Mr Nice Guy

This is yet another martial arts feast from the master of crazy stunts and comedic fighting - Jackie Chan. In this film he is a popular TV chef who becomes embroiled with a bunch of dangerous gangsters led by Richard Norton. Jackie helps a reporter to escape from the bad guys and ends up accidentally driving off with her evidence, which they will of course, do anything to get back.

Now if you are a Chan fan you will know exactly what to expect and will love this film. If not I should explain that everything in this brand of martial arts film is subverted to the fight scenes, stunts and explosions. The fight scenes are incredibly fast and furious, the stunts are very dangerous and the explosions and demolitions are huge. This leaves no real room for any concentration on plot, acting or dialogue. As long as you know this before hand you shouldn´t be dissapointed.

Jackie Chan

Jackie is superb as always, he shows off a few moves in the kitchen before assuming his more familiar role as a ludicrously hard fighter. In this film many of the fights are played for laughs, there is some excellent comedy fighting and this is probably alot to do with Samo Hung's direction. The scene where the baddie is pointing a gun at Jackie and he makes a mockery of the guy is hilarious.

The bad guys are cartoonish and led by the moderately dangerous Richard Norton (he has played the bad guy in a few films). The reporter woman was annoying, the usual drag Jackie into helping and don't thank him routine. Other support was provided by the girlfriend and a host of rotten Aussie actors. This is Jackie's first movie filmed in English and it seems to be set in Australia, consequently all the Neighbour's rejects pop up and one of those guys from Heartbreak High. Needless to say the Aussies are awful, which kind of helps Jackie's acting to look good, I thought his English was fine.

If you can ignore the cartoony plot and cliched bad and good guys then this is an enjoyable piece of lightweight entertainment. Chan is aging and this is nowhere hear his best but it is still excellent. The partnership of Samo and Jackie is a definite winner, they both have a great sense of humour and are incredibly talented fighters, acrobats and choreographers. This is also a Raymond Chow/Golden Harvest production which is like a guarantee of quality action instead of your over produced Hollywood rubbish. Jackie does all of his own stunts and is constantly risking his life for that perfect scene, something I think his new Hollywood chums won't let him do as much.

85 minutes of comedy action from the master, you can't really go wrong. Jackie utilises a stunning array of props in his fighting and seems to be able to convert anything into a potential weapon. He and Samo have a long history of working together and trained at the same place, they are the best choreographers of comedy fight scenes in the world. Look out for Samo's cameo on the bike, it is just a shame he doesn't feature more prominently. Although this is a 15 certificate I don't remember much adult content and it may be suitable for younger kids with minimum editing. All in all an excellent film for the genre which only loses points when you compare it to some of Jackie's other works.


Reviewed by Simon Hill

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