Jackie Chan belongs right up there with Jet Li, and Bruce Lee as one of the three most dominating kung fu movie stars in film history. He's lightning quick, resourceful, agile, funny and completely out of his mind.
Jackie Chan got his start in the Chinese Opera, which sounds kind of fruity but in actuality is pretty freaking rad. Those guys can really backflip their asses off, and it was there that Jackie became adept at tumbling, leaping, kicking shit and being awesome. Eventually he progressed to kung fu films and had the good luck of being on screen just long enough to have his neck snapped by Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon. Jackie eventually wound up with starring roles in several Hong Kong action films and over the years has grown into one of China's biggest celebrities. Basically, he rules.
One of the things that kicks ass about Jackie Chan movies is that he has his own distinct style that makes every film different and enjoyable. He has the ability to laugh at himself and crack jokes on camera, which is more than can be said for some of these self-proclaimed hardasses that think they're too tough to smile or get poked in the eye or something. Plus, Jackie Chan is awesome when it comes to improvising weapons and beating the hell out of people with random household items. Sure, kung fu films have featured people being beaten with pool cues or table legs or stuff like that, but Jackie Chan was a real pioneer in the field of kicking ass with crazy shit like refrigerator doors, paint cans, ladders, pinball machines, horseshoe and steering wheels. Basically, if he can find some way to either pick it up or otherwise manipulate it, he can probably find some way beat the shit out of you with it.
On top of that, Jackie does ALL of his own stunts, which is crazy. They have professional expendable stunt guys just so you don't have to climb out of a trash compactor as it's closing or risk injury and death by jumping from rooftop to rooftop without a safety net or leaping out of a moving car. Jackie's nuts though; he does all that shit himself. And while he's probably single-handedly destroying the stuntperson industry one film at a time, you totally have to respect the testicular fortitude it takes to get out there and volunteer to leap from a bridge onto a moving train and then plummet a hundred feet into a river. It's pretty badass. Couple that with the fact that he's STILL doing shit like that even though he's like 51 years old and it's even more impressive. Shit, I'm in my mid-twenties and I can't run up a wall and do a backflip without breaking my neck; this guy's twice my age and he can do it while CIA assassins lob hand grenades at him. He's just that hardcore.