NOTE: The Buena Vista release of The Accidental Spy is missing over twenty minutes of footage. This is not a change new to the DVD. American companies traditionally butcher Hong Kong movies, even those starring huge stars like Jackie Chan, for their local release. The following review is of the shortened film which, possibly thanks to the incredible amount of excised footage, makes almost no sense. An import of the film is also available, presumably with the full version, but this reviewer hasn't seen that release.
THE STRAIGHT DOPE:
In this film Jackie plays a sporting goods salesman who winds up finding his father (or does he?) and playing some sort of game (or is it?) that leads to a lot of falling, kicking, and driving. Jackie is obviously cooling it a bit on the hand-to-hand (he's 48, for crying out loud!) but even a slow day for Jackie includes some incredible stunts, including jumping from a roof onto a crane and jumping off a bridge. There's one funny sequence where Jackie runs nude through a crowded Turkish marketplace (he's much more shy than Austin Powers), but a truck-chase scene is a straight rip-off of Speed and one scene early on shows the filmmakers at their laziest: Jackie fights two thugs in an elevator filled with what appears to be crates full of bowling balls, but nothing ever comes of it.
Overall The Accidental Spy is a lackluster film for its lame, confusing plot. It has nothing on Jackie's finest films, particularly the outstanding Drunken Master 2 and Shanghai Noon, his best since coming to Hollywood. Primarily for fans, The Accidental Spy is only worth watching for its eternally entertaining star.
Email Gil Jawetz at [email protected]