The Prisoner *1/2 (out of 5) (1990)

Cast: Tony Leung, Sammo Hung, ,Andy Lau, Jackie Chan

Directed by

Yin-Ping Chu

Looking for another Jackie Chan fix when you're in the mood for some high-flying action?  Then I would highly recommend any other Jackie Chan film before renting this one.  He's barely in this one, maybe only a quarter of the total screen time, and astonishingly most of his action scenes consist of the action star wielding a gun(!)  Don't let the picture on the box fool you, there's more Jackie in CANNONBALL RUN.

The plot, liberally lifting much of it's story from COOL HAND LUKE, involves a police inspector going into deep cover to unearth corruption within the walls of a violent maximum security prison.  Bad warden, bad guards, criminals running most of the show...yes, it's all in there.  Oh joy oh joy!

With Jackie just along for the ride, THE PRISONER is an almost unwatchable blend of much overused cliches, blatant rip-offs of much finer films, and a showcase for mindless glorified brutality.  There's really nothing I can recommend here, with very bad acting, uninspired directing, cookie-cutter script and an impressive cast of actors whose talents are almost completely ignored.  Jackie's trademark outtakes round out the film when the credits roll, but the film itself is such a disheartening experience that they feel totally out of place.  Ugly, boring and woefully misguided, THE PRISONER is for Jackie Chan completists only.

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