First Strike (film)
First Strike (Chinese: 警察故事4之簡單任務), also known as Jackie Chan's First Strike or Police Story 4: First Strike, is a 1996 Hong Kong action comedy film directed and co-written by Stanley Tong, and starring Jackie Chan, Jackson Lou, Annie Wu, Bill Tung, Yuri Petrov, and Nonna Grishayeva. It is the fourth film in the Police Story series. Chan plays Jackie, a Hong Kong police officer who works for the CIA to track down and arrest an illegal weapons dealer. Jackie realizes that things are not as simple as they appear and soon finds himself a pawn of an organization posing as Russian intelligence. The film was shot partially in Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Chinatown, Brisbane in Fortitude Valley and Underwater World on the Sunshine Coast were also used. Filming took place from August to November 1995. To advertise First Strike, Jackie recorded the song 怎麼會 Zenme Hui and also made a music video for it. As is typical with Chan's pictures, the US version does not feature the theme song. The film was released in Hong Kong on 10 February 1996.
Hong Kong theatrical poster
|Mandarin||Jǐngchá Gùshì Sì zhi Jiǎndān Rènwu|
|Cantonese||Ging2 Chaat3 Gu3 Si3 Sei3 Zi1 Gaan2 Daan1 Yam6 Mou6|
|Directed by||Stanley Tong|
|Produced by||Barbie Tung|
|Screenplay by||Stanley Tong|
|Music by||Nathan Wang (Hong Kong cut)|
J. Peter Robinson (U.S. cut)
|Edited by||Peter Cheung|
|Distributed by||Golden Harvest (Hong Kong)|
New Line Cinema (United States)
|Box office||Hong Kong:|
HK $57.5 million
US $15.3 million
Whilst working for the CIA, Jackie (Jackie Chan) is assigned to follow leads of a nuclear smuggling case. He follows a woman named Natasha to Ukraine. When he realizes that she had been hiding vital information, Jackie calls for backup and she is later arrested. However, Natasha's partner is an unknown man, who turns out to be Jackson Tsui (Jackson Lou), a Chinese-American nuclear scientist with CIA links, suspected of stealing a nuclear warhead. Jackie follows Tsui to a restricted area, and after a trap set by Tsui, the CIA agents together with Ukrainian authorities engage in battle. Jackie finds a briefcase which contained evidence from Tsui, but as he is chased by unknown forces, Ka-kui loses the briefcase as he falls into frozen waters.
When he recovers in Russia, he meets Colonel Gregor Yegorov (Yuriy Petrov) who explains the situation. Jackie goes with the FSB and is taken to Moscow where he discovers he has been assigned to work with Gregor to solve a similar case involving nuclear weapons being smuggled out of Ukraine. His task is to track Tsui, who disappeared after their last encounter. He is taken by a Russian submarine to Brisbane, Australia, where Tsui's younger sister Annie (Wu Chen-chun) works at an aquarium doing shark shows. Uncle 7 (Terry Woo), the Tsuis' father and the local Triad boss, is seriously ill and Jackie suspects the criminal will show up soon. Unknown to Jackie, Tsui is hiding at the hospital and has given a nuclear warhead (disguised as a small oxygen tank) to Annie, who hides it at the aquarium.
While following Annie, Jackie gets held up by Tsui, who claims to have a deal with Gregor. Jackie, after realizing he has been used by Gregor, decides to return home, but two men are sent to kill him, and he is framed for the murder of Uncle 7. He attempts to clear his name by going to see Annie at the memorial hall, but he is (unsurprisingly) unwelcome, having to fight the family's bodyguards until Tsui arrives to clear Jackie's name. Tsui explains that Gregor caught him on a CIA assignment three years before, and forced him to turn into a triple agent: a CIA agent ostensibly turned by the FSB, but in reality serving Gregor's private criminal schemes.
Annie, Jackie, and Tsui decide to work together to find Gregor and bring him in. Uncle 7's elaborate Chinatown funeral becomes the scene for a complex shootout between the various parties. Annie and Jackie attempt to retrieve the stolen warhead from the shark pool (so that they can return it to the police), but Gregor and his men follow them, leading to a climactic confrontation underwater. During the fight, Gregor shoots the aquarium and shatters the glass, which releases the killer shark. During the confusion, Gregor escapes with the warhead and kidnaps Annie to a getaway boat. Jackie saves the tourists from the shark and then pursues Gregor. While Gregor escapes in the getaway boat, Jackie finds and drives a Mitsubishi FTO display car onto the boat. The car pins Gregor, allowing Jackie to successfully retrieve the warhead and save Annie.
Gregor and Tsui are apprehended by the Australian police and turned over to Russian authorities. The case is solved, and Jackie is thanked for his work by the FSB and returns to his work in Hong Kong.
- Jackie Chan as Jackie / "Kevin" Chan Ka-Kui
- Jackson Lou as Jackson Tsui
- Annie Wu (actress) as Annie Tsui
- Bill Tung as "Uncle" Bill Wong
- Yuriy Petrov as Col. Gregor Yegorov
- Nonna Grishayeva as Natasha Rekshynskaya
- Terry Woo as Uncle Seven
- Allen Sit as Allen
- Rocky Lai as Golden Dragon Club Member 1
- Chan Wai-to as Golden Dragon Club Member 2
- Chan Man-ching as Golden Dragon Club Member 3
- Tang Chiu-yau as Golden Dragon Club Member 4
- Nathan Jones as Russian Hit Man 5
First Strike was an enormous box office success in Hong Kong, grossing HK $57,518,795 during its theatrical run. It remains Jackie Chan's highest-grossing film in Hong Kong and the third highest grossing domestic film in Hong Kong film history.
The film was released on 10 January 1997 in 1,344 North American theatres, grossing US $5,778,933 ($4,299 per screen) in its opening weekend. Its total North American box office gross was US $15,318,863.
Mike LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle was among the most enthusiastic of the reviewers:
One of the pleasures of being alive at this period of history is Jackie Chan. There are other pleasures, of course, and other movie pleasures, too. But few things in film today are as reliable as a Jackie Chan movie.
Even if the picture is weak, Chan is never disappointing. Watching him in Jackie Chan's First Strike, a brand-new effort opening today, there's no doubt that this is a lovable original and a great popular artist.
So this time Chan swims with sharks. He climbs from balcony to balcony on the top floor of a tall hotel building. He even -- get this -- drops 100 feet from a helicopter into a frozen lake, just as the helicopter explodes.
New Line Cinema re-edited the film, making the following changes: new opening credits sequence with Hong Kong scenery, removal of over 20 minutes of footage, new music, almost all the multi-lingual dialogue (English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Russian) dubbed into English.
All Mei Ah Entertainment releases, the Japanese Warner Home Video DVD and the Towa laserdisc are the only versions to date that contain the film uncut and without the language dubbing. The Mei Ah releases feature English subtitles.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- 1997 Hong Kong Film Awards
- 1996 Golden Horse Film Festival
- Won: Best Action Direction (Stanley Tong)
- 1997 MTV Movie Awards
- Nominated: Best Fight