Jet Li’s Meltdown (AKA High Risk AKA drink in moderation)

Torrevieja is a place in Spain. I know this because I spent a week there in 2013. Apparently.

I can remember part of the flight, I can remember my mate’s wedding, I can remember waking up outside a police station and crying all the way back to the rented accommodation as I’d had a message from my cousin saying my Great Aunt had died (and I was still very, very pissed).

I can also remember the stack of DVDs that was next to the modest TV in our temporary living room. The first Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings film, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon and a fucking HORRIBLE “Torture Porn” starring an elephantine Michael Madsen.

One film stood out. Meltdown. It had Jet Li on the front cover and nothing else. That was enough for me.

The blokes I was in Spain with were out climbing rocks or diving or something, not the life for me.  I put on my plimsolls, trotted down to the local shop and bought two crates of lager.

I’m not usually too fussed about Jet Li. Sure, the Once Upon a Time in China films are essential viewing but Romeo Must Die aside (Aaliyah AND DMX? 21 year old me was in heaven) his Hollywood output was mostly dog eggs. A bit like when Earth Crisis signed with Roadrunner I s’pose. Some kind of hangover witchcraft made me his biggest fan that day.

The film opens on a school playground. Innocent enough. Until it is revealed a smarmy badguy that resembles both Bolo Yeung and Tim Curry has put an enormous bomb on a schoolbus and parked it on the chalk hopscotch grid (IS it a grid? Arena? I dunno). Jet Li’s Teacher wife is on the bus as a hostage.

Old Bill turn up, lead by our hero Jet Li and gets straight to bomb desposin’.

The usual “red or blue?” back and forth with a colleague takes place and just as the timer hits 00:01 it stops…for twenty seconds…then 00:00. Bang.

Invasion USA levels of child death happens and Jet is booted from the force.

Cut to some time later and what is clearly meant to be Jackie Chan turns up to a movie set pissed out of his head. I felt a kinship with Fake Jackie. He tells the director he is too battered to do a stunt. The director calls for his stunt double. It’s Jet! He jumps off a building onto some boxes and buggers off home. Fake Jackie reaps the plaudits.

Before writing this and before my recent rewatch I did a bit of research on this film. Turns out the director and Real Jackie Chan hate each other. They worked together on City Hunter (a must see for Street Fighter II fans, you’ll see why…) and had some kind of massive barney. This is essentially the director’s Chan diss track.

Whoever is doing Jet’s English dub sounds like my very poor JCVD impression. By this point I think I was 7 cans in. Estrella. Very cold.

Jet and Fake Jackie get invited to the opening of a new skyscraper hotel. The grand opening is made grander by a display of some of the most expensive diamonds in the world. Of course.

GUESS WHAT?!! Bolo Curry is planning to nick those jewels! With his ever so tough gang of comedy badguys. One is called Kong and is obviously massive. One is dressed like Rolento from Final Fight and has a lovely array of weapons.

Tell you what, the soundtrack to this is fucking brilliant. The score is like Filter/early Junkie XL and they seem to have bought the rights to Stones Throw’s back catalogue as there is so much good backpacker Hip Hop (Peanutbutter Wolf, LootPack!) to accompany the arsekicking. Well good.

SO, everyone arrives at the gala opening. Including the baddies who proceed to spray the place up with Uzis, Ingrams and Mac 11s. As is tradition in these films.

A female reporter gets caught up in it all and befriends Jet and FJ.   She buggers off to the bogs and Rolento follows her in. He chucks fucking hundreds of SNAKES at her and an iguana for good measure.

Jet grabs her from the ceiling and they bugger off again. I don’t know where. I lost interest a long time ago. There’s much less fisticuffs than I’d hoped for and FUCKING HELL JET LI HAS JUST FLOWN A HELICOPTER INTO THE BUILDING AND THE ROTOR BLADES ARE CUTTING BADDIES IN HALF AT THE WAIST.

Anyway, Jet stabs Tim Yeung with a knife coated with snake venom and the fucker dies. The end.

I think when I watched this in Spain I was fully in Lady Booze’s grasp and enjoyed every second, I distinctly remember making my mates watch it the next night. Equally as boozed. In the clear light of day it is pretty dull with only a few daft set pieces to perk you up every 15 minutes or so.

Don’t drink, boys and girls. You’ll get big fat sausage tits, your friends will think less of you, it’ll get in the way of work, you’ll pay less attention to those you love and you’ll waste time watching boring Hong Kong action films instead of diving off rocks into crystal clear lagoons.

I already had a nark on when I started writing this and thinking back to my debauched past hasn’t helped. So apologies if this has been a little brief. I’ll be in a better mood next time, promise. I’ll write about a film I actually love, that should bring the rainbows and bunnies out. I leave you with this image of Valerie Chow as the evil Fai-Fai who should have her own film. If there’s one image that I hope will sum up my contributions to Marked For Justice, this is it.

Until next time good buddies.

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