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In Jackie Chan's Action Career, One Movie Stands Above The Rest

Since the 1970s, the world has been witness to the choreography and stunt work of Jackie Chan. Possibly the world's greatest creator of martial arts films, Chan earned his name as a leading man in films like "Snake in Eagle's Shadow" (1978) and the first "Drunken Master" movie. Now, over four decades later, Chan has appeared in more than 140 films, acted as a producer in over 60, and performed stunt work of some kind in almost 80 (via IMDb). Many of these films, such as "Drunken Master II," the "Police Story" series, and "Project A" (just to name a few) stand the test of time as influential kung-fu flicks.

However, only one Jackie Chan movie can truly be his greatest work overall. Each of his series has its own strong points when it comes to his acclaimed comedy and combat choreography. For instance, the story and choreography of "Drunken Master" protagonist Wong Fei-hung looks and feels markedly different than that of "Rumble in the Bronx" or "Armour of God." However, only one film has the prestige to go with the action, resulting in a film that stands above the rest of its siblings.

Police Story is Jackie Chan's ultimate masterpiece

Talk to a hundred different Jackie Chan fans and you'll get a hundred different answers for what Chan's best film is. He's that good. However, there's only one film that really encompasses what makes Jackie Chan so amazing, and it's called "Police Story." This 1985 film follows police officer Chan Ka-Kui as he looks to bring down crime lord Chu Tao, and ends up caught in a web of conspiracy that aims to destroy his livelihood.

To say the least, "Police Story" features Jackie Chan's stunt work and choreography at its peak. Across his adventure, Ka-Kui gets dragged by speeding buses, slides down multi-floor fireman's poles in the center of bustling shopping malls, and faces off with hordes of criminal goons. According to The Guardian, Chan neglected to use a stunt double for all but a single scene in this film. Like a mixture between Bruce Lee and Buster Keaton, Chan's escapades in "Police Story" are the epitome of what it takes to make a great action film.

It's also just one of his most iconic franchises

However, "Police Story" is amazing for more than just its phenomenal stunt work. Jackie Chan has an untold number of movies where he pulls off similarly-impressive and dangerous stunts as hanging from the second window of an actual double-decker bus. What sets "Police Story" apart, however, is how it grew into a major franchise of its own. With seven entries, it ranks as one of Chan's longest-running film series.

While it is far from the only Jackie Chan movie to receive multiple sequels, it's also simply iconic in a way most of his films are not. The first three films are generally considered must-sees among many martial arts film fans. Along with "Project A" and "Drunken Master," "Police Story" is one of the only Jackie Chan franchises to earn multiple spots on IMDb's Top 250 Greatest Martial Arts Films. On top of that, both the first and third films in the series take up the top two films in Rotten Tomatoes' own list of Chan's best movies.

Fans are generally sold on Police Story as well

However, "Police Story" isn't just amazing because it's one of Chan's biggest franchises. As a whole, Jackie Chan fans tend to hold the film in the highest regard. One Reddit post made on r/Movies tracked the differing answers between fans' personal lists of their favorite Jackie Chan films. Out of hundreds of answers, "Police Story" received the most recommendations by fans, beating out "Rumble in the Bronx" by three votes.

With this in mind, it's clear to see which films Jackie Chan fans consider the most essential to understanding his career. "Police Story," though it's not his most recent or highest-grossing film, exemplifies everything people love about Jackie Chan. His tight choreography and thrilling stunts, combined with the prestige of starting one of the action legend's most commercially and critically successful franchises, make it the ultimate movie for anyone with a taste for action films.