Armour of God | Varied Celluloid

Armour of God

Posted by Josh Samford On June - 28 - 2008
Plot Outline: Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) is an ex-singer in a pop group called “The Losers”. Also in the group was his friends Alan and Laura, whom Hawk also fell in love with but was forced to leave because of his love for adventure. Laura, like any good girl, settled for the closest guy who was next to her; enter Alan. Years pass, Hawk becomes quite accomplished in his career, but is soon contacted once again by Alan. Turns out some nutjob religious cult kidnapped Laura and are seeking the Armour of God. A five piece suit of Armour that grants it’s wearer tremendous power. The cult already has three pieces of the armor, Alan has one and a Duke in Spain has the final piece needed. After many hijinks, Jackie and Alan manage to get the duke to fork over his final piece, but under one circumstance, they have to take the Duke’s daughter along for the ride. Now Jackie Alan and this Spanish dish set out to save Laura, and perhaps even keep the Armour while they’re at it.



The Review
Armour of God is probably one of Jackie’s strangest, and in my opinion, best films. Definitely not an opinion shared by many, and I can already hear people yelling ‘blasphemy’, but hey it’s my opinion. I don’t know what makes me love AOG so much, I can’t tell if it’s because Armour of God was one of the earliest Chan films I seen and reminiscence is getting the better of me, or if it’s just the spark of originality and fun the film has to offer. Maybe it’s a combination of the two, but I tell you this: Of all the great ‘stunt’ films Chan has made since the 80’s, I would say AOG at the very least makes it in to the top three. That’s just my opinion of course, and frankly I can see it’s not a very popular one. A 6.4 on the imdb may not seem like such a bad thing, but the fact that it isn’t a seven shows the division the film has on people. For the life of me, I have a hard time seeing what is so terrible about the film that some people could call it the worst chan film. If anyone is a Chan fan, I don’t see how they can call the film cheesy when the humor here is no more thick than in any of his other films. It might be the fact that Jackie is a bit cocky and doesn’t play the reluctant hero he usually does. I will concede that the film definitely has it’s cheesy moments, but in a good way like most action films from the eighties. Not because Jackie’s humor is too abundant or the acting isn’t hamlet.

I see some complain that the film is too slow or boring, but this just boggles me. Sure, the middle half of the film is comprised of nothing but jokes, but how can you discredit a film that has such spectacular action scenes by calling it boring? Armour of God has two of my favorite action scenes ever. First, the car chase in the middle part of the film. It’s not on the level of Bullit or The French Connection, but it doesn’t try to be. It’s more over the top, and is just cool all around. Maybe I’m biased because of my love for watching people wreck on motorbikes, but I hold to the belief that all men, no matter what their creed can sit back and enjoy a man flying off a motorbike and off a cliff. Good old fashioned fun. The other insane action scene is really just a string of action scenes. When Jackie heads back to the cave at the end of the film, it’s almost non-stop action for fifteen minutes. Jackie’s stunt team walks away brutalized by the end of the finale. People flip off tables landing on their heads, Jackie sweeps some dude (dressed like a woman) in mid air and he does a front flip landing face first into the dirt and I won’t even spoil the ending for you. One of Jackie’s most outrageous stunts, even today.

The film isn’t perfect of course, no great film ever is, but I don’t think it’s deserving of the vile I see spewed forth about it. The middle half of the film does slow down quite a bit, and if you aren’t entertained by Chan’s humor this will most likely kill you. It almost resorts to gag after gag, but thankfully action scenes are dispersed in between all the humor and helps pick the film back up. I didn’t particularly like the western (Spanish?) girl who plays opposite Jackie or even Alan Tam, not because I thought either actor gave too bad of a performance (granted, the girl’s performance doesn’t deserve any kind of write up), but because neither had any effect on the movie for me personally. Both were just harmless, in other words: not interesting. Jackie is the one and only star in this picture show ladies and gentleman, although I would have preferred a little more Rosamund Kwan. She’s just so darn cute. Jackie is the only person with a spotlight here, not because he’s a ballhog, he’s just the only one with real charisma. His arrogance in the film never walks the line of being annoying, which can almost kill a film if played too hammy. Jackie is just right in his role, at some points full of himself, at some points full of BS. How can you not like this man?

The Conclusion
Let’s just fill out a little questionnaire here: Do you like action? Do you like Jackie Chan? Do you like watching Jackie Chan fall from trees smashing a hole in his head after a stunt goes wrong? Well, if you answered yes to any of the above questions, then you’ll love Armour of God! Chan’s older films are already a niche audience, but AOG seems to have dug a smaller and more compact niche inside the already existent niche. You’ll either love it or you’ll hate it, but at the least you can appreciate the injuries Chan and his team inflict upon themselves, just to entertain all of us.



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