It’s exciting to see Shyamalan on such confident footing once more, all these years later.
The knowledge that Jackie Chan performs all of his own stunts brings a certain intensity to the act of watching his movies: A real person in real time is really doing something dangerous. There's an element of Evel Knievel to it. And also an element of Buster Keaton, because Chan is above all a silent comedian, who depends on broad humor and timing to make action comedies in which the violence is secondary ("No guns!'' he likes to shout).
Although Chan does his own stunts, they are, of course, stunts--safety precautions are taken, and camera angles are chosen to make things look more difficult than they are. Sometimes there is even a certain clumsiness which makes the realism even more effective.
Early in "Operation Condor,'' for example, Jackie straps on a hang-gliding outfit powered by an airplane engine, fires it up, and runs with mounting desperation across a meadow, trying to get airborne. Eventually, he does. In a slicker action picture, the flight would have been effortless. It's more fun to watch Chan sweating a little. And that's really him in the air.
There are a couple of other stunts in the film that had me seriously impressed. In one of them, Chan is hanging from a beam near the roof of a warehouse. A car catapults through the air, straight at him. He swings up out of the way and the car misses him. It looked to me as if trick photography wasn't involved; there was a real car, and perfect timing. In another stunt, he leaps from a motorcycle speeding off a pier, and grabs a safe hold on a fisherman's net. And there's a wonderfully choreographed fight above odd flat moving steel platforms high above a hangar floor.