Jackie Chan's Indiana Jones-Inspired Film Came Five Years After Raiders Of The Lost Ark

With 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark," Steven Spielberg and George Lucas reimagined the pulp heroes of the 1930s and '40s and introduced the world to their version in the form of Indiana Jones. Their archeologist adventurer could handle himself in a fight (although he always managed to barely scrape by as opposed to dominating every brawl in which he found himself), was a romantic at heart, and seemed to be perpetually on the hunt for cool artifacts, a combination of character traits that I'm shocked was not blatantly ripped off more frequently by a film industry constantly scrambling to repeat successful formulas. Five years later, that particular formula found its way to Hong Kong when Jackie Chan co-wrote, directed, and starred in "Armour of God," an adventure flick that allowed him to put his own martial arts-infused spin on the concept.

Chan plays Jackie, also known as "Asian Hawk," a former musician who has since become a treasure hunter. The opening scene is heavily inspired by "Raiders," and sees Jackie steal an artifact, perform some death-defying stunts (one of which nearly killed him in real life), and escape in a plane after being chased by a group of natives. The artifact, a giant sword, is part of a legendary collection known as the Armour of God, and after it's auctioned off, Jackie discovers that his old bandmate and ex-girlfriend, Lorelei (or Laura, depending on which subtitled version you watch), has been kidnapped by an evil cult that already possesses multiple parts of the Armour of God and now demands that Jackie bring them the remaining pieces.

So we have Jackie Chan riffing on Indiana Jones. Sounds awesome, right? Well ... yes and no.

Armour of God is no Indiana Jones, but it does have some amazing fight scenes

After the entertaining opening scene, "Armour of God" slows way down and seems to forget the "adventure" part of the formula. There's a mid-movie car chase with some impressive stunt work, but the majority of the movie consists of some lighthearted, comedic, romantic mishaps between Jackie, Lorelei, her current boyfriend (and Jackie's old pal) Alan, and May, the newest member of their quest. Most of these interactions are, frankly, dull as hell, and I was beginning to wonder if the movie's only worthwhile scene would be its whiz-bang opening. (As a whole, this movie can't hold a candle to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" ... but to be fair, few films can.) Thankfully, though, once the characters infiltrate the cult's mountainous lair, the last 30 minutes are packed with the type of jaw-dropping action I was hoping for. The video embedded above is a great example; the final 20 seconds should be enough to convince martial arts fans to seek this out.

To describe any more of those action scenes — especially the incredible final closing moments — would be to ruin the best parts of the film. The whole thing is streaming for free on Tubi right now, but if you're pressed for time, this is one of those rare occasions where I think checking out YouTube compilation clips might actually be just as effective as watching the whole movie.

I spoke more about the movie on today's episode of the /News Daily podcast, which you can listen to below:

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