Bo bui gai wak (2006)
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In his recent movies, while staying true to his brand of action together with his band of merry men from the Jackie Chan Stunt Team, there is no denial of his attempt to infuse a little more drama into his role so as to showcase his acting chops. While his acting in slow moments might not appeal to fans of his action, it looks like dramatic moments are here to stay. However, if you'd notice there's a progression in his willingness to move away from one- man-army type of roles, to sharing the limelight with his fellow co-stars.
Here, his screen time is almost equally shared with co-lead Louis Koo, with the both of them playing unsavoury characters - thieves with vices, with Chan as Thongs, a hardcore gambler with family issues, and Koo as Octopus, a married womanizer and fast car lover. They turn to their current profession of thievery to sustain their lifestyle, and the brains behind the duo's brawn is Landlord, played by veteran Michael Hui, a man whose wife is devastated by the loss of their only child.
See the plenty of moments for some serious drama yet? It is perhaps these moments where an exploration into the character's background slowed down the pace of what could've been a rip-roaring ride from start to end. Clocking in at 135 minutes, the movie felt that it could've been shortened as certain scenes were just too trying. The action scenes too were few and far between, though each scene is still carefully choreographed and felt that it lasted longer than the usual.
The comedic element came in full swing with the introduction of the baby, which probably is the movie's trump card in luring the crowds (my friend and I didn't think he was that adorable actually). It's nothing new as the antics of soiled diapers, refusal to stop crying, and various moments of what baby would do, have already been touched upon in movies like 3 Men and a Baby, or even Raising Arizona. However, having one actor play daddy, and the other play mommy, does call for some genuine laughs sometimes.
Louis Koo has been playing the bad guy role to aplomb with his Election movies, and here, it's a nice change to see him tackle both comedy and action. I truly welcomed Michael Hui's return to the big screen, as one of my favourite comedies as a kid, was his Chicken and Duck Talk. Here though, there aren't many moments where he exhibited his classic bossy demeanour full of wit and sarcasm, probably hampered by the script.
The supporting casts consists of actors past and present in roles that either brought back some good memories, or are milked just for laughs. Yuen Biao was the other supporting role that compelled me to watch this movie, as he seemed to have faded from starring in movies for some time now. He doesn't have much to do here, save for some limited screen action. Actresses like Charlene Choi, Teresa Carpio and Gao Yuanyuan add balance to the testosterone on screen, but probably the best cameo appearance belongs to the duo of Nicholas Tse and Daniel Wu (totally different from what you see now in The Banquet)!
As always, stay at your seats while the end credits roll, for the usual out-takes included. My only gripe would still be to have this shown in Cantonese, somehow the dubbing of the out- takes sounded really too artificial.
Jackie Chan (playing Fong Ka Ho) and Louis Koo (playing Octopus) are two professional burglars that live extravagant lives that require a lot of spending money, and get hired for job that promises million of Hong Kong dollars, though Michael Hui (playing Landlord) fails to inform his burglar associates that the job is to kidnap a baby. Fong Ka Ho and Octopus get attached to the baby, and then things start to escalate to a wild thrill-ride.
Jackie Chan puts on a great performance in this movie, as expected, and he is doing all of his trademark action and stunts, lots of action and comedy here. And he is well accompanied by Louis Koo who also puts on a good performance. I am a huge fan of Asian cinema and used to live in Hong Kong so I am no strangers to the Hong Kong cinema, and I must say that Charlene Choi (playing Pak Yin), despite her small role, actually put on one of her best performances ever. It is nice to see that she is finally growing into a good actor and is over that sugar-coated silly comedy that she made when she was younger.
The story in the movie have several aspects and depths and all work out quite nicely coming together full circle at the end. "Robin-B-Hood", despite the somewhat stupid title, is a really great action and family movie. Very suitable for fans of Jackie Chan or people in for an evening with the family. And I must underline that "Robin-B-Hood" is a MUST for all Jackie Chan fans. Sure he is getting older, but the man is still performing amazing stunts and spreading his good humor.
I was thoroughly entertained from the start of the movie until the very end. And I purchased the 2-disc Ultimate Edition from Amazon, and will definitely be giving the extra materials on disc 2 a go later on today.
The fight choreography was fairly good, but it went back to the usual "Jackie Chan defeats them all" formula. Yuen Biao surprisingly returns to team up with Chan. Overall it was a movie aimed for all audiences, even though it contained some really intense scenes. Like all big-budget movie extravaganzas, when there are too much of everything, the basic story lags. Not too bad, though. Recommended for everyone, I guess, especially for those who like Jackie Chan, but to those who do watch it, you're in for a long night.
I've been a fan ever since in whatever he does and will always be. At the end of the day it all comes down to the entertainment value and this movie is surely entertaining. Its just pure fun, not taking it too seriously will also liven up the viewing of the film. Don't be critical, after all this hard work is to bring you entertainment, an hour of two away from all seriousness.
Watch it for entertainment not for criticizing. 10/10 simply because one of the jokes made me laugh so hard.
I really didn't care for this film. Sure its nice to see Jackie playing a semi-not so nice guy, but on the whole this is the sort of thing we've seen a dozen or so times before, and I'm not talking action. For me much of the film was past formulaic and into the cliché rut. How many films have their been about grown men with no baby experience taking care of infants? How many of them have gags stolen by this film? As for the action sequences they take a bit of a back seat to the comedy and the baby. Sure there are some nice bits, Jackie walking down the air conditioners and the car chase/crash are good little sequences but they too ring of things that have gone before. It could be argued that Jackie is getting up there, he's 52, but its not that what he's doing is bad its just that its a bit lifeless and repetitive when compared to his earlier films.
It also doesn't help that the film is paced so,leisurely that we feel every one of its 130 plus minutes. This is a movie in need of some real trimming.
A miss. Wait for cable.
4.5 out of 10, 5 out of 10 for IMDb purposes
I also thought I should add that this film ended up outgrossing X-Men: the Last Stand AND Mission Impossible III at the 2006 Chinese box office!
There are plenty of good-old-fashion Jackie Chan action and slapstick humor. While the story has an intriguing concept, it is overloaded with multiple subplots, which dragged the film at times. The "protecting the baby from the triads" storyline is quite appealing, however, and it does create some suspense. There is also a little good mixture of drama, especially the touching scenes involving Thongs' father (Feng Ku). The acting was also OK, but I thought Chan and Koo playing the two father figures together was a bit odd.
There is a large cast of characters in the movie, but it was especially nice to see comic veteran Michael Hui return to film, as well as martial artist Yuen Biao.
Overall, it is an average action comedy flick - not too bad.