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Jackie Chan Announces His Retirement From Action Movies

New Line Cinema

At the 2012 Cannes film festival a huge piece of news was announced: The king of action movies was finally going to step off the mountain he had been on top of for over thirty years. That’s right, Jackie Chan is retiring from action movies.

When I was a little kid my father would take me to this little Chinese theater in San Jose, right across from a bigger theater showing domestic movies. It was here where I first saw Jackie Chan in ‘Battle Creek Brawl.’ None of it was in English and there were no subtitles but we didn’t care. We were too entertained by this man who was jumping, flipping and kicking his way all over the movie screen. He was someone I had never seen before in an action movie and the stunts and fight scenes he has done over the years will never be matched by any Thai, Hong Kong or American action star.

Chan has announced before that he was going to retire but at 58 years-old, the human body can only take so much, and Chan announced that  he was finally going to stop doing action movies.

“This is my last action film. I tell you, I’m not young any more. I’m really, really tired. And the world is too violent right now. It’s a dilemma – I like action but I don’t like violence.”

It’s no secret that Chan likes action, but not violence. He repeatedly states this in the director’s commentary of his 1999 movie ‘Gorgeous.’ But don’t worry — he’s not completely leaving the world of movies.

For the last 10 years I have been making some other different movies. I want to be an Asian Robert De Niro. I don’t just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. I want to get rid of my image.”

“I want the audience to know I’m not only a comedian. I can act. Day by day, year by year, I’m going to show you the real Jackie Chan.”

If you’ve seen ‘New Police Story’ or ‘Shinjuku Incident’ then you know Jackie has the dramatic chops. It’s just that he’s been doing action for so long that it’s hard to imagine him doing anything else. But then it’s also hard to imagine a 60 year-old man climbing up the side of a building with no wires.

Chan’s last action film will be ‘Chinese Zodiac,’ where he plays a man searching for mystic artifacts. Sort of a nod to his days doing the ‘Armour of God’ films.

Here’s 5 Jackie Chan movies you should seek out if you haven’t seen them.

5. Rumble in the Bronx (1995)

Chan has to help his friends fight off gang looking to…oh, who cares what the story was. The movie is filled with non-stop stunts, excellent fight scenes (the one at the gang hideout is incredible) and a hovercraft that runs over people.

4. Supercop (1992)

Never mind the awesome and fun fight scenes, what sets this apart is Jackie dangling from a helicopter before fighting on a speeding train with said helicopter attached to it. It’s one of the craziest stunt pieces ever made and all done without CGI. Try this in Hollywood today and it would look so fake that you’d wonder if the actors were even on set.

3. Armour of God (1986)

This movie introduced a lot of people to the craziness of Jackie Chan. It’s also the one movie that nearly killed him, having missed a simple jump into a tree and cracking his head open on a rock below. No matter, he was still able to fight four giant Amazon women in heels in the painful 3rd act.

2. Police Story (1985)

Wanna know where Michael Bay ripped off the Hummer destroying a town scene in ‘Bad Boys II?’ Look no further than here, where Jackie tears apart a village and almost electrocutes himself to death in a stunt inside a shopping mall. The movie is a blast to watch from start to finish, and the outtakes at the end will show just how painful it can sometimes be to entertain an audience.

1. The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)

You want to see some of the best fight scenes ever put on screen? Look no further than ‘The Legend of Drunken Master.’ The 3rd act has some of the coolest fight scenes in his filmography and showcases just how talented this man was when it came to doing various styles of martial arts. His stunt buddy Ken Lo was no slouch either and their fight scenes were just as awesome as when Chan fought Benny ‘The Jet’ Rodriguez.’

Jackie, thank you for the countless years of putting your body on the line to entertain audiences. You will always be the greatest action star to have ever lived.

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