Jackie Chan has a storied career as a martial artist and forever changed the action industry with his brand of comedic action and willingness to perform his own stunts and push boundaries. Influenced by silent film star Buster Keaton who performed his own challenging stunts, Chan was always looking for a way to top the previous fight scene or insane stunt; constantly risking his life doing crazy jumps and dangerous fights scenes. Without him there would be no Jet Li and Donnie Yen, Parkour and films like Banlieue 13, no Tony Jaa and the crazy action movies coming from Thailand, no Iko Uwais and The Raid series, and numerous other actors and action films that have tried to push new boundaries. He’s currently credited with appearing in 128 films and was a top star during his peak from around 1976 through 2000, so there are numerous stunts and fight scenes that are great and will unfortunately not make the cut. Here is a list of his top 15 fight scenes.
The final fight scene involves Chan fighting a group of bad guys on top of a moving train, with a helicopter that had crashed on the train thrown into the action as well. Add to the mix actress Michelle Yeoh using a dirt bike to jump onto the moving train and you have a pretty badass final fight scene. Like most of his movies, it mixes elements of humor and danger into a scene in which all of the actors are performing all of their very real and very dangerous stunts. Quentin Tarantino has hailed this as containing the “greatest stunts ever filmed in any movie ever." In a TimeOut poll, a series of experts and critics weighed in on the best action films to create a top 100; these included directors, actors, and stuntmen that have experience in the action film field. This film ranked 75 in that poll.
14. Mr. Canton and Lady Rose AKA Miracles 1989: The Final Fight Scene
In this period piece, Chan battles a series of bad guys in a rope factory and eventually faces off against Thai boxer Billy Chow. It is a truly amazing scene, in which he uses the ropes and ladders both on purpose and comically by accident in order to battle a large group of thugs.
13. Armour of God 1986: The Monk Fight
In this take on the Indiana Jones character and the film Raiders of the Lost Ark, Chan has multiple action scenes as he plays a treasure hunter. In this scene, he fights a group of monks and mixes elements of comedy, action, stunts, and makes use of the items that around his environment. He throws hot soup and kicks cups at the monks, and there is a great double flip from one of the stuntmen taking a fall as a monk.
12. Police Story 4 AKA First Strike 1996: The Ladder Fight
Chan plays an international agent working for the CIA, trying to recover a missing nuclear warhead and also prove his innocence for a murder he is framed for. It all culminates in this final fight scene, where he uses a bit of everything around him to defend himself; including tables, chairs, his jacket, scaffolding, and a metal ladder. This final fight sequence took fourteen days to complete.
11. Police Story 2 1988: The Factory Fight
Chan takes on several bad guys in a warehouse who throw small firebombs onto his jacket as he tries to take them on. He gets the upper hand and sends two of them flying out of windows on the third story of the warehouse for some pretty sick stunts. The finale has him running out of the building as it explodes.
10. Armour of God 1986: The Final Fight
In the final battle, Chan takes on a group of big Amazonian women in high heels. Once again there’s fire and some crazy fighting as he gets his ass kicked by four chicks, punches one in the breasts, and eventually comes up with some creative ways to toss and flip the women (actually stunt men) around.
9. Thunderbolt 1995: The Pachinko Parlor Fight
Chan battles a large group of the Japanese Yakuza in a Pachinko parlor. There is tons of color and fighting on top of the machines and stuntmen getting flipped off of them, while also featuring several crazy shooting angles.
8. Project A 1983: The VIP Club
A period piece fight scene that takes place in a fancy club and involves a mix of fighting, using surrounding props, and crazy stunts. Chan slides down a long banister, falls down a series of steps, and the stuntmen also do some crazy shit including getting thrown off of a balcony.
7. Wheels on Meals 1984: Benny the Jet Fight
This one features a classic fight between Chan and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez, a former professional kickboxing champion. It is considered one of Chan’s best fights and it is one of the more serious ones that he has on this list. Urquidez is so fast with his kicks, that he was able to put out a row of candles from the airflow of his kick.
6. Rumble in the Bronx 1996: The Gang Fight
This is an amazing fight scene as Chan takes on a New York gang and has practically every prop imaginable involved in it; there are pinball machines, shopping carts, TV’s, refrigerators, and so much more. The sequence reportedly took around two weeks to complete.
5. Armour of God 2: Operation Condor 1991: The Platform Brawl
A great fight scene as Chan battles the bad guys in an electrical building deep underground, having him jumping around air ducts, making insane long jumps, and fighting guys on these moving platforms. He fell and dislocated his sternum in one of the planned sequences for this movie.
4. Dragons Forever 1988: The Final Fight Scene
This is an awesome final battle sequence featuring Chan, Yuen Biao, Sammo Hung, and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez. It is fast and furious, with some pretty amazing acrobatics from Biao. There are tons of kicks, punches, flips, stuntmen falls, and another fierce battle between Chan and Benny. This one is truly incredible.
3. Police Story 1985: The Mall Fight
It’s kind of hard to not include the action sequence that features one of Chan’s craziest stunts. In this one, Chan takes on the bad guys in a mall. They go all over the place and there are great fights, big stunts, tons of props, and a lot of broken glass. There are many crazy stunts that Chan has done over the years, but the pole slide that he performed did some significant damage to his body. Chan slides down a 100 foot long pole with electrified lights on it and also crashes through some glass panels along the way. It is totally insane and resulted in second degree burns on his hands and a dislocated pelvis.
2. Who AM I? 1998: The Rooftop Fight
I absolutely love this fight, as Chan takes on two guys on a rooftop. There are some props, but it’s mainly hand and foot fighting. He battles one Chinese guy and then a really tall white guy. At first the baddies take turns fighting Chan one on one, then it becomes a two on one fight. The actual fighting is the best part of this, along with the fact that the fight sequence takes place on top of a very high building.
1.Drunken Master 2 1994: The Final Fight
Chan’s best fight scene and it could make the case for one of the greatest of all time, as he takes on his real life body guard ken Lo in a steel mill. It’s violent, comedic, has industrial alcohol in it, an incredible amount of action and fighting, and a whole lot of fire and hot things. Plus how can you top a fight scene in which Jackie actually gets thrown onto real hot coals, it is totally insane and totally awesome. Chan took over directing the film after a dispute with legendary Shaw Brothers director Lau Kar-Leung, over the style of action that was to take place.
Show your love for a legend and share this list.