Wheels on Meals is one of the early Jackie Chan movies and as such offers a somewhat different and authentic experience than the later ones. It’s got this raw and vibrant atmosphere with a lot of comedy. Additionally, this isn’t just a martial arts comedy movie starring Jackie Chan but also Sammo Hung. They’ve been friends for years and just one year prior they starred in Project A, a similar project. If you’ve seen any of these movies you already know what to expect: spectacular stunts, a lot of physical comedy, and excellent pacing. And don’t think this is some grainy low-budget affair because it’s not. There’s a remastered version out there that looks tight as fuck.
I guess now is a good time to talk about the title of this movie. As you probably guessed, Meals on Wheels was the original title but the producers from Golden Harvest had different ideas. You see, their last two movies had titles starting with the letter M and both of them were failures. So, they decided to switch things up. With that out of the way, let’s talk more about the movie itself. First of all, most of the story will be taking place in sunny Spain. This was really refreshing because I was expecting another Hong Kong affair.
If you’re a fan of these martial arts comedies, I’m guessing you’ll love this change too. Secondly, the script is surprisingly funny featuring hilarious one-liners. I also loved their naive and honest approach to humor, almost childlike in nature. It just whooshes you back to your childhood, doesn’t it? I watched a lot of these movies as a kid and they have a special place in my heart. However, they also stood the test of time quite well. Mostly because they’re relying on these superbly choreographed fights and insane stunts.
Meet Thomas and David, they’re two guys who love martial arts but also run a food van in Spain’s biggest city, Barcelona. They spend their days’ training and working, with little room for anything else. Especially love. However, when they meet beautiful Sylvia all of that is going to change. They will both fall for her not knowing that Sylvia has a secret. A very dangerous secret that will put all of their lives at risk.
Wheels on Meals is one of the most influential martial arts movies of the eighties. It features a different approach to fight scenes, a more frenetic one and set in an urban environment. The fights themselves are much longer and more innovative. All of this is because of Sammo Hung, the chubby but incredibly limber and physically fit actor and director. Sammo along with Jackie Chan showed that you can have this amount of comedy in martial arts plus have all the crazy stunts you want. This was truly a different time and it will be amazing to see the lengths to which people were willing to go in order to entertain us.
In one of the scenes, Keith Vitali accidentally hit Jackie Chan in the throat and immediately called for help. However, what he got instead was a lot of yelling from the entire crew as he broke character and didn’t wait for the director to say cut. I mean, the movie opens with a guy jumping out of the first-story window directly onto the sidewalk. He just dusts himself off and walks away holding his butt. If you’re looking for more movies like Wheels on Meals, I recommend you check out Dragons Forever, also starring this dynamic duo.