Who Am I? (HK 1998)

Rating: ***
Director: Benny Chan, Jackie Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Michelle Ferre, Mirai Yamamoto

Another disappointment from Jackie Chan, but at least the climax of the film involves a pretty damn good fight instead of a large piece of machinery. This time around Jackie is a CIA operative who manages to escape death and lose his memory when the rest of his team is killed by his traitorous superiors (the whole silly operation involves a meteorite fragment capable of producing next generation weapons of mass destruction). He is adopted by a native South African tribe and given the name "who am I" since that's all he says at first. It was very difficult to follow what was going on in the African scenes because they were not translated in this copy (but they had Chinese subtitles). He finally makes it back to civilization and picks up two girls on the way - a Japanese race car driver and a news reporter. At this point, an hour into the film, things finally start to pick up as the bad guys, the CIA, and the police are all out to get him, but it's almost too late in the film to care. It's good to see Jackie in his bad-ass persona again, and the rooftop fight at the climax of the film is one of his best since "Drunken Master II" (1994). Unfortunately, it gets sluggish and tiresome after a while, and the western actors and stuntmen are pretty bad. The film is also hamstrung by some rather lame special effects, including a bunch of superimposed explosions that just don't work. But on the plus side, there are also a handful of requisite "oh my god" stunts, including being chased up a tree by a lioness (must be seen to be believed!) and sliding in front of a speeding semi-truck on wooden clogs (breathtaking!).