Shot in English and budgeted higher than any of his previous Asian features, Jackie Chan's last film under his Hong Kong contract is an action-packed globe-trotting adventure shot with the American audience in mind. The spies and secret agent-laden plot is packed with car chases, explosions, gunfire aplenty, and of course Jackie's own brand of gymnastic martial arts. But the flood of his older films between his hits Rumble in the Bronx
and Rush Hour
had sated American viewers and Who Am I?
wound up being sold directly to cable. It's our loss, for this mix of goofy slapstick and jaw-dropping action is his most impressive film since Drunken Master II
. Playing a special forces agent (named, naturally, Jackie) struck with amnesia and adopted by an African bush tribe following a failed assassination attempt, he embarks on a quest to discover his true identity while armies of killers pour after him. After an explosive opening, the story gets momentarily bogged down in the kind of mugging humor that leaves most American audiences scratching their heads, but once Jackie kicks into gear the film is a high-speed action flurry that culminates in a furious battle atop a Rotterdam skyscraper. Jackie is at his most charmingly naive (he berates the villains, pleading "Why do you want to destroy when you can make things better?") and athletically impressive: the marvelous stunts--including a flight down the side of the skyscraper--and fight choreography make Rush Hour
look like a Sunday drive. --Sean Axmaker