Jackie Chan: My Story (1998)

Rating: B+

Dir: Jackie Chan
Star: Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Charles Chan, Stanley Tong

I suppose the best word for this documentary is “wince-inducing”, in both good and bad senses: sequences like his Top 10 Injuries will have you shaking your head in disbelief, while the voice-over and (mercifully brief) ‘Eurotrash’ comic dubbing made me look around for something to throw at the TV. It is, however, a decent look at the man’s career, albeit somewhat uncritically – the thorny question of who does his stunts is rapidly glossed over.

It covers his Peking Opera training, his early films alongside Bruce Lee and (the then unknown) John Woo, and his rise to world and Hollywood stardom, though embarrassingly, it ends with his appearance in straight-to-video bomb Burn Hollywood Burn: An Alan Smithee Movie. Particularly interesting is the comparison of a fight scene in The Protector between James Glickenhaus’s version and JC’s, but there’s also other rare footage from his films. The hardcore fan may find little new here, but it’s an excellent sampler of the man’s incredible work. Almost wonderful, and even with the flawed presentation, it’s still very good.