When a group of American protestors dumped shiploads of imported British tea into the Boston Harbor to protest taxation without representation, they sparked a revolution not unlike when Jackie Chan parted company with producer/director Lo Wei to join Seasonal Films. There, he established his trademark brand of kung-fu comedy. Only a true leader like George Washington could have successfully overseen the fragile creation of that Shining City Upon a Hill. He is Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master.
But, of course, history did not begin here – oh no. Jackie Chan’s early stunt work on such kung-fu films as Enter the Dragon and Fist of Fury represents America’s pre-colonialist period. His string of Bruce Lee-influenced films from 1976-1978, such as New Fist of Fury and To Kill with Intrigue, is his colonialist period.
James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” is Fearless Hyena and The Young Master, as they were key revolutionary documents that helped define the emerging nation.
Thomas Jefferson is Project A.
When eleven slave states declared their secession under the leadership of Jefferson Davis (1985’s ill-fated bid at American stardom, The Protector), it took a truly great leader to save the country/show American director James Glickenhaus what a real cop movie looks like. Abraham Lincoln is Police Story
Warren G. Harding is Cannonball Run.
Not a perfect analogy, but Theodore Roosevelt is probably Armor of God, or possibly Armor of God II: Operation Condor, or maybe both.
Coming at a time of unprecedented national strife/behind-the-scenes turmoil (the great depression, World War II/the departure of original director Lau Kar-leung), Franklin Delano Roosevelt/Drunken Master II emerged as arguably the last truly great presidency/Jackie Chan movie, inspiring hope with a powerful “New Deal”/15-minute factory fight scene.
John F. Kennedy embodied the hopes and dreams of a generation, and like Supercop, he has many classic moments that play well as YouTube clips (“We choose to go to the moon”; the scene where Michelle Yeoh drives a motorcycle onto a moving train). Still, people tend to forget the lulls (the Bay of Pigs fiasco; that whole first hour where Jackie is in Mainland China and hardly anything happens).
There are partisans who argue for the greatness of Richard Nixon/Dragons Forever, but for all their impressive accomplishments (establishing the EPA, normalizing relations with China, the climactic fight scene between Jackie and Benny “The Jet” Urquidez), their most lasting legacies are negative (the Watergate scandal and subsequent resignation; personal and creative conflicts between Chan and collaborators Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao).
Way off chronology, but just as the Democratic Party must still labor to convince the electorate that each new candidate will not be “the next Jimmy Carter,” Jackie Chan labored for years to ensure that his next American production would not turn out to be “the next The Big Brawl.”
Ronald Reagan, “the great communicator,” united the country with his optimism, movie-star charm, and promise of a stronger America. To this day, he remains one of the country’s most popular presidents, thanks to his robust economic performance and influence on the end of the Cold War. And, as with the Rush Hour series, the negative repercussions of some of his policies (deregulation of the financial sector, trickle-down economics, Chris Tucker) are still being felt.
An extension of the Reagan/Rush Hour years, George H.W. Bush/Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights failed to capture the popular imagination like their predecessors, and have been somewhat lost in the shuffle of history, but really aren’t all that bad.
Bill Clinton balanced the budget and passed important bipartisan legislation. His favorability rating remains high, and many members of his party are comfortable calling him a great president. Still, many of his key initiatives either failed or were severely compromised, and much of his second term was wasted on political scandal. Yes, he’s the most charismatic man in politics, and yes, he oversaw huge budget surpluses, but let’s face it: he’s no Lincoln/Police Story. He is Rumble in the Bronx, Thunderbolt, First Strike, Mr. Nice Guy, and Chan’s love child with Miss Asia.
Way off chronology, but The Accidental Spy is probably Zachary Taylor, or maybe John Tyler, or someone like that. Meh.
George W. Bush is The Tuxedo.
Barack Obama rode into office on a wave or hope, promising to change the tenor of Washington and bring forth truly progressive politics. While he has arguably not lived up to hyperbolic expectations, he still has many important achievements to his credit. New Police Story and The Myth are his first two years in office, while Shinjuku Incident and The Karate Kid are his second two years, and The Spy Next Door is his handling of the debt crisis.
Which, of course, leaves poor William Henry Harrison as Fearless Hyena II.