No. 8: Jackie Chan — Top Action Movie Stars
Jackie Chan has arguably carved out an even larger international name for himself than Bruce Lee ever did, but Chan did so precisely by being the “Anti-Bruce Lee.” After Lee’s death, many tried to take up his mantle as international kung fu star. Chan found the formula in comedy and breathtaking stunt work. Whereas Bruce Lee’s work had a serious and philosophical angle to it, Chan makes us laugh and thrills us with daring acts of choreography and stunt work unparalleled to this day.
Jackie Chan’s output is just plain ridiculous, having starred in hundreds of films and still working hard today, in his 60s! For martial arts brilliance, my vote says nothing tops ‘Drunken Master II.’ As a matter of fact, that film might very well be my favorite martial arts film of all time. Watching Chan fight off dozens of men at once with clever, drunken antics just never gets old. And for more pure action thrills, the stunt scenes in ‘Police Story’ are unmatched. Watching Chan drive through an entire shanty town in a car, or chase down a bus and leap onto its roof, or leap onto a pole and slide down a few stories is the epitomy of stunt brilliance and (maybe) stupidity.
Chan, like Bruce Lee before him, has also successfully transitioned into a massive box office star in the West as well, and although his output here hasn’t quite reached the level of quality that his Hong Kong work has, Chan is one of the world’s most recognizable international superstars. I think he is one of the hardest working stars in show business history and has earned every ounce of star power he has!
“Drinking gives Herculean strength!” –- Wong Fei-hong, ‘Legend of the Drunken Master,’ aka ‘Drunken Master 2’