Yep, it’s been confirmed. At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Jackie Chan announced that he’s backing off from making any more action films with the reasons being that he’s too old for stunts and that the world is “too violent”. Jackie says that CZ12 – or Chinese Zodiac– will be his last official film where he is the lead actor and doing action and stunts. “This is my last action film. I tell you, I’m not young any more. I’m really, really tired. And the world is too violent right now. It’s a dilemma – I like action but I don’t like violence”, he said. This is a subject Chan has been pondering over in the past couple of years but said today that this time he really means it.
But he won’t retire from the film business just yet. Instead of action films, he will concentrate taking on more serious roles. “For the last 10 years I have been making some other different movies. I want to be an Asian Robert De Niro. I don’t just want to be an action star, I want to be a true actor. I want to get rid of my image. I want the audience to know I’m not only a comedian. I can act. Day by day, year by year, I’m going to show you the real Jackie Chan”, he said.
While I think it’s really sad, it’s not surprising or something of a big loss. Hong Kong Cinema still has Donnie Yen who has already done and is still taking the big steps of pushing Hong Kong action films forward. Then there’s Iko Uwais from The Raid who has shown the world that other Asian countries can catch up and elevate action films as much as China can. Personally, I think Chan should dump the idea of becoming a serious actor and use all the energy into directing and action choreographing films because that is his other strength in film-making. China is LOTS of new great talent in martial arts who are in serious need to be in the film business and continue to carry on the legacy the veterans are starting to let go off. But the ironic thing is that producers and investors in the Chinese film market only give the best opportunities to the ones that have already made it big. Strategically, this leaves the lesser talent out and not giving them something worthwhile to work from.
On the one hand, I don’t feel that shocked because Jackie is always claiming this. On the other hand, I do feel a bit shocked because he’s been claiming he’ll stop and then he keeps going.
I love Jackie Chan. He is my absolute favorite. I agree that his talents would be better used directing action, but I also know that he has been wanting to move to dramatic acting and being taken seriously as an actor for a long time.
Jackie did some serious roles, and he was pretty remarkable. Shinjuku Incident, for example, is amazing movie, at least because it’s full of legendary martial art actors and there’s not a single coreographed fight.