Acrobatic martial-arts superstar, Jackie Chan, and adorable Asian hottie, Shu Qi, star in this silly but likable romantic comedy about a young Taiwanese girl, Bu, who travels to Hong Kong in pursuit of love, after finding a message in a bottle.
She tracks down the sender of the message, Albert (Tony Leung), a gay fashion photographer and not quite the potential soul-mate she had hoped for. But it's not long before she really meets the man of her dreams; whilst on a yacht trip with Albert, Bu rescues millionaire, C. N. Chan, after he is attacked by a gang of thugs on his boat, and the two fall in love
But since the course of true love never runs smooth, various obstacles are put in the way of the lovers' happiness: a dedicated bachelor, Chan finds it impossible to actually say 'I love you' (which obviously upsets lovestruck Bu), and rival businessman, L.W. Lo, constantly causes trouble for Chan by attacking him at every opportunity. Of course, the film ends with a predictable happy ending in which Chan finally declares his love for Bu and his enemies are defeated.
A schmaltzy and lightweight Lunar New Year offering, Gorgeous meanders lazily through familiar romantic comedy territory, relying heavily on the charms of its charismatic leads. Fortunately, both Jackie Chan and Shu Qi have bucket-loads of charisma to spare, and the film manages to be a lot of fun despite the insubstantial plot.
Although this may not be your typical Chan outing, fans of his fight flicks should still take note: this film features some of his best martial arts scenes since his heyday in the 80s. A somewhat lacklustre first battle, which takes place on a boat, may make viewers think that perhaps, with Chan now in his 50s, 'the Man' has lost his edge. Fans, however, have nothing to worry about, because later fights definitely deliver the incredible martial-arts acrobatics Jackie Chan is famous for.
A confrontation with four mask wearing thugs wielding baseball bats is absolutely amazing, featuring complex choreography that requires split-second timing and two later showdowns against the diminutive Bradley James Allan must rank amongst the best Chan fights ever filmed!
This may not be classic Chan, but given the choice between another Rush Hour or Gorgeous, I'd take the latter any day.
**N.B. This review is of the Columbia Tristar DVD, which has a run-time of 95 minutes. A longer HK release is available, which also features a cameo from Stephen Chow.**
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