Meals on Wheels

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Posted On: July 2, 2009
Posted In: Action Movies, All Movies, Jackie Chan, Jackie Chan Movies, Kung Fu Fighting, Kung Fu Movie Reviews, Kung Fu Movies, Martial Arts Movies, Shaolin Kung Fu
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Filmed in beautiful Barcelona, Spain, the story centers around cousins Thomas (Jackie Chan) and David (Yuen Biao) who run a fast food van. The food is delivered by Thomas, who rushes around the busy downtown square on a skateboard. After a melee involving a biker gang, they meet the beautiful pickpocket Sylvia (Lola Forner), who asks them to hide her in their van to avoid the police.

Thomas and David are instantly enamored by her, but after allowing her to stay in their apartment that night, they wake to find both Sylvia and their hard earned money gone. The next day, they bump into Moby (Sammo Hung), a bumbling private investigator who is also tracking Sylvia. It is discovered that Sylvia is the heir to a sizable inheritance that a criminal gang is trying to steal from her. When she is kidnapped, Thomas, David, and Moby team up to save her, infiltrating the villains’ castle and defeating them in a martial arts battle.

Chan, Yuen and Hung, are long-time friends and attended the Peking Opera School in their youth. The release of Wheels on Meals came in the midst of their most prolific period working together as a trio. The three men had acted together on Chan’s Project A and the first of Hung’s original Lucky Stars trilogy, Winners and Sinners in 1983. Wheels on Meals was released in 1984, and a year later they were reunited twice more for the Lucky Stars semi-sequels My Lucky Stars and Twinkle, Twinkle Lucky Stars. This was something of a golden period for Hong Kong cinema-goers, as three of the nation’s most beloved action stars performed together on screen.

Wheels on Meals was the first of two films which paired star Jackie Chan against former professional kickboxing champion Benny Urquidez (the other being the 1988 film Dragons Forever). Their fight in this film is typically regarded as one of the greatest on-screen martial arts fights ever performed. At one point in the final battle between the pair, a spin-kick performed by Urquidez is so quick that the resulting airflow extinguishes a row of candles. This is shown onscreen, with no cuts or trick photography! Thomas DiSanto