Armor of God II: Operation Condor
Directed by Jackie Chan. Starring Jackie Chan, Dodo Cheng, Eva Cobo De Garcia, Ikeda Shoko. (1991)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., July 2, 1993
A wisecracking adventurer finds himself confronted by spear-wielding savages as he attempts to make off with tribal treasures. Thugs, Nazis, and mufti-clad killers confront him at every hair-raising turn as his heroic quest takes him across the globe to the Rommel-esque wastes of Northern Africa. Raiders of the Lost Ark, right? Wrong. George Lucas and Harrison Ford are nowhere in sight. Instead, we have a thoroughly entertaining Raiders rip-off/homage by Hong Kong action genius Jackie Chan. Chan borrows heavily from the Spielberg/Lucas back catalogue to great effect in this tale of buried Nazi gold and international camaraderie. As maverick government agent Condor, Chan is sent to the Sahara to search for a mysterious underground bunker, rumored to contain the vast majority of gold stolen by the Germans during WWII. As many nations have simultaneously laid claim to portions of the lost treasure, Chan is joined by a trio of multi-cultural women (Japanese, Chinese and German) who simultaneously try to aid him while (more often than not) getting in his way and having to be rescued. Chan, who wrote the story as well as directed it, has a bad habit of using women in his films as convenient, one-dimensional foils -- they're either damsels in distress or bitchy whiners, and rarely are they equals. If you can work around that, you'll find Armor of God II to be a top-flight Hong Kong actioner. Overflowing with Chan's trademark stunt setpieces (not to mention his own goony brand of extremely broad slapstick), the film's a dazzler (though not quite as breathtaking as his previous Police Story III: Supercop), including a thrilling, hilarious finale set within the gusty confines of a wind tunnel. Now, if we can just fix Chan's female troubles...