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Np (1991)
Armour of God II - Operation Condor


Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 06/11/2006
Summary: The end of an era

After failing miserably to retrieve the Armour of God from those wacky European monks in ARMOUR OF GOD, the Count employs Condor (Jackie Chan) again – this time to liberate a cache of 240 tons of Nazi gold hidden in the Sahara desert since the end of World War 2. However, various parties (including one of the original Nazis from the site and his ruthless henchmen) want it for themselves. Three ladies (Carol Cheng, Eva Cobo De Garcia and Shoko Ikeda) take it in turns to help and hinder Jackie in his quest.

Forgive me if I seem to write this review in the form of an obituary. The problems encountered in this film seemed to have sealed Jackie’s fate with Golden Harvest. MR CANTON AND LADY ROSE was an expensive flop, so they must have been happy with Chan’s decision to do a sequel to his biggest money earner. However, taking the best part of two years to complete and being (at the time) the most expensive Hong Kong film ever made forced the studio to request Jackie to make changes in future productions. Basically, they wanted quick, cheap films – and to ensure this, they would supply their own directors (although Jackie would have the final say on decision-making). Never again would Jackie get free reign over his films, and the quality inevitably suffered.

So what we have here is Jackie’s final directorial piece. Well, he certainly went out with a bang! There are more great fights, death-defying stunts and superb sight gags and physical humour packed into the 106 minutes of this film than you could hope to find anywhere else. We even get a bit of Kung Fu Spear form that harks back to his minor role in the 1976 Golden Harvest movie HAND OF DEATH.

The supporting cast of ladies includes comedy actress Carol “DoDo” Cheng (“DoDo” being a nickname meaning “chubby”, as apparently she was overweight as a youngster) who is more famous for her appearances on Hong Kong TV. She gives a strong performance here and it’s a pity she wasn’t used in more films with Jackie. Also here is Momoko (Shoko Ikeda) who is a cute Japanese girl (with a little Ding Dong) who weaves in and out of the story seemingly at random. The final lady is Eva Cobo De Garcia, who plays the descendent of one of the German officers. The animosity between her and Carol Cheng’s character provides a lot of the humour, and she also has a nice sight gag at the hotel.

When watching Operation Condor, you really are reminded that some of the things he used to do in his films made him appear to have a death wish – particularly in the fight scenes when the team first enter the underground base. And in the out-takes, when a spear is thrown at his head, Jackie is unimpressed and gives the international hand signal for “too far away”, and cheerfully chides the thrower to get closer next time.

But it’s the now-infamous wind tunnel scene at the end that makes this film. I challenge anyone to tell me a more wildly inventive and laugh-out-loud funny sequence in the whole of cinema. Before the film’s (delayed) release, Jackie was asked how he did it: “Movie magic”, he replied simply.

We could do with a little more of it in this day and age.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: one of my favourites...

not only is this one of my favourite jackie chan films and one of my favourite hong kong films, it is also one of my favourite films. it is jackie at his peak; writing, directing, choreographing and starring...

jackie (jackie chan) is employed by the baron (bozidar smiljanic) to locate twenty-five tons of nazi gold, which lays hidden in a secret saharan base. accompanying jackie are ada (dodo cheng); an expert employed by the baron, and elsa (eva cobo de garcia); the grand-daughter of one of the germans who took the gold to the base. Along the way, they are joined by a travelling, japanese, souvenir seller, momoko (ikeda shoko), and chased by some arab revolutionaries and a group of mercenaries...

this film is just so much fun. jackie is simply sparkling; his performance is great and his sense of comic, and choreographic, timing is spot on, whilst dodo cheng, eva cobo and ikeda shoko all contribute to the sense of fun that runs throughout the film. aside from it's charmingly goofy plot, 'operation condor' is filled with some amazing set-pieces which showcase the full range of jackie's skills and imagination. from the flicking of chewing gum into his mouth, fights and chases in the street, through to final confrontation at the hidden base, which includes the simply incredible wind-tunnel sequence.

classic farce, adventure, comedy and action, all wrapped up in fun.

quite simply, it's a classic.


Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 10/10/2005
Summary: Superior sequel, with typically astonishing stuntwork from Chan and co.

ARMOUR OF GOD II: OPERATION CONDOR (1991)

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Technovision)
Sound format: Mono

Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) comes under fire from all sides whilst on a mission to retrieve Nazi treasure buried in the Sahara desert.

One of the most popular films in Chan's extensive filmography, this superior sequel to ARMOUR OF GOD (1986) is clearly patterned after the success of RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981), but Chan's movie celebrates its American influences whilst remaining defiantly Asian in concept and execution. It isn't perfect, by any means: The female characters are rendered almost entirely subordinate (Carol Cheng, Eva Cobo De Garcia and Shoko Ikeda give OK performances under the circumstances), and some of the Arab stereotypes are borderline offensive (prompting protests by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee when a re-edited version - OPERATION CONDOR - opened in US theaters), but viewers willing to overlook these conspicuous blunders will be treated to some of the most astonishing set-pieces of Chan's entire career.

In fact, the entire movie is a showcase for world-class stuntwork, photographed in glorious widescreen by veteran cinematographer Arthur Wong. Chan is clearly doubled in a number of sequences (notably a car-and-motorcycle chase during the film's opening stretch), but there's no denying his participation in the show-stopping finale, where Good and Evil engage in mortal combat within a vast underground labyrinth, culminating in a spectacular wind-tunnel sequence which took *months* to film and sent the entire movie over-schedule and way over-budget. Released in the UK as OPERATION CONDOR: ARMOUR OF GOD II.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 01/25/2003

Jackie Chan returns in the sequel to his biggest box office hit that some how proves superior to the original even when it makes all of the same mistakes. Also returning for seconds are a poor supporting cast, tedious slapstick, astonishing stunts and plenty of fancy foot work.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/12/2002

After a series of flops, Chan decided to return to the popular character of Asian Hawk (an Chinese Indiana Jones ripoff) for this sequel. This time around, he's hunting for a vault of Nazi gold while toting around a trio of ditzy female sidekicks.

The story is pretty much rubbish and the sidekicks (Chan himself noted that they were chosen for their looks and to provide more of an international audience) are annoying as all-get out. The part where they take on a thug using helmets while mariachi music plays still makes me cringe. But, thankfully, the action comes fast enough so you really don't notice all the shortcomings in the script... well, you do, but I think you get my point. The movie cost HK$115 million (about US$15 million) to make, making it the most expensive HK movie up to that date, and you can tell most of the money went into the action bits. There's a motorcycle chase that ranks among Chan's best and several inventive fights, including one in a wind tunnel that has Chan flying about like Superman. This isn't a great movie by any means, but it is pretty fun to watch and should please fans of Chan's more recent work.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Nothing special

It's not as good as the original in anyway,and Jackie is quite disapointing in this, HOWEVER, Carol (Do Do) Cheng helps it go along with her usual comedien stlye.

This is probably the movie that first started the slow and long demise of Jackie Chan. 10 years later, not many of his movies were much better than this, apart from maybe the international RUsh Hour film, which is not bad. Although the sequal was pretty rubbish in my opinion.

Rating: 2/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Inframan
Date: 11/08/2001

One of Jackie's best. Amazing stunts, great fights, and pretty funny too.

The fight in the wind tunnel is brilliant, one of my favorites. A perfect example of why Jackie is the world's biggest action star.

Avoid the English dubbed version.


Reviewed by: xiaoka
Date: 06/22/2001
Summary: simply awesome


I find this to be one of Jackie's best films in many respects - stunt wise (the motorcycle/car sequence in the first half), fighting wise (the finale mostly, but all the fights are pretty interesting), and last but not least comedy wise (lots of stupid small jokes, but also /a lot/ of good physical comedy in there too).

The initial premise is pretty intriguing - Jackie and 3 women end up in the Sahara looking for lost Nazi gold. There are some twists and turns and bad guys, but the plots not that important, right? This is a Jackie Chan movie...

I feel this picture is a high point in Jackie's career. The budget and production values are much higher than his previous films. And I feel that physically, this is Jackie at his prime. All the performances are good here, these actresses are a cut above the average Jackie Chan female costars.

On the downside, there are some negative racial stereotypes, of middle easterners and blacks in this one (and its even a bit sexist too). And the plot has some big holes in it (what happened to the deserted city that they entered the hidden base from???) BUT I feel the action makes it well worth it.


ps - IF AT ALL POSSIBLE see the Chinese version, NOT the English dubbed version they released in theaters. Its about 10 minutes shorter and they cut out a lot of the humor they didn't feel would interest Mr. Joe Six-pack, and of course the voices don't fit well.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/05/2001
Summary: Disappointing

Nowhere near as good as the first but the last part is very funny!!

I expected a lot more from this!!

4/10


Reviewed by: leh
Date: 12/09/1999

Great, epic adventure movie that went drastically over budget - but fortunately turned out to be one of Jackie Chan's biggest hits. It is only loosely related to the first Armour of God movie, in that Chan plays the same treasure-hunting adventurer. Amazing set-pieces include a brilliantly choreographed car-chase and some thrilling scenes in a wind-tunnel.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

From deep in the African forest, Jackie is summoned by Bannonagain, this time to search for a huge cache of gold hidden in the desert by German soldiers during World War II. Aided in his search by an arrogant historian and the granddaughter of a soldier who originally hid the gold, Jackie's search uncovers an old secret underground German research center. Here they come face to face with the gold and the past. A desperate battle rages through a vast subterranean military complex, climaxing in a fantastic confrontation in a giant wind tunnel.

[Reviewed by Rim Films Catalog]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Not as good as the first movie but still very worth while watching.

(7/10)



[Reviewed by Dave Warner]


Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

[U.S. Version] In this re-cut of Armour of God 2 with new title sequences, Jackie Chan is a combination of Indiana Jones and Buster Keaton who, with the assistance of Do Do Chen, has been called to unearth a fortune in buried Nazi gold. It's a transcontinental trek that picks up a few people along the way, including the bombshell granddaughter (Eva Cobo de Garcia) of the lead Nazi, and desert cutie Shoko Ikeda. It's basic serial-style stuff, a succession of set pieces that has Jackie jumping along the facades of buildings like a monkey and trying out inventive variants of kung fu that as often as not go wrong, highlighted by the famous wind-tunnel sequence (the funniest in the film). In the translation for the US audience, some scenes (including the notorious one where Jackie got his head knocked open) were edited, but in spite of continual problems with the dub, this actually improves slightly on the original.

(2.5/4)



[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6