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Thunderbolt (1995, Jackie Chan, Anita Yuen)

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The Jackie Chan production line was working nights to produce this darker, more serious version of the maestro’s martial arts template which attempts to mix character depth and stunts to justify its price tag (at $30 million, this was Hong Kong’s most expensive adventure).

He plays Chan, a master mechanic who can discern the nature, fault and repair of a car just by hearing it pass by. Making a living towing away racing cars, Chan and his crew encounter Cougar (Thorsten Nickel), an assassin with a passion for speed. After Chan beats Cougar in an impromptu race, the foreigner is arrested by Steve Cannon (Michael Wong), and vows to avenge his defeat. Trashing Chan’s garage and kidnapping his sisters, Cougar lays down a challenge on a Japanese racetrack. With the help of local reporter Amy Ip (Anita Yuen), Chan begins to build the car that will take him to the showdown…

With $2 million spent just on car smashes, Chan attempts to please his Japanese fans with a profligacy rarely seen outside of The Blues Brothers. At 41, the actor can still scare insurers worldwide, running through some beautifully choreographed routines (shot by six principal cameramen) and creates mayhem of the sort expected by the biggest non-Hollywood film star in the world.

production details
Hong Kong | 108 minutes | 1995

Director: Gordon Chan
Script: Philip Kwok, Gordon Chan

cast
Jackie Chan as Jackie Chan Feng Jim
Anita Yuen as Amy Ip
Michael Wong as Steve Cannon
Shing Fui-On as Illegal race car driver
Dayo Wong as Lam
Thorsten Nickel as Warner ‘Cougar’ Kaugman
Ken Lo as Kong
Chor Yuen as Uncle Tung
Daisy Woo Hoi-Yan as Jackie’s young sister
Annie Man as Jackie’s younger sister
Yûzô Kayama as Mirakami
Mari Eguro as Race car boss’s daughter
Kenya Sawada as Saw
Corey Yuen as Doctor treating Jackie
Chin Ka-Lok as Mirakami’s assistant
Michael Lui Mai-Go as Jackie’s mechanic
Mars as Saw’s thug
Timmy Hung as Saw’s thug

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