Jackie Chan – Coming to America
One of the tenets driving Jackie Chan is his dislike for corruption. He became dissuaded by the level of impunity that plagued the Hong Kong film industry at the time. Being one of the most popular movie stars in Asia and Europe back then, he decided to relocate to the west.
In 1980, Chan moved to Los Angeles, US, along with his friend and manager, Willie Chan. He got started at once working with Robert Clouse. Clouse was well-known to Jackie and had written the English script for his movie hit Enter the Dragon. The new film, The Big Brawl, was his first western film and he wanted to do well and impress the US audience.
However, the film was a series of deceptions for him. firstly, the director did not like Chan’s stunt style and got the stunts choreographed by a stuntman. The film went on to poor reception at the box office and the critics were not so fond of the humourous Jackie Chan.
The following year, 1981, Chan played a lesser role in the film The Cannonball Run. The film was a straightforward hit. with critics applauding and box office sales of over $100 million. This was an encouragement for him and he went on to participate in more films.
Yet, his next film was not welcomed with the enthusiasm that Chan sought, and it became another box office failure. The film was released in 1985 and met mostly negative criticism, The Protector failed to land financial impetus grossing a mere $9.5 million, and Chan abandoned his American dream and returned to Hong Kong.
Back at home, Jackie made movie history in 1986. The film found huge applause throughout Asia, including Japan. Dubbed The Amor of God, the movie became his largest success up to that time, grossing Hong Kong $35 million. Chan went on to set new records and released hit performances over the years. By 1995 his popularity had spread to Europe and his films had grossed over $475 million.
I Am Jackie Chan
The 1995 film, Rumble in the Bronx, would change the tide for Chan. After refusing many offers to appear in American films, including one from Sylvester Stallone. He chose not to play villain roles in movies. That year the movie was also released in the US. Chan won a huge following. Chan followed up with SuperCop which also had success at the box office.
The big success finally came when he co-starred with Chris Tucker in Rush Hour. The 1998 buddy action comedy, had a box office gross of $245 million, his biggest single box office at the time. The movie placed him in the envious spotlight as a Hollywood star. Chan would go on to do two sequels to the film, Rush Hour 2 (2003) and Rush Hour 3 (2007).
That year Jackie Chan went on to write his autobiography, I Am Jackie Chan. The book became a New York Times memoir. It was actually written before the movie Rush Hour, although it was published later. In 1995 Chan returned to America and has remained here since. He has won his place in Hollywood, on the big screen, and in our hearts.
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