9 Insane Movie Scenes That Nearly Killed Jackie Chan
When you think of people who almost died in movies, who's the first actor that comes to mind? If that actor is anyone other than Jackie Chan, then you've never seen any Jackie Chan movies. You'd need more than all of your fingers and toes (Chan has broken all of his) to count the number of times that Jackie Chan was injured during one of his many insane stunts in some of the best martial arts movies in existence.
Make no mistake, he does every single stunt on his own and some of the most dangerous action scenes are ones he wrote and directed. The man is fearless and utterly bonkers and a global treasure. We have a pretty crazy conspiracy theory that suggests he might be immortal, because the following 11 stunts DEFINITELY should have killed him.
- 1188 VOTES
The Actor Dislocated His Pelvis And Injured Two Vertebrae To Get The Perfect Clip In Police Story
One of Jackie Chan's worst failed stunts took place during an earlier installment of Police Story. In it, protagonist Officer Chan Ka-Kui kicks a lot of bad guys and jumps on a lot of stuff (classic Jackie). He actually jumps on a pole in a shopping mall decorated with Christmas lights. Though it went as intended, the stunt still had bad repercussions for Chan. While sliding down the overheated pole, the actor burned his hands, pulled down all the light bulbs, and eventually crashed through glass. Chan, who could very well be a masochist, dislocated his pelvis and injured two vertebrae. He could've been paralyzed, but instead he just decided to be unstoppable and we love him for it.
- 2278 VOTES
During Production Of Project A, Chan Fell Six Stories And Landed On His Head
Project A is a story about a 19th century Hong Kong police force dealing with some troublesome pirates, but it's nothing that Jackie Chan's character Sergeant Dragon Ma can't handle. (Sidebar: Sergeant Dragon Ma is the best name in movie history and we do NOT talk about it enough.)
After a clock tower fight scene, the script calls for Dragon, our handcuffed protagonist, to fall six stories, through two awnings and land on his head. Now, how would YOU film that? If it was the present you'd probably use CGI and if you were a coward you'd probably use a dummy or a bunch of soft mats as a landing pad. But it's not the present, and you're not a coward, you're film icon and absolute hero Jackie Chan, so you do it FOR REAL. The video you see is not an outtake; the scene played out exactly as scripted damaging his cervical spine in the process. Jackie allowed extras to help him to his feet but he finished the scene and then continued to live, which we hope he does forever.
- 3188 VOTES
Chan Was Hit By A Helicopter While Filming Super Cop
Right off the bat, we're swinging for the fences with a helicopter collision. While filming Police Story 3: Super Cop, a 1992 film about Hong Kong cop Chan Ka-Kui, Jackie Chan was hit by a helicopter. If you skip to the 1:40 mark of the video, you'll miss a lot of other near-fatal stunts, but you'll see the outtakes from a scene in which Chan dangles off of a rotating bar that extends from a train. He's supposed to be able to swing back away from the swooping helicopter, but the bar malfunctions and the action star is struck by the aircraft. He broke a rib and a bone in his shoulder, and dislocated his cheekbone, which should be impossible, but the man really can do anything.
You'd think adding "occasional helicopter attacks" to his list of likely professional hazards would inspire him to switch careers, but Jackie was just getting started.
- 4136 VOTES
Chan Fractured His Skull While Filming The First Armour Of GodPhoto: Golden Harvest Media Asia / Amazon
There's a stunt in the first Armour of God installment that is much safer than most of Jackie Chan's usuals but it still almost killed him. In the scene, he has to jump onto a tree and grab a branch but he loses his grip and goes tumbling down. Fortunately, there were rocks beneath the tree to cushion his fall but he landed on them head first. It was later realized that Chan fractured his skull and caused internal bleeding. He needed surgery to recover and there's still a metal plate in his head from the accident.
We work at Ranker. If one day one of our coworkers came in and said "Yesterday sure was rough, I came into the office to do my job and then my skull got fractured in a surprising but not completely unexpected work-related injury. Mondays, am I right?" we would promptly quit and probably move far away. This is one of the chief ways in which we internet writers are different from Jackie Chan.
- 5133 VOTES
Jackie Chan Almost Lost An Eye In Snake In The Eagle's ShadowPhoto: Seasonal Film Corporation / Amazon
Hwang Jang-Lee is a legitimate martial arts master and he's specifically known for his powerful kicks. He actually earned the nickname "Thunderleg" in 1978 while filming the movie Drunken Master because of them. That same year, he and Jackie Chan shot Snake in the Eagle's Shadow together. Chan played Chien Fu, an orphan raised by martial artists, and experienced firsthand the damage that Jang-Lee's feet could do.
Not only did Thunderleg kick out one of Chan's teeth, he also broke Chan's eyebrow bone. Had Chan been struck only millimeters lower, his eye would've been irreparably damaged and his brain would've been damaged. It's kind of a bummer to learn the answer to the question "How do you make martial arts stunts look so real" is actually "Oh, we just do them for real and literally kick Jackie Chan in the face with our thunderlegs," but it made for good cinema and Chan (as always) survived, so we're not really sure how to feel about this.
- 6160 VOTES
Chan Slid Down A 21-Floor Glass Building For The Who Am I
Though suffering from amnesia, Jackie Chan's character globe trots with an undercover CIA agent, protecting her from hit men while trying to rediscover his own identity in the movie Who Am I. The characters end up in Rotterdam, atop a glass building with a very pronounced angle. Jackie's character needs to quickly escape (Honestly? the "why" isn't very important here) and doesn't have a lot of options. To you (and us), the building just looks like a big, scary, tall building that's just a bit slanted, but to Jackie it looks like a giant slide, so of course Chan slid down the thing.
Watch that video. Does this even count as a stunt? It looks less like a master safely avoiding danger and more like the world's luckiest and silliest fall. Though, since it's Jackie Chan we're talking about here, it's not really "luck" as much as it is "yet another case where some cosmic being far greater than us is saving and protecting Jackie Chan for some glorious purpose we couldn't possibly comprehend."