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'First Strike': a 'kick' for action fans

From Movie Reviewer Carol Buckland

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(CNN) -- Jackie Chan is one of the most amiable action heroes around, chopping, kicking and stomping out bad guys as if they were minced meat. And while Sylvester Stallone and others of his ilk have egos the size of Alaska, Chan never appears weighed down by self-importance. Maybe that's why he's so light on his feet. icon (153K/13 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)

"Jackie Chan's First Strike" is another installment in his "Police Stories" series. It's an entertaining mix of Hong Kong kung-fu schlock and Hollywood action glitz. It's also marginally more believable (and significantly better dubbed) than Chan's last import "Rumble in the Bronx."


movie icon (1.5M/41 sec. QuickTime movie)
movie icon (3.3M/90 sec. QuickTime movie)

The story is a scrambled mishmash involving the CIA, Russian gangsters and that ever-popular plot device, a stolen nuclear warhead.

Fueled by Stanley Tong's smartly paced direction and J. Peter Robinson's relentless soundtrack, our man Jackie takes on all scoundrels with an abundance of goodwill and a welcome lack of gore.

As for acting, Chan will never take home an Oscar. But his masterful blend of physical finesse and funniness are more than worth the price of admission. And be sure to stay around for the action scenes tacked on at the end of the film. They bruisingly (and amusingly) underscore the fact that this star does all his own stunts.

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"Jackie Chan's First Strike" is kung-foolishness of a very entertaining sort, and action fans will get a kick out of it.

Rated PG-13, the film contains violence and partial nudity.

 
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