Jackie Chan - My Story Cover Did you ever want to know what motivated that crazy fruit-loop, Jackie Chan, to do all those bold high-fighting stunts that he does? No! Pi** *ff then! As for the rest of you, well, watch this documentary directed by, and starting, the man himself - Mr Chan - complemented with a whole host of others. It was made in 1998, and has a total running time of 74 minutes.

Jackie Chan - My Story

This lavish documentary tries to unravel the simple question - who is Jackie Chan, and how did he become the man he is today?

Now after an obligatory animated title sequence, plus a plethora of complementary praise by friends, family, actors, and the general public a-like, numerous video clips then complements Jackie’s recount of his road to stardom...

THE BEGINNING: During his childhood, Jackie was urged by his Australian bound parents to attend a Peaking Opera School to dampen down his rebellious leanings. Obviously, Jackie agreed to his parents wishes, and from then on in, it was all work-work-work, perfecting the numerous disciplined techniques at this place of learning, before the camera then came a calling.

A LITTLE SPARK OF LIGHT: By chance, whilst Jackie was attending this school, a director needed some infants to put into his film. Thankfully, Jackie was one of them. Though, as soon as the camera’s gaze caught Jackie’s eye, it triggered something within him to make ‘film work’ into his ‘chosen work’ - which is what he then did. He got a job as a humble stuntman, working under the legendary Bruce Lee. He then worked for Honk Kong film director, Lo Wei, in a number of roles. And finally, Jackie made it on his own, as a fledgling artist with his name in lights.

NOT YET: Please note, Jackie's path to success was by no means an easy thing for him to do. His initial stuntman work was hard and tenuous. His time with director, Lo Wei, was unproductive for his career as an actor. And when he did eventually strike some success with films such as 'Snake in the Eagles Shadow' and 'Drunken Master',  he then had to prove himself as something special. And boy, did he ever prove this.

MADE IT: The next part of this documentary tells of Jackie’s time as a fledgling Hong Kong action star, right up to the time he became a fully fledged actor in his own right. It highlights many of his notable acting roles, such as 'Cannonball Run' and 'Battle Creek Brawl' in America, to 'Wheels on Meals' and 'Dragons Forever' in Hong Kong. It also highlights what he had to put himself through, both physically and personally, so that he could achieve the level of stardom that he has.

JACKIE THE SUPERSTAR: To complement this journey, it is noted how he - as a film maker - has perfected certain techniques to aide him in his chosen profession, gagging from his past experience’s to make his future works more enjoyable. His level of dedication is resounding, and sometime quite moving - because he put his own life on the back burner for other people’s entertainment. But Jackie does not see it like this – he is who he is – charismatic, warm, dedicated, quite instinctive, and overall a great action star.

Oh! And while I am on the subject of stars, he even gets one outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, that, plus a number of other noted awards bestowed upon him over time.

Jackie Chan, what a guy.

Jackie Chan, what a nut! Just kidding. I loved watching this documentary about a man whom I have followed so avidly over my life (click here for his section), because it was touching in how he spoke of his time in the movie business, and what he had to shy away from to obtain the level of perfection that he has.

Also, the other bit of touching I would like to do, is to touch – quite forcibly – the American narrator of this program, quite firmly around his f**king neck. He’s just an irritating b*ast*ard! Every time he speaks, I think that he is then going to sell me some washing up liquid or something. And, to be honest with you, this documentary does appear to be selling Jackie Chan too - just as if he was a product to promote into the U.S. market.

Jackie Chan - My Story

Granted, in retrospect, this is only a minor quibble in the scheme of things - overall this documentary is a must see feature for any Jackie Chan fan - especially by the amount of his films it highlights. Heck, I would have to say that nigh on most of them are mentioned in ‘Jackie Chan: My Story’, from 'Supercop' downwards (Please note: this documentary was made in 1998).

However, the only thing that this presentation is lacking - although it is mentioned sporadically throughout this documentary - is the interpersonal relationships Jackie has had in his private life. OK, I know that this aspect would make this film more of a tabloid piece of work, rather than a showcase to highlight Jackie as an actor. But that is precisely what I was trying to say earlier – it’s as though this feature is trying to sell Jackie as a commodity, and not truthfully respect him as a person.

And he is a person God damn it!

OK – OK – OK, as you can tell from my words, I am a Jackie Chan nut. Though, I am a nut who respects this nut... and probably always will.

So-so documentary, highlighting the work of a great man.  


JACKIE CHAN - MY STORY JACKIE CHAN - MY STORY Reviewed by David Andrews on March 10, 2011 Rating: 5
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