Friday, September 23, 2011

Little Big Soldier

I loved Jackie Chan before I even saw Jackie Chan. I read about his career first and saw a documentary about him before I saw any of his films. I was impressed by incredibly insane stunt work. When I finally got to see his original Hong Kong films like Project A I was not disappointed. I also saw he had a flair for physical comedy not seen since the days of the great silent film stars. For many years his films just got better and better and one became used to seeing Jackie one up himself.

Then he got old.

Actually I wish I could blame Chris Tucker, but even he isn't totally to blame for the fall off in the quality of the work of Jackie Chan. To be honest, Jackie reached that awkward point where he was still trying to cash checks his body could no longer write. Add to that a real push to be an american star so that he wasn't being careful in what projects he was signing up with, and you have a recipe for disaster. Honestly, the words "A new Jackie Chan film," just became too painful to me. I considered just striking him off my list of things to watch and just celebrate his golden age.

Then I saw "Little Big Soldier."

Now, this isn't like the "Gone of the Wind" of Fu films, but it's a good solid film that tells a story that is amusing. Here Jackie is fine comic form. He's a professional soldier, but only so much as he shows up on the field. THere he plays dead and loots around after the battle. This time he looks into an enemy general wounded but alive. He takes the general cross country hoping to present him for a rich reward. Of course the course of true greed never runs true. There are others who want the general and various pitfalls along the mountain pathways.

This is a lovely film, something you don't often say about a Jackie Chan film. It has wonderful color. Jackie as I said is really acting well and his co stars are a fine match. The fighting is good but not overwhelming and film is well paced. Definitely worth a watch and I hope this puts Jackie back in the groove.

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