Wednesday, July 12, 2006

We Love You, Jackie Chan

Seriously. We love you. You have given so much of yourself over the years to creating moments of pure physical beauty, to providing rich entertainment that will live for ages to come. You redefined the action movie, the stunt sequence, the fight scene. Movies were never the same again after you.

You are one of the greatest movie stars of all time, Jackie, and we love you.

And now, let's face the truth, you're getting too old to do what you once did. Your body can't take it anymore.

But that's okay. You've got NOTHING to prove, Jackie. Nobody can ever take your greatness away from you. It won't fade over time; it will only become more established, more appreciated, more important.

I think the scene that for me sums up so much of your importance and explains your brilliance is in the first Project A movie. You and Yuen Biao in a big brawl right at the start of the film, chairs flying everywhere, bottles smashing and the two of you break a couple of chairs across each other's backs and stand, glaring, unmoved, slowly backing away into opposite alcoves where, once out of sight of each other, you writhe in agony, only to leap back out, brave and resolute, once more.

It's funny and wince-inducing and it charms us every time. Because we can imagine how much that would hurt, and we want to believe that we ourselves would be just as brave and just as resolute, but we know we wouldn't be able to keep from groaning in pain. So when we see you do both, allow us to laugh at your weakness, and then let us cheer at your strength, we feel fortified ourselves.

Jackie, you make us want to be stronger. You show us what's possible for somebody who's willing to risk everything. And you're beautiful. Defending yourself with a jade pipe in Young Master, or that amazing hotel room sequence in Operation Condor, or hanging from a moving bus in Police Story, or the sheer glory of Drunken Master II, all of these moments and so many more are burned into our minds. We love you.

So stop doing stupid shit like this. Please. You are too good, too great, too beautiful for this shit.