Released in 1986, Armour of God is a martial arts action-comedy that is written and co-directed by Jackie Chan, who also stars in the film as Jackie or ‘Asian Hawk’, a musician-turned-treasure hunter who is approached by his former bandmate Alan (Alan Tam) to rescue his girlfriend Laura (Rosamund Kwan).
By 1986, Chan had established himself as a filmmaker in Hong Kong but Armour of God sees him branch out into European filming locations. This move follows in the footsteps of his ‘big brother’ and former classmate Sammo Hung, who directed the 1984 Barcelona-based martial arts film Wheels on Meals. Armour of God also capitalises on the highs of the Indiana Jones‘ film series of cults, treasure hunters and action-comedy, making it very much a film of the 1980s. However, its timeliness has made certain plot elements questionable for modern audiences as devices and occasional jokes involving prostitution, kidnapping and drugs haven’t translated well and are sure to evoke varying degrees of discomfort for audiences.
Armour of God mostly revolves around Jackie’s efforts in saving Laura and procuring the eponymous Armour of God from a mysterious religious cult. Other plot elements driving his mission including the lingering love triangle between his former best friend Alan and Laura, the woman in the middle. Throw in the mix the beautiful May (Lola Forner, who also starred in Wheels on Meals), the daughter of a Count who also wants the armour, and there is a recipe for disaster. The romantic confusion between the four characters offer light relief in places and ensures that the plot involves all of them. Despite this, the narrative doesn’t fully delve into the cult’s intentions with the armour and fails to explore Alan and Jackie’s friendship (years of estrangement seemingly resolved over a tub of spicy preserved tofu), not to mention the depth of the relationship between Laura and Jackie, whose history is teased but never clarified.
But like many of Chan’s films, Armour of God‘s best parts sees him shining as a bonafide action star. Featuring ambitious car chases and an intense fight scene against four fierce female assassins, Armour of God is another testament to Chan’s impressive stunt and action work, with its outtakes providing a sombre peek at his almost fatal accident that proves to audiences that even he can come close to death.
Overall, Armour of God is a standout among Chan’s pre-Hollywood projects. 35 years after its original release, it is still a classic for martial arts fans.
The 2k restoration of Armour of God is released on 15 November 2021 and is available for pre-order now.
Limited Edition 2 Disc Set
• Rigid Slipcase with brand-new artwork from R.P. “Kung Fu Bob” O’Brien
• Reversible sleeve with alternative Hong Kong poster artwork
• Double-sided foldout Poster
• 6 Replica Lobby Cards
• 80-page perfect-bound book featuring two new essays + selected archive materials
Extras (*Extras subject to change before release date)
• Audio Commentary with Frank Djeng
• Audio Commentary with Mike Leeder and Arne Venema
• Audio Commentary but Eastern Film Fans Forever
• The Art of Action with Scott Adkins & Matt Routledge (30 mins)
• Jackie Chan on VHS – The VPF Years with Steve Lawson
• Rise of the Phoenix Radek Sienski on Armour of God (21 Mins)
• High Upon High – Music Video
• High Upon High – BTS
• Hong Kong Movie Tours – Then & Now
• Japanese Closing Out-takes
Director: Jackie Chan, Eric Tsang (co-director)
Stars: Jackie Chan, Alan Tam, Lola Fourner, Rosamund Kwan
Runtime: 97 minutes
Country: Hong Kong