#27 Jackie Chan

Posted March 7th, 2008 by Peter · 6 Comments

NOTE: THIS IS THE RECOVERED AND ARCHIVED VERSION. Video Posts may not work correctly.

Get ready for a blast of asian history. The last few posts have been quasi-serious, so I guess it’s time to lighten the mood up a bit. That’s why today’s post is about Jackie Chan, arguably the greatest Chinese martial arts specialist of all time.

ChanBorn out of poverty in 1954, he joined the Chinese Drama Academy at the tender age of 7, where he studied Martial Arts over 19 hours a day under Yu Jim-Yuen. At the age of 17, he burst onto the stage as a mere “loaner,” or rented Stunt Double for Golden Harvest Productions. He has certainly endured his share of bumps and bruises and come a long way, as can be seen in this video:

When non-asians hear about Jackie Chan, they immediately think: Rush Hour or other Westernized Jackie Chan films. However, when asians hear “Jackie Chan,” many things come to mind. Besides the obvious commercial appeal, Jackie embodies the Asian spirit. The never say die attitude. This is seen in many of his movies where he is portrayed as a fumbling yet madly talented police officer who is originally on the job but gets taken off of it due to a mistake but then covertly follows the story anyhow to at-the-end redeem himself (sorry for my lack of punctuation).

His style combines comedy and seriousness, as his motives are usually good, but his acts, flippant. This keeps his viewers on the edges of their respective seats throughout his productions. Even the commercials he stars in are entertaining (unlike those of Dwyane “the Rock” Johnson, whose movies are an eye sore to watch).

Jackie is not only a fighter at heart, but a multi-talented asian sensation. Even at the age of 54, he is still starring in fast-paced commercials in China and other countries. Many think that he is even “washed out” or “overused” in America. Asians know better. If you thought that he was being over-exposed in America, check out his extensive body of work here. He has starred in over 70 films overseas, and in 1999 became the first Hong Kong movie sensation to break into Hollywood. He not only appeals to the pg-13 audience, as he has even record deals with Disney for movies such as Mulan:

kidsmealHis popularity grew to its greatest in America with the release of “Jackie Chan Adventures” on the now “CW” (Kid’s WB). The mere appeal of his face on screen for 1 second in the opening of the introduction was enough to lift him to superstar status and even into Burger King Kids Meals:

He has risen from obscurity and made himself a success all around the world. He has broken the Asian barrier in Hollywood and allowed Chinese superstars to become mainstream (i.e. Yao Ming). Though he is not in the Hollywood Spotlight as much as he was ten years ago, he is still alive and well in China. He is the greatest martial artist of all time.

And to be the greatest poster of all time, I must leave you while you are still riveted. For these reasons and more, Asians most definitely like Jackie Chan.

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