Armour of God (1986) / Action-Adventure
aka Operation Condor 2: Armour of God
MPAA Rated: R for violence, brief nudity, and language
Running Time: 88 min.
Cast: Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Lola Forner, Rosamund Kwan
Director: Jackie Chan
Screenplay: Edward Tang, Szeto Chuek-Hon, Ken Lowe, Jon Sheppard
Review published December 20, 1999
A hunter of fortune (Chan, Police Story) has an old flame get kidnapped when he has recovered a sword that was one of only five remaining pieces of the Armour of God, armor used during the Crusades (or by King Arthur or some such) which gives the bearer of all five pieces together awesome power. They want the piece in exchange for the girl, but Jackie has already sold it and the owner is unwilling to let him have it, letting him take his daughter along instead.
Although released in the US as the sequel to Operation Condor, this is actually the first in the series and after viewing it, it's immediately understandable why they released the second one first. By this time, Jackie Chan was known for adding humor to his action pieces, but had not quite perfected his blend of shtick, saving the incredible acrobatic delivery toward the last half hour, which is the only time the movie is any good.
Until then, the film is very tedious, and suffers from poor acting and a ludicrous plot. While the final confrontation is well done, it isn't impressive enough to sit through the first hour to get there. Operation Condor 2 is one film you won't mind walking in on the middle of, and also a rare case where the sequel is better than the original (or is it the other way around?)
-- Followed by Armour of God 2: Operation Condor (1991) and Chinese Zodiac (2012)
©1999 Vince Leo