|Category||Action/Comedy||Theatrical Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - 1.33:1, non-16x9, Dolby Digital 2.0|
|Rating||Other Trailer(s)||Yes, 1 - Dolby Digital City|
|Year Released||1998||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||103:40 minutes||Other Extras||None|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||No||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Dolby Digital||5.1|
|16x9 Enhancement||Yes||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
Italian (Dolby Digital 5.1, 448 Kb/s)
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, mildly|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, in credits (hey, its Jackie Chan - of course there is)|
What plot there is revolves around a meteorite fragment that has the potential to provide unlimited power, which naturally gets hijacked after discovery by some unscrupulous businessman - with the aid of an elite commando team including Whoami (Jackie Chan). The rather unusual name comes from the fact that after pulling off the theft, the commando team is left in a helicopter about to crash, from which Jackie Chan falls/jumps into the jungle and instant amnesia; the tribe that finds him speaks no English but when Jackie Chan asks "Who am I?", they think it is his name. Since Whoami is supposed to have died in the helicopter crash, naturally the bad guys want him dead, starting a intercontinental chase mainly centred in Johannesburg and Rotterdam. Add into the fun a competitor in the Paris-Dakar Rally named Yuki (Mirai Yamamoto) and a CIA operative named Christine (Michelle Ferre) posing as a reporter, and you have the makings of a typical Jackie Chan movie. Which means of course lots of improbable stunts, great action sequences and Jackie Chan saving the day, once again.
And who cares about the ridiculous plot holes when there is fun to be had? I first got exposed to Jackie Chan films whilst living in Hong Kong, and the lack of plot never stopped them from being both a lot of fun and quite profitable. If you really want plot, credibility and character development you are definitely going to be sadly disappointed. But if you want no-brain action then this is the ticket. I mean, what they get the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IV (an awesome little rally car) to do is really improbable - especially as it comes out of the whole chase completely unscratched! (No one seemed to worry about continuity problems here either). Nobody took this little romp too seriously, especially Mirai Yamamoto, so the whole thing works a treat. Sit back, and enjoy over an hour and a half of Hong Kong action film courtesy of the best - Jackie Chan.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and it is 16x9 enhanced.
This is a generally clear and sharp transfer throughout, although definition at times could have been just a little better. Shadow detail is generally very good. There did not appear to be any low level noise in the transfer.
The colours are mostly vibrant, and consistently rendered. Some of the African scenery could perhaps have been a little more vibrant, but the overall colourscape is very natural. There is no oversaturation of colour during the transfer.
There did not appear to be any MPEG artefacts during the film, although some panned shots almost hinted at a loss of focus. Film-to-video artefacts comprised some relatively minor aliasing, which is not that noticeable and did not really detract from the film. There were a few more film artefacts present than I was expecting but they were not especially intrusive.
There are two audio tracks on the DVD: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and Italian Dolby Digital 5.1. I listened to the default English soundtrack.
The dialogue was clear and reasonably easy to understand at all times.
Audio sync did appear to be a problem with the transfer at times, especially earlier on, although this may have been down to sloppy ADR work more than anything else.
The music score is provided by Nathan Wang, and a suitably complementary effort it is for the action sequences. Very clichéd, lacking individuality, but what we would expect from a Jackie Chan movie?
This is a nicely detailed soundtrack with some effective use of the surround channels. The sound picture is just a little more forward than I would have liked, but not too noticeably so and it sort of suits the film well.
The bass channel was unfortunately not too well balanced in the mix, and there seemed to be an unnaturalness to the bass, especially earlier on in the film. There also seemed to be a few odd spots of extraneous bass floating around in the mix, unrelated to on-screen action. The second half of the film was much better than the first as far as the bass is concerned.
A good video transfer.
A decent audio transfer.
A bare bones extras package.
© Ian Morris
15th November 1999
|DVD||Pioneer DV-515; S-video output|
|Display||Sony Trinitron Wega 84cm. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in|
|Amplification||Yamaha RXV-795. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Energy Speakers: centre EXLC; left and right EXLR; and subwoofer ES-12XL|