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Project A - Part 2 - Movie Poster
Original Title:
A Gai Waak Zuk Zaap

Hong Kong 1987

Action, Martial Arts, Comedy

Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan
Maggie Cheung
Rosamund Kwan
Carina Lau
Bill Tung
Lin Wei
Ray Lui
Ken Lo
Ricky Hui

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Project A - Part 2

Story: A group of pirates comes to Hong Kong in order to take revenge on Dragon Ma (Jackie Chan) who killed their boss. Meanwhile, Dragon Ma has a whole district to look after as a policeman. Before he took the job corrupt policeman Chun (Lin Wei) administered the district. Dragon Ma is now cleaning things up and also leaves no doubt at the police station that policemen who accept bribes aren't tolerated by him. Eventually, Dragon Ma runs into Yesan (Maggie Cheung), Miss Pak (Rosamund Kwan) and Carina (Carina Lau) who work for Sun Yat-Sen and want to start a revolution. Because of that the three women are chased after by agents of Empress Dowager and Dragon Ma has to help them. At the same time Chun is doing business with the women in order to frame Dragon Ma of theft and get him out of the picture. Thus, Dragon Ma is temporarily on the run while he needs to prove Chun's illegal business activities and at the same time fight the empress's agents as well as the group of pirates that is after him.

Review: Four years after "Project A" Jackie Chan brings to screen a sequel. A downside jumping right at you from the start is that Yuen Biao and Sammo Hung are missing this time. Back then they were shooting "Eastern Condors" at the moment. In the end this is the most pressing reason why this sequel isn't able to hold a candle to the original. Furthermore, there aren't any noteworthy kung fu fights this time. The focus clearly lies on the stuntwork, but even though Chan once again put a lot of effort into this he can't fully reach up to the high standards he set in the first installment. However, fans won't be completely disappointed as Chan has tried very hard to chose some great sets and his creativeness is once again admirable.

Project A - Part 2 - Film Screenshot 11

The story in Chan's movies has never been anything to write home about, yet you still get the impression that you are fobbed off with particularly little plot in "Project A II". There may be different parties and a plot around Sun Yat-Sen's revolution that has found its way into the movie, but of course all of this simply doesn't fit together and at times it becomes even pretty obvious that the only thing great importance was attached to was shooting certain scenes and somehow link them together in at least some sort of coherent way. The slapstick scenes at Yesan's home are just one example. Especially towards the end of the 80s Chan found a liking to implementing comedic scenes in which several individuals need to hide in one or more rooms making the situation remind you of a stage play. But in the end those scenes more than anything else feel haphazard.

Project A - Part 2 - Film Screenshot 12

There is also some tribute to Buster Keaton as one certain stunt at the end is proof of when Jackie Chan isn't crushed by a giant prop for the sole reason that he stands within a window frame. Of course there is nothing to criticize when it comes to the stunts. Many of the falls are even painful just to watch and there is an extreme diversity of sets which all look like one single giant playground for Chan to go wild. Particularly when it comes to the showdown you get the feeling that we move from one set to the next with one hell of a breakneck pacing. That's all very nice, also because Maggie Cheung and others do their stuntwork themselves, too. Ultimately, this means that there is nothing to complain about since we get exactly what we would expect of a Jackie Chan movie. However...

... the path leading to the showdown is stretched by shallow characters and a bad plot development. Somehow Chan aimed at forging a bridge to the first installment and accordingly he has put some pirates into the mix who want to take revenge on Dragon Ma. Yet, in the end, it is a questionable attempt, because particularly the absence of Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao make the movie look like a real sequel to a very limited degree only. Apart from that there are some predictable scenes, especially the one involving handcuffs, and so there is some disappointment that can't be denied. But as already stated the biggest downside would be that the fights simply don't have the power they had in the first installment. Some more basic kung fu surely would have worked wonders.

Project A - Part 2 - Film Screenshot 13

To put it straight "Project A - Part 2" isn't one of Chan's best movies, yet it is one that you won't be disappointed to have seen if you are a fan of action fests sprinkled with stunts and some slapstick without a real story. The movie scores where it needs to, but when it comes to the fights there is a lack of depth. Still, compared to the first installment this sequel is in fact a little disappointment. Making up for it are numerous colorful sets which make it obvious that Chan had in fact quite some budget at hand by standards of the time. "Project A II" is an action fest that is above average, yet comes along with some flaws that you most likely will be able to overlook as a fan.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
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