Yeoh and both sexy and apparently crazy as hell as she performed all of her own stunts in this film including riding a dirt bike up a ramp and landing it on top of a train. Not satisfied with his own stunts for this film, Chan thought up this sequence and probably after taking a couple shots of tequila leap onto a moving helicopter and hung on for dear life.
Police Story 4: First Strike: Snowboarding to his death
Jackie Chan can’t keep his frickin’ mouth shut! He just keeps coming up with crazy shit to do and I bet when he mentioned snowboarding from a mountain onto a moving helicopter he immediately dropped his head into his hands. This scene was his “OO7 moment” as it opened the film with a bang and while it’s pretty hard to follow up something like this, you can be sure that Jackie wasn’t finished with the craziness just yet.
Project A: Clock Tower smackdown
One of his most popular stunts from this pirate fighting film finds Jackie hanging from a clock tower and risking death once again by falling through a few cloth awnings and to the ground below. I can’t imagine those things did much to break his fall, especially since Jackie did the stunt three times before he was satisfied with how it looked.
Armour of God 2: Operation Condor: Dirt Bike Chase
This one is my favorite chase scene from the master of chase scenes and a close second for my favorite Jackie Chan stunt ever! Jackie races through the streets on a dirt bike, ramping shit, doing gymnastics, saving babies, and dodging small Italian cars like they’re not even there. Even if you’re not into sweet-ass action movies you have to be impressed with this scene. It’s faster and furious-er than anything Vin Diesel has ever done!
Police Story: Mall pole slide
Possibly his most “out there” stunt and probably my favorite Jackie Chan moment of all time comes from the original Police Story. Fast forward to the 6:30 mark to see the stunt or just check out the entire video for another badass fight scene. Chan only had one opportunity to get the stunt right and suffered numerous bruises and 2nd degree burns on his hands. Not bad for sliding down a pole 100 feet through a bunch of glass and onto a tile floor. This stunt alone kicks more ass than Mark Wahlberg’s entire filmography.