The Protector

This was Jackie Chan’s first lead role in an American movie. It’s a bit nastier than his other work, having some of the grimness and sadism that passed for depth in US films of the mid eighties.

After seeing his partner shot, New York cop Billy Wong (10 years in the USA exactly) chases down the drugged up robber who pulled the trigger and takes him out with a speed boat. The creepiest part of the boat chase was the way the twin towers seemed to be in every shot. Billy gets busted down to crowd control for his actions, teamed up with gruff vet Garoni (Danny Aiello). When an untouchable drug baron’s daughter is kidnapped on their watch they’re sent to Hong Kong to rescue her from his erstwhile business partner.

Back in the colony, Chan seems more at home. There’s an inventive fight in a massage parlour and one of the oddest chases ever. Chan leaps from junk to junk in Hong Kong harbour as he tries to catch a triad lackey in a boat. There’s much more nudity than I’d expected for a Chan movie, including the rather matter of fact way the baggers in the heroin factory are naked so they can’t pocket any of the product.

The nastiness makes this less satisfying than the average Chan and I was disappointed that there was no bone crunching end titles blooper reel.