This is probably the first movie of his that I was anticipating before it came out. I was introduced to Jackie Chan way too late, so all the movies I watched with him were made long before I actually saw them. Well, except for Rush Hour 3 which I watched at the movies. How did I become such a Jackie Chan fan anyway? Back when I watched RH 3 it was just because it seemed like a good movie, not because Jackie Chan was in it. Anyway, I didn't have very high expectations for this movie because I've read a lot of bad reviews about it, warning me that there's barely any martial arts in it, that it's long and boring and that Jackie just tried too hard, and sadly, it was partially true.
When the movie started I was thinking that all these rumors were false, because at the beginning it actually seemed like a great movie. It all starts with a chase in which Jackie Chan wields some kind of suit with wheels all over it, on hands, feet, chest, etc. He's rolling downhill, weaving through traffic, rolling under cars, fighting motorcyclists and at one moment actually roller-blading on a thin ledge with no safety nets beneath him. Just as in the previous two Operation Condor movies, it really begins with a bang. It's a good start, and the continuation isn't so bad either. The story behind the artifacts (12 of them, as the movie states) isn't so bad, and there's a bunch of good actors apart from Jackie Chan, but the ending is just... it's a disappointment.
As the movie progresses, there are occasional stunts, and then there's the grand finale, right? But it doesn't feel complete at all. It feels rushed. It feels like it could have been so much better than it was. Jackie Chan rolling down a volcano in a pretty cool suit and ending up victorious in a hospital bed, that's just not how he rolls. He doesn't end the movie injured. Injured but happy, but still, injured. It's not his style. There's no final fight. And after the credits roll there are supposed to be a bunch of outtakes, right? Nah, there's just him falling through a frame and lying on the floor writhing in agony, and that's not fun at all. He just looks like an old man. In real pain It's depressing. Is he showing that final sequence to let his fans know, subtly, that he can't keep doing such crazy stunts? I wish he'd just let it be and only include the good stuff, and end it with yet another crazy-stunt and survive-all as we all expected him too. This is kind of like Rocky Balboa, in which Rocky puts up a final fight but gets beaten in the end, but he's still in the spotlight because he gave it all he got. It was a mighty finale, but at the same time just downright depressing. This feels the same way.