butt! (And saves a
Starring the irrepressible Jackie Chan! He appeared in this
Asian film in between two of his "American" films, Shanghai Noon and Rush
Hour 2. The film was released theatrically in most of the world, but in the United
States came out only on DVD and videotape. I only caught less than the last hour, but from
what I saw...
Sure, it's got the typical Turkish clichés
on hand... like Jackie in a Turkish bath, Jackie watching the whirling dervishes, the
covered-up fundamentalist women encountering a naked Jackie on the street; the plot has
Chan as a salesman who gets mixed up in international intrigue, and he finds himself
searching a deadly toxin... which is also being sought by Koreans and Turks. There was a
line in the film attesting to the crime organizations from both countries having something
to do with opium (Hey, the poppy is also a flower! Is the opium subject still relevant to
Turkey?), and in one fight scene, Jackie faces a tough Turk who brandishes a... sword!
Regardless, there was no ill will... and at least Turkey
did not come across as an "evil" country. In fact, it was refreshing to see
modern Turkey represented in a film, and not since FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE has the alleyways
of the historic city of Istanbul been used to good effect to convey a mood of intrigue and
danger, so essential to a story dealing with espionage.
A female cop
In the thrilling "SPEED"- like conclusion
involving a runaway gasoline truck, Jackie saves a child, his mother, and then the Turkish
driver. The Turkish police are on all sides lending a hand, and when Jackie needs a
helmet... the motorcycle cop who pulls up turns out to be a woman. What a contrast to most
cinematic endeavors that always prefer to showcase the nation as a backward,
poverty-stricken ancient land. It was really pleasing to get a portrayal that shows Turkey
as a modern European country.