Accidental Spy (2001)

John Paul Marroquin's Review: This is Accidental Spy as reviewed from the Universe Laser & Video Co.'s Region 0 DVD. If you like the movie, pick it up, it's readily available.

DVD Review:

The Movie: Jackie Chan always has a movie ready for the Chinese New Year in Hong Kong. This year, he may have outdone himself. In The Accidental Spy, Jackie plays Buck Yuen, an average guy who spends his days working in a gym equipment store and chatting on the Internet at night. One day, during Buck’s lunch break, he notices something about to take place. A store in the mall where he works is being robbed. Buck manages to retrieve the stolen goods and has a quick 15 minutes of fame. Later that night, a private eye tracks him down and tells Buck that he could possibly be the son of a wealthy Korean. Buck meets his possible father, and father asks Buck to “play a game” with him. Buck is sent on a wild goose chase through Hong Kong, Korea, and Turkey. I won’t comment any more because I don’t want to spoil the movie. However, stay throughout the credits, as the story continues after the outtakes. Overall, this is a movie that may not be his absolute best, but it is a very enjoyable, not to be missed film. Movie: 8 out of 10

The Video: “Accidental Spy” is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 in a non-anamorphic transfer. However, you will forget that the movie is non-anamorphic due to the incredible video quality. This movie, although only a month or two old, should be riddled with artifacts due to poor film preservation in Hong Kong. However, there are only about 2 or 3 speckles in the entire print. An incredible video experience is provided thanks to Universe Laser Co. Score: 9 out of 10

The Audio: Thankfully, the movie is presented with its original audio soundtrack. And that’s the only soundtrack available (sorry, dub fans). You get a choice of either Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1. The Dolby Digital track is crisp and clear with plenty of effects, but the DTS track really shines. It’s louder, clearer, and has more directional effects and bass than the Dolby track. If you have a DTS-compatible receiver, pick the DTS track. You’d swear that you were in a real theater. Score: 10 out of 10

The Extras: Hong Kong DVDs are not known for their extras. However, “Spy” has some good ones. You get the two audio tracks mentioned above, chapter selection, choice of subtitles (English or Traditional/Simplified Chinese), the trailer, the making of documentary (even though it is in Chinese without subs, it’s definitely worth your time), star talent files, and trailers for two other films. Score: 7 out of 10

Overall, “Spy” is a terrific movie experience that no Chan fan can be without! Summary: Movie- one of Jackie Chan’s best Score: 8 out of 10 Video- Hong Kong doesn’t use much anamorphic video, but it still rocks! 9 of 10 Audio- Something to show off your home theater with. 10 of 10 Extras- Good amount for a Hong Kong release. And a dual-layer disk compatible with all regions! 7 of 10

Movie- one of Jackie Chan’s best Score: 8 out of 10
Video- Hong Kong doesn’t use much anamorphic video, but it still rocks! 9 of 10
Audio- Something to show off your home theater with. 10 of 10
Extras- Good amount for a Hong Kong release. And a dual-layer disk compatible with all regions! 7 of 10

Reader Reviews

Fox's Review: One of Jackie Chans greatest movies is absolutely The Accidental Spy. Here you got all that you demand. A good and interesting story, many and well coreographed fighting scenes and a Jackie Chan doing a fantastic job as an actor. From when Jackie in the beginning flirts (or showing the training equipment, who knows?) for the young lady to the final scene, The Accidental Spy screams high quality. One question though. How does it come that the DVD released in Sweden has a box with Jackie on it but with a few characters not shown in the movie? And if they are in the movie, they have very small roles or have been re-styled completely. Anyway, just buy the movie and experience one of Jackie Chan's shining crystals in his career.

Score: 9/10

Zargo's Review:  I was surprised by how young and energetic Jackie seems in this movie, and I was very impressed overall by Accidental Spy. It's a pity this movie seems to have come and gone without too many people noticing, as it may be the last great movie Jackie ever does, in terms of action at least. It has a great plot too, and the general seriousness (but not to the extent of 'crime story' seriousness) integrated with the occassional funny scene, really make this movie stand out from his hollywood flicks that are sometimes just too darn silly (hello shanghai knights!). The sad story of the female lead (played by the wonderful Vivian Hsu!) isn't something Iexpected to see in 21st century Jackie Chan movie, and it would be nice if he was to make something more like this in one of his near future Amerixan movies that he is so unfond of.

Score: 8.5/10

Lynne's Review: I must admit I love this movie. I first saw it almost two years ago on a HK DVD I bought in Sydney Chinatown. (I have also seen the cut US version just released by Dimension, but more on that later). The HK movie had me rapt from start to finish - and that wonderful music! OK, there were obvious deficiencies (not the least being Kim Min - atrocious acting!) But all the elements for a great Jackie movie experience were there - action, comedy with drama thrown in. However, what really grabbed my attention was the INCREASE in the use of drama. I had never (since Heart of Dragon and to some extent Thunderbolt) seen Jackie in such an excruciating scene as when Vivian Hsu died. And he carried it very well. As with most HK films, the plot was not very tight and sometimes not very coherent - but it worked, for me at least. I won't go into the naked market chase scene - everyone loves that! TAS delivers the goods. It is not a great movie and Jackie has done better, but it is extremely enjoyable.

PS> The US release on video? Cut, cut, cut! And as usual they changed the wonderful music score. The pros for this release is that Jackie dubbed it and Kim Min "dubber" is a much better actress!

Score: 9/10

Brendan's Review: I finally hired this on video here today in Australia. Having been a little out of the loop with films lately, I didn;t even realise it was coming out on video anytime soon, though. Anyway, it's quite an anjoyable action adventure. Some quality fights, stunts and action sequences. There are a few familiar faces and it's a very enjoyable way to spend 80-odd minutes. Jackie is brilliant as always, and the man never ceases to amaze me with the amazing stunts and set-pieces that he is able to develop. The part with the escalator in particular is very entertaining (though if you watch the final credits, somewhat painful for Jackie really). It also has a decent plot and the acting for the most part is quite good. Some of the camera work on a few of the fights is a little strange, but it doesn't really detract from their quality. Jackie as always has an incredibly likeable screen presence. The scene involving the "clothes" is also very well choreographed. Overall, well worth a watch. I haven't seen the DVD version yet, though I look forward to doing so. And I've got to get out there and see "Shanghai Knights" at the cinema also.

Score: 7/10


Score: 10/10

CHANFAN's Review:This is the best movie (written in 2002) that chan made so far this decade. I am writing this after watching all the movies released from '00 to the end of '02 including the Tuxedo. This movie is many times underrated with Rush hour 2. I like this movie much better than Rush Hour 2 because this one has much better action (Jackie made it in Honk Kong) and physical comedy. Rush hour 2 however had more verbal comedy. *spoiler* The best part of this movie is in the middle when chan jumbs off the roof of a building with nothing but 3 umbrellas to slow him down followed by the fight in the bathing room; after this, he fights butt naked in a market place ALMOST showing off his private parts. Great talent as he is covering his front with what ever he can find while fighting off the bad guys. The final fight/stunt kind of copies scenes from the movie 'Speed' but made better and with less special effects. Even though I didn't like the story line a lot i loved the setting (world ! wide) and fight/stunt coordination. A great jackie chan movie.

Score: 9.5/10

Jackal's Review: Hello and welcome to the world of international movie releases.
This is very obviously made for the international market as alot of the film is in english the action although calmed is cool and allows for wait for it A PLOT yes Chan fans a plot is present for most of the movie including after a speed rip off (jackie rip off surley not - we forgive you) the very end is cool the subtitles are supurb large clear and they dont move on to fast (see region 0 origial not hacked to pieces dubbed region 1 release).
Highlights in the movie the nude run up the street (ha ha) especially the way he turns some sheets into a disguise (with flair) the escape with the suit case and the begging and loads more i dont want to spoil it just go and see it and defenate change of pace and the start of something new.
Good Action, Good Acting, Good DVD 

Score: 8/10

Glen M's Review: It is literally minutes since I stood up from watching Spy and I really enjoyed it overall, nothing amazing, but it was definately worth my $5 rental and another $15 to own. I think we are seeing the beginning of the shift of Jackie from action to drama, I personally love Jackie either way. Keep in mind that below I am rating this movie as a movie, not based on action, comedy, or drama.

Score: 7/10

Nicky's Review: now this Jackie film has a storyline..

ignore the action and this film is very emotional and dramatic. With the babe, Vivian Hsu, this is a great watch.

the amount of action scenes are very sparse and only 1 scene stand out.. (the Naked Jackie scene) however, the lack of action is made up by lots of Stunts that Jackie does, especially towards the end of the film, and the spoof of Speed.. yes... THAT scene.. *sigh*

great film if u wanted change from all action

Score: 7/10

Homer J's Review: Just as Jackie's previous HK effort (Gorgeous) was an attempt to break away from the traditional Jackie mould and move into the romance genre, Spy represents a similar move into the perhaps more palatable genre (for me) of spy thriller.

This seemed to be a case of biting off more than he could chew. What we have here is a convoluted plot, serious performances, not much comedy and worst of all, half hearted fight scenes that reek of being "tagged on" at the last minute.

As has already been mentioned, HK scriptwriters do not appear to have the ability (or more probably the time) to develop coherent, complex and engaging scripts, particularly in this sort of area, and whilst their attempts here are admirable, it still comes off as pretty amateur compared to their Hollywood counterparts. It doesn't help when gaping plot-holes and incredible coincidences further ruin the believability in the scenario.

A good example would be the deciphering the phone number form the writing on the gravestone, it requires a pretty big leap of faith to reach that conclusion and it is so convenient that the Bank's phone no could be "translated" into a decipherable English sentence.

You would assume that given this genre, Jackie would have little trouble coming up with some first-rate action scenes, but here, alas he comes up short. None of the action scenes particularly engage and pale alongside his earlier work. It says something that the fights in RH2 were, in my opinion superior to those seen here!

However, one scene alone saves this films and proves that Jackie can still surprise, excite and re-live his glory days of the 80s. After escaping a sauna via the rooftop, he straps three parasols together and floats a good 50ft down to the busy street below. No cuts, one shot, all Jackie - great! What follows is one of my all-time favourite scenes from a JC flick where he runs butt-naked through the market street using various props from stalls to both defend himself against his pursuers and protect his modesty! This wonderfully cheeky (no pun intended) scene is superbly choreographed, very clever and really funny to watch, and is the one representation of the trademark Jackie action comedy on display in Spy.

This first Jackie HK production in the 21st century seems to be a recognition by Jackie that he cannot keep going at his exhaustive pace, that he is trying hard to branch out into other areas and reduce the amount of abuse his body is put through for the sake of our viewing pleasure. This is of course, perfectly understandable given his rapidly approaching 50th birthday but it is somewhat sad to see him slowly "winding down".

Spy had so much potential to be a good film, but it highlights the serious problem that if the people who watch his films are going to continue to watch after he has performed his last death-defying stunt or supremely choreographed fight, there has to be a better story backing him up. Gone are the days when you could forgive the narrative and performance shortcomings because you knew he would deliver on the action front.

This is by no means a bad film, and for me the market scene along is worth the price of the film, but this really could have been so much more.

Score: 6/10

Cristopher's Review: the best film JC did after 2000. Only bad thing is that was probably the last film that JC did a huge stunt, with no saftylines or so. otherswise this is one of the funniest moives. I luagh to mush I a saw "the naked Fight".
JC can really do great scenes in comedy. I really hope he's not thinking about quitting as an actor and start as a director.

just a few more years of comedy, stunt and Jackie chan

Score: 8/10

Sifu Chong's Review: YEAH!

Score: 10/10

Juan Contreras' Review: The Accidental spy made me feel the excitement and glory i had not felt since ""Who Am I"". It may not have the best fights but it shows that Jackie is still the greatest action star. I almost shed a tear when I saw him fight. And the last stunt is no exeption. This is a movie no Jackie Chan fan should miss.

Score: 10/10

Oliver's  Review: When i saw this one i got a bít Who Am I felling and i dont know why.
There some real good fights and stunts, a real big stunt just like Who AMm I at the end of the film but with wires. So i dont know if it counts like a stunt though Jackie had made it without wires the second time he did the stunt. I realy like the Action but the action was a bit different from the other films. The comedy is fantastic and from my eyes this one have one of the best story of all Jackie Chan film i ever seen. I mean it is a real good story and acting in this movie. But tougah not one of my favourite, It is just a Jackie movie but not with this action tempo the best Jackie movies has.


Tony's Review: This movie breaks new ground for Jackie, being a Hong Kong production which throws away almost all of what JC fans have been used to for the past twenty years and has gone completely “Hollywood”. Since “Who Am I” in 1998, and his two previous American efforts, it has been clear that Jackie has been aiming away from the Jade screen audience, instead trying to catch the Western glory he has been endlessly striving for, and with the Accidental Spy he has come close to something which might work. He has recently mentioned how he would rather do one film for both audiences, than do one for each, and I personally hope this will not be the case, as movies like this, although interesting, are not what most of us love about Jackie Chan.

Firstly, Hong Kong scriptwriters and directors generally fall behind Hollywood in terms of simple storytelling and editing, which is evident here. Usually, Hong Kong filmmakers make up for this with flair and inventiveness, which sadly, here, is not evident. There are no extended fight sequences, while the ones that do appear are slow and ordinary, with the only true piece of ‘Jackie Chan’ coming in a naked chase through a market square in Turkey, which is extremely fun, and well crafted. The end stunt is the next step up from that in “Mr Nice Guy”. Namely, pure destruction and adrenaline, with little of Jackie’s trademark ingenuity.

Essentially what makes this different to most JC flicks, even the American ones, is the moody character, and emphasis over story rather than action. Usually, we have a happy go lucky kind of guy involved in a story which is more interested in creating opportunities for Jackie to show off his fast punches and incredible dexterity, which is also what I would like to see.

On the positive side, and what saves this movie from a lower score, is good direction making effective use of colours and scenery, enhancing what is an interesting story, with good twists allowing Jackie to play a more mature role than usual. Also, there are a few exciting stunts such as the aforementioned market chase, and well-directed vehicle set pieces crafted by the car stunt technician from “Ronin”. The movie itself suffers a little from the usual embarrassing Westerners displaying their “Who am I?” school of acting, as well as Jackie’s evidently deteriorating physical condition.

If you are a big Chan fan, then you will undoubtedly want to own this movie, as will anyone who wants more than just action. If, however, you are the average action/martial arts fanatic, then this will leave you feeling a little short changed.

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