An elite special commando ops team heads to the jungle of South Africa to kidnap a group of scientists who are working on a new type of natural compound that has the ability to power a small town. However, a fraction of this natural material has the explosive energy of a nuclear weapon. When the team secure the compound and head back to base, their helicopter is rigged to crash into the African desert. Only one agent survives (Jackie Chan) but after falling from the helicopter just moments before impact he wakes up in an African tribe, with no recollection of what happened or who he is. He now has to discover his own identity and what happened. Written by Jackie Chan and directed by Benny Chan and Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan’s Who Am I? (1998) is one of the most underrated action Jackie films of the 90’s. Its compelling mystery narrative, imaginative style, directing skills, phenomenal choreography both vehicle and fighting makes this one of the greatest action films.
Like most Jackie Chan films, Jackie’s performs has some pretty amazing escape routes that would even leave Harry Houdini perplexed. No Jackie Chan film is ever complete without seeing him jump from building to building and parkour from bedroom to living room, up and down construction sites and using the environment to his advantage. Even massive skyscrapers like the Willemswerf building are just slips and slides for Jackie Chan.
With brilliant choreography comes a phenomenal chase scene with the Mitsubishi Lancer. Performing a 180 degree bootleg turn and reverse into an empty parking spot and watching the police just drive by, a classic getaway. The chase scene is both extravagant and beautifully imaginative, the awesome power of German BMW engineering chasing the Japanese Mitsubishi gliding and ripping its tires through the streets of Johannesburg. It is performances like this that give such a brilliant atmosphere of thrilling suspense, action and even give a comedic value.
As the film draws to an end, we see Jackie’s Harry Houdini escape tactics, Spiderman like parkour skills but not enough martial arts. However, all is not all lost and the Willemswerf rooftop fight sequence makes up for this with some kickboxing mayhem. The last fight sequence between Jackie Chan, a henchman and Dutch Kickboxer champion Ron Smoorenburg is both comedic and intense. Two against one with Jackie Chan’s frantic speed and deadly precision is a fantastic last fight sequence that leads to the traditional Jackie Chan keep away sequences. With such a huge space to fight on, the choreography between the three definitely makes for a brilliant showdown.
Jackie Chan’s Who Am I? demonstrates excellent stunt work, brilliant car chase and a phenomenal final showdown fight scene that gives enough emotional drive to make this one of Jackie’s greatest action and adventure films. With Chan’s signature comedy-action also give a brilliant charm to the 90’s relic.