The always entertaining Jackie Chan, perhaps the biggest movie star in the world, stars as a humble tow-truck driver named Foh who identifies a blond Aryan gangster named Cougar--only to be targeted for revenge. Cougar kid... more »naps Foh's sisters and threatens to kill them unless Foh races against him in a Japanese rally. Thunderbolt's story is incoherent at times, but after a slow start the movie propels itself forward with dazzling fights (including a stunning brawl in a pachinko parlor), shootouts (a little bloodier than typical Jackie Chan fare), and amazing stunts, to say nothing of the nerve-wracking climactic race itself, speckled with jaw-dropping car crashes. Chan's American movies, for all their polish, never capture the hyperkinetic thrill of the true Jackie Chan. Thunderbolt is far from Chan's best--the Police Story series, Dragons Forever, Drunken Master II, and several others are easily superior in terms of story, stunts, and just sheer fun--yet it easily brushes aside Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon (as well as demolishing stateside racing movies like Days of Thunder and Gone in 60 Seconds). If you've only seen Jackie in Hollywood product, you owe it to yourself to see his Hong Kong movies, and Thunderbolt is a perfectly good place to start. --Bret Fetzer« less
"This is the best version of Thunderbolt out there. New Line Cinema finally got it! This version is UNCUT, has the original language, with English subtitles, and a good quality picture! Amazon.com is incorrect in saying that this version is 86 minutes. This DVD is the original 110 minute version! UNCUT!
Also, there are three sets of English subtitles for this movie. The first set is an English dubtitle, which is when the subtitles follow the dubbed script (subtitles will also appear where no one is speaking every now and then). The second set are Spanish subtitles. The third set of subtitles is an English-translation subtitles, which mean they are a direct translation of the foreign dialouge. These subtitles, however, do not appear where English dialouge is spoken.
BUY THIS! Let American companies know that the only videos we will take are ones that are treated with respect like these!"
Not your light-hearted Jackie fair
Bex | WA, USA | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Dark Jackie. Yes, pretty much that sums it all up in Thunderbolt (A.K.A. Dead Heat), a not-so-easy-to-find film of Jackie Chan's. It was made right after his hit "Rumble in the Bronx" when his ankle was still broken and as I understand it (which could be wrong) Aaron Kwok, trained by Sammo Hung, did some of the stunt doubling. I like Aaron, so this is okay by me. Now, as the title states, this is not your average happy-go-lucky Jackie film. He smiles all of twice in this film, is angry and driven, and I love it!
Jackie works as a master mechanic in an autoshop his father runs. In his free time, Jackie helps the police with illegally upgraded cars. At one point, a bad guy named Cougar (What's with the animal bad guy names??) goes racing around, kills a cop at a blockade, Jackie jumps in a car to chase him down and, while not a racecar driver like Cougar, manages to best the baddie. The baddie is carted off to prison where his evil minions break him out not too long after. In the interim, a lovely female reporter stalks Jackie to get an interview about his brave act. Well, once Cougar is free, he wants revenge of course, and a rematch, so in one of the most brutal 6 minutes I've ever seen, Cougar tears Jackie a new one using a crane and Jackie's own house. Jackie's whole family is there as well, and all get the snot kicked out of them. One of his two sisters is kidnapped and one goes vegetable from shock and damage. His father, too, suffers a heart attack and Jackie rushes him to the hospital where only an injection, sneakily executed by a doctor, calms Jackie down.
Cougar kidnaps both sisters, using them as insurance that Jackie will take his challenge to race him in a high-profile professional race. (I am not a racing fan, so I'm not sure if it was grand-prix, or what.) Of course, obstacles get in the way: the reporter gets a crush on Jackie and messes a few things up even as she tries for a good story that would threaten Jackie's sisters' safety, Jackie doesn't have a car that will work for what he needs, he's in emotional turmoil over his father and sisters, etc... How does it end? Watch and find out! As an avid Jackie fan, I own most of his movies and this one is in my top fave 8. It's awesome and I love Jackie's darker, angstier side. (He's scary when he's mad.) Plenty of action, too, and one of the coolest fights scenes ever in a casino full of Pachinko games. Don't get this movie hoping for light and laughs, it's not like that. This is grittier, edgier and awesome. (Though many claim this is movie is just a shameless plug for one of Jackie's other passions, racing.) I don't even mind the small romance subplot. Get it!"
Don't buy this version.
J. reed | mi, usa | 02/13/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING: This is the worst DVD version of a movie I own (over 200). Shame on Amazon for selling such low grade product and then mis-representing information (the movie is only about 50 minutes long and most definately not remastered). When I found this movie I was excited to order it after watching the TNT version with dubbing and clear picture - not to mention full American version. I know that American versions are shorter then the Chinese versions, but there is no way the movie I watched was less than an hour long. The "remastered" picture looks like someone recorded the master copy from a VCR tape that had played on a loop for 15 years. Totally unwatchable. I felt the pit of my stomach drop when the credits came up.
Now out 15 bucks, though a cheap lesson was learned: Amazon does not check the products for accuaracy. Unfortunatly, since Jackie Chan no longer allows American companies to buy his film rights (due to the hacked-up versions), the only way to get this movie will be if yesasia.com stars to carry it, and even then it will not likely to be in english."
New Line gets it right
Pat McCurry | Wilton, NH United States | 06/16/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree with others that this is the definitive version of Thunderbolt. I first saw it years ago on TNT edited down to 90 minutes and dubbed. So I bought the Taiwan version years ago. The setback of that one (like most Asian DVDs of old films) was that everyone was dubbed over in Mandarin by different actors, the picture looks old, and the subtitles are so-so. With the New Line DVD, you get the entire film, original dialogue, and better subtitling. On top of that, the picture is clean. The only thing that has been replaced are the opening and closing credits (and that is understanable since the original credits are in Chinese).
It's a top notch DVD."
This Cinevu Dvd is of a bootlegged, burned copy !
W. M. Foss | Anoka, MN | 02/04/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"WARNING: I think this dvd is most likely a bootleg! I had an idea of this when I first looked at the case and then opened it. The dvd comes in a very generic case, just the photo you see in the listing (w/ a back-cover photo also), no additional info. or inserts. Also the photos look like collage shots from the movie, which could be made by almost any laser printer. When I looked at the actual dvd playing surface it is a purplish-blue color, which indicates it probably is a burned copy. When I actually tried to watch the dvd, that's when I was certain it was/is an unofficial dvd copy. It first starts out in English, then switches over to subtitles, and switches back and forth in some spots. These subtitles are hardly readable because they are white and can't be seen when the film's background is white-ish or light. Picture quality is not very good either (got me how they can say it's remastered in the ad). It's really too bad this isn't an official release because I was dying to see this movie. However, because of the quality of this dvd, I could hardly finish watching it. Fyi to all you people out there; the official U.S. releases for Jackie Chan are on Dimension, New Line, Touchstone, Columbia Tri-star or 20th Century Fox/Fortune Star Home Video. Also Tai Seng Video if they're Asian releases made available for the U.S. market (many are dubbed but majority are subtitled). I learned my lesson on this one and I'm only going to get the official, authorized releases. "