March 22, 2017

First Strike

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Once again, the guys weren't all available this week because Jake had people visiting from out-of-town. This time, however, Larry's girlfriend Jenny stepped up and joined him and Derek to watch another Jackie Chan movie (because this is now going to be a thing whenever someone can't make a show), Jackie Chan's First Strike. (Or Police Story IV: First Strike, if you want to get complicated.)

Once again, Hong Kong policeman Jackie Chan (seriously...that's the character's name) is saving the world and stuff, as he is wont to do when he is on vacation. This time, however, he is tasked by the CIA to follow a Russian woman named Natasha (Nonna Grisheava) who is romantically connected to a mysterious, wig-wearing arms dealer named Tsui (Jackson Liu).

And also show off what the well-dressed spy wears.
Jackie follows her on a flight to Ukraine, and once he does that, everything is supposed to be relaxation and paying way too much for the caviar that his Uncle Bill (Bill Tung) asked him to get while he was there. When Jackie sees Natasha being taken away by what appear to be military men, he has his driver follow, only to see her get dropped off at a church in the middle of nowhere, where she meets up with Tsui and delivers money to him.

Contacting his CIA handler, Jackie is told to follow Tsui and see where he goes. He sneaks into the back of the van Tsui is driving and waits until it stops. When it does, Jackie finds himself at a ski resort, and he tails Tsui on a snowmobile to a cabin out beyond the slopes. Tsui is meeting up with his customer's men to deliver a bomb of some kind, but when the money he is owed is not deposited immediately into his Swiss bank account, Tsui keeps the weapon's core.

Tsui needs the money to feed his giants.
In the meantime, Jackie has contacted the CIA, who, in connection with their Russian counterparts, bring a bunch of men to the cabin, and a shootout happens. Tsui gets away, only to be tripped up by the Jackie's handler, and they recognize each other. They, along with Jackie, get on a snowmobile and get out of there, but before they get very far, Tsui knocks the CIA agent off and forces Jackie to keep driving, until Jackie crashes it and they fight for the briefcase holding the core, until a group of mercenaries who work for Tsui's customer come looking for it. Then a skiing/snowboarding chase is set off, and it culminates in helicopters exploding and Jackie plunging into a frozen lake.

Confused yet? Well hold on to your socks, buckaroos!

Jackie is rescued and taken to a hospital by the FSA (kind of the Russian version of the CIA), and once he is healthy, they ask him to find Tsui and track down the weapon core. The only lead they have is that Tsui's family is in Australia, and they want Jackie to go there and try to get information from them. He agrees, and although his travel arrangements a kind of sketchy, he makes it there and gets set up in a nice hotel with free clothes and koalas all over the damn place. Then he goes to meet with Tsui's sister, Annie (Annie Wu), who works at Underwater World, a Sea World knock-off whose name definitely cannot be confused with the better-known franchise.

Why are you in my locker room, you strange man?
Jackie tells Annie that he and Tsui are friends and he wanted to meet his friend's family. Fortunately (for Jackie), Annie is on the way to the hospital to see her father, who has taken ill, and Jackie rudely invites himself to join her. Annie, being not especially suspicious for some reason, agrees and they head out.

Upon reaching the hospital and going to Uncle Seven's (Terry Woo) room, Jackie outs himself as a Hong Kong policeman working for the FSA, and questions Uncle Seven about Tsui's whereabouts. Uncle Seven insists he known nothing, and Jackie leaves, only to be assaulted in the hallway by Annie.

Later, Jackie tries to see Annie at work, but he has to sneak in, as the place is closed. On his way out, he meets up with Tsui, who, insisting that Jackie sing, makes him undress in the parking lot and put on a seal costume.

Uncle Bill? You'll never guess where I'm calling from!

It turns out that this is because those FSA guys were, in fact, KGB, and they had bugged all of the clothes they gave Jackie, as well as putting a tracker on his car. Tsui reveals that the leader of this group, Gregor (Yuriy Petrov), is the guy that Tsui was supposed to be selling the weapon to in the first place...

Did we mention the koala underpants?
You know what? That's enough. If you want to find out what happens next, you're gonna have to listen in!

Derek has some concerns about the fact that this movie's plot is incredibly complicated. Especially if what you really want to see is Jackie Chan doing awesome stuff. However, he's willing to cut the flick some slack because there is awesomeness aplenty in store. But, really, was all that extra garbage really necessary?

Larry also feels it's needlessly complicated, but agrees that's it's still worth it for the amazing fight scenes. He does have a problem, however, with Jackie's phone etiquette, in that he cuts off conversations by quickly shouting, "OKAYOKAY! BYEBYE!" and hanging up. Rude.

Jenny doesn't talk a lot, as people new to this sort of thing tend to do, but she did enjoy the movie. She says her father was a big fan of Jackie Chan movies, so it was nice to sit down and watch such a goofy one. Again, overly complicated plot devices caused some consternation.

But listening to the show isn't that complicated, so fire it up and give it a listen!