Film review: Armour of God, The

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 26 1993 12:00 a.m. MDT

Jackie Chan may be familiar to moviegoers who remember his foray into American action pictures in the mid-'80s - lending support to Burt Reynolds in the "Cannonball Run" movies and starring in "The Big Brawl."

But Chan has spent most of his time starring in, doing his own stunts for and often writing and directing back-to-back Hong Kong "chop-sockey" adventures, laced with broad comedy - more than 100 by his own count.

"Armour of God" (1986) is an excellent example of Chan at his comic/kick-'em-up best, blending elements of both James Bond and Indiana Jones, along with the requisite zany fights and stunts.

"Armour of God" opens with a rousing sequence that seems to be spoofing "Raiders of the Lost Ark," starting off as if it is a rescue, with a half-nude woman tied up as an apparent sacrifice and natives dancing around her in war masks.

But it soon becomes apparent that "Jackie," as Chan's cocky, gum-snapping character is called (he is also referred to as "The Asian Hawk," isn't interested in the woman. He just wants to steal an artifact, a sword that is part of the infamous "Armour of God" collection.

Meanwhile, an evil high priest and his bizarre order of monks, who carry automatic weapons and dally with prostitutes, are plotting to take over the world. To do so, however, they need the "Armour of God."

So, naturally, the villain kidnaps Jackie's former girlfriend, a fashion designer named Laura, and holds her as ransom for the collection of holy weapons.

But all of this is really just mock plotting, a string on which to hang the eye-popping stunts, car chases, explosions and climactic martial arts fights - highlighted by Chan's standoff against four leather-clad Amazons in stiletto heels.

Needless to say, the fights are way over the top, as are a pair of silly musical interludes, Chan's James Bond-style car and a couple of moments of gore.

The potential R rating here is mainly for the gore, though it doesn't come close to Arnold Schwarzenegger territory. There is also non-stop violence, much of it comic in nature, and a few vulgar jokes, along with the aforementioned female nudity in the opening sequence.