This odd (but pleasantly low-priced) new release might be called "Jackie Chan's Most Uncharacteristic Hits." Both showcase Jackie in almost totally non-comic contexts. By definition then, these are not in the league of the "Police Story," "Project A" or "Drunken Master" films.
"Crime Story" (1993) is handily the better. While the tone is dark and serious — this is the straightest dramatic role of Chan's career — there are a few of his trademark fight scenes. And Kirk Wong ("The Big Hit," "Organized Crime and Triad Bureau") was certainly the right director for the job.
“The Protector” (1985) was the second of Jackie's disappointing attempts to crack the American market. (The first was the 1980 “The Big Brawl,” coupled with his role in Burt Reynolds' initial “Cannonball Run.”) Director James Glickenhaus cast Jackie as a tough New York cop who, partnered with Danny Aiello, has to take on a crime lord (Roy Chiao) in Hong Kong. Jackie felt the result would disappoint his Asian fan base, so he reshot and recut parts of the movie — which means you also get to hear Aiello dubbed in Cantonese.
Visual quality on "Crime Story" is just passable, which is more than can be said for "The Protector." While it's great that Shout! Factory gives us both cuts of the latter, they look no better than an old VHS. (Still, at this price, it's nice to have even such a compromised option.)
Extras include 10-minute interviews with each director, 20 minutes of featurettes and six minutes of deleted scenes from “Crime Story.”
"Crime Story/The Protector Double Feature" (Shout! Factory, Blu-ray, $19.93; DVD, $12.99)
ANDY KLEIN is the film critic for Marquee. He can also be heard on "FilmWeek" on KPCC-FM (89.3).