Jackie Chan: ‘Vanguard’ Jet Ski Stunt ‘Scared Me to Death’

Jackie Chan has performed some of the most death-defying stunts in his career. It never gets easier for him though. His latest Hong Kong action movie, Vanguard, had brand new stunts that pushed Chan to the brink. A jet ski chase, in which Chan rescues his team members from pursuing bad guys, turned into another close call for the action legend.

Jackie Chan jet ski stunt
Jackie Chan | Gravitas Ventures

Vanguard is on digital VOD now and on Blu-ray and DVD March 9. Showbiz Cheat Sheet got an early copy of the Blu-ray. In the behind-the-scenes bonus features Chan and director Stanley Tong discussed the jet ski stunt that joins the ranks of Chan’s most dangerous.

‘Vanguard’ director Stanley Tong loves putting Jackie Chan in danger

Granted, Chan was doing dangerous stunts in Project A, Police Story and Armor of God before he met Tong. However, Tong helped Chan raise the stakes with Supercop, Rumble in the Bronx and First Strike. They continued to work together on The Myth and Kung Fu Yoga. Tong has wanted to incorporate this jet ski sequence for a while. 

Vanguard Blu-ray
Available March 9 | Lionsgate

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“I had the idea around 10 years ago to have racing and chasing down the white water into the waterfall,” Tong said. “That is my dream sequence. It’s also very difficult to shoot. I have shot in white water before. I’ve shot in a waterfall before and I know it’s very dangerous.”

Stanley Tong tested the ‘Vanguard’ jet ski stunt out himself

Tong wouldn’t ask Chan to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. So before Chan got on the jet ski to chase the bad guys, Tong got in the water. 

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“I try to test out the water myself,” Tong said. “I know how hard it is. After I came back out, I was sitting there four about 15 minutes [panting]. Around 15 minutes,I started to calm down and I feel cool. Lucky, I have finished the scene and also Jackie was not supposed to fall into the water but unfortunately he fell into the water.”

Jackie Chan described the jet ski crash

Chan has fallen from great heights and broken many bones. He still boasts a hole in his skull from the Armor of God accident, and he’s continued to work with broken bones, as the outtakes from Rumble in the Bronx revealed. When the jet ski crashed, it pinned him under the water. He described what happened from his perspective. 

“The jet ski flipped and trapped me,” Chan said. “I pushed but I couldn’t get it off. I couldn’t move at all. Everyone kept yelling pull it! The whole valley was filled with people shouting and echoes.”

Jackie Chan with a machine gun
Jackie Chan | Gravitas Ventures

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On the set, right after the crew rescued Chan, he did not speak so calmly. Chan reviewed the footage and told Tong how it really felt to be under the jet ski.

“Wow, this scared me to death,” Chan said on the set.