“Wheels on Meals“ aka "Kuai can che", "Powerman", "Weapon X", "Spartan X" (1984)
Director: Sammo Kam-Bo Hung
Writer: Edward Tang, Gwing-Gai Lee
Starring: Jackie Chan, Biao Yuen, Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Benny Urquidez, Keith Vitali, Lola Forner
Rated: TV-14 for brief nudity, fight scenes and mild language
Runtime: 1h 40min
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Martial Arts
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese | English (I prefer original language, in this case Cantonese with english subtitles, over an english dubbed version)
“Two Chinese friends, who operate a food truck in Barcelona, Spain, use their martial arts expertise to help their private investigator friend protect the pickpocket Sylvia, who's been targeted by a ruthless gang.”
You might like this if you like: Jackie Chan(s movies), Biao Yuen, Benny Urquidez, Keith Vitali, Sammo Hung, martial arts movies, martial arts, action, comedy, action comedies, Kung Fu, Hong Kong action films
Jackie Chan (left), Sammo Hung (middle) & Biao Yeun (right) in "Wheels on Meals" (1984)
One of my top Jackie Chan/Sammo Hung films. Maybe some of the best fights on film I've ever seen and is also just riotously funny! The title alone.. And if you don't know by now, Jackie Chan is one of my favorite human beings. He's a hero and an inspiration. I love his bloody contribution to cinema. He's done so much for film and so much that never made the final cut! Broken so many bones! Made so many people laugh and done so much for Asian culture and cinema. He's a legend. "Police Story" (1985), "Armour of God" (1986), "Project A" (1983), "Snake in the Eagle's Shadow" (1978) just to name a few of the classics!
I’ve watched hundreds of Hong Kong/Chinese/Shaw Brothers films dubbed and subbed and all of the above so I may be a little more attuned to the style, way of storytelling, humor, martial arts action and abrupt genre changes that come with those types of films and are almost inherently the DNA of those films.
Biao Yeun (left), Lola Forner (middle) & Jackie Chan (right) in "Wheels on Meals" (1984)
I first heard about the movie from director Gareth Evans ("The Raid: Redemption" 2011, "The Raid 2" 2014) having been a fan of his work but hadn't quite yet deep dived into Jackie Chan's lesser known masterpieces like "Wheels on Meals" (1984).
The opening training sequence is one of my favorite scenes. It's almost humorous how ridiculously insane it is especially when they start sparring. You almost just have to laugh later at the stunts because your brain isn't used to seeing that stuff except in cartoons! Jackie Chan, Buster Keaton and Johnny Knoxville are masters at it.
Jackie Chan (left) & Biao Yeun (right) in “Wheels on Meals” (1984)
“Wheels on Meals” (1984) stands out amongst Chan’s work in its casting/characters. It’s got a good mix of people to put in a martial arts film. Our leading boys are fun and entertaining even when they aren’t training or fighting. The antagonists, played by Benny Urquidez & Keith Vitali feel fair, challenging and a good match for Chan, Hung and Yeun.
The scene where they visit Yeun’s father is one of my favorite scenes. Captures the humor and heart of the movie all in one. It shows the fun, relatable and caring side of our heroes.
Jackie Chan (left) & Benny Urquidez (right) in “Wheels on Meals” (1984)
Martial arts films climax’s tend to be the most memorable due to their inherent structure of building up to the climatic fight scene between the hero and the villain. “Wheels on Meals” (1984) delivers one of the best.. Chan and Urquidez’s fight alone but the fact that you have Yeun and Hung in the mix is just an extra added spice. The character development throughout the fight and watching Jackie reassess himself and treat it like one of his training sessions is something I’ve tried to incorporate more into my life for years. If I know I’ve been able to do something well before, or I’m getting over-excited or stressed, it’s a helpful reminder sometimes to put yourself back to a calmer place where you were able to relax and still perform the job (in this case, Jackie’s was his training sessions with Yeun).
Biao Yeun (left), Sammo Hung (middle) & Jackie Chan (right) in "Wheels on Meals" (1984)
An overall, fun action-packed comedy with real stunts and real laughs! A big ups to Sammo Hung for directing one of the greatest action comedies as well as starring as one of the leading actors/stunt performers.
Written by Sam Gall on 09/18/20
CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0
"Unless you just can not stand martial arts films, there's no way in hell this movie won't entertain from beginning to end." - El Hombre I, Rotten Tomatoes
"One of the greatest Hong Kong action films ever made. The duel between Jackie Chan and Benny Urquidez (also seen in Grosse Pointe Blank) is one of the greatest onscreen fights ever choreographed." - Jamie S, Rotten Tomatoes
"It's an old school, classic film with some ridiculously impressive stunts and action that skillfully blends the talents of the three into a jaw-dropping flick." - Cael M, Rotten Tomatoes
"Not only does this have some of the greatest stunts and fights of all time (especially the bout with Benny the Jet), but there is a great cast with genuine humor throughout! This may be my favorite Chan flick." - Michael W, Rotten Tomatoes
Available on Amazon and various VOD platforms