HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Unseen, The
Tonight She Comes
Chasing the Dragon
Into the Forest
Limehouse Golem, The
Frankenstein '80
Good Time
Bucket of Blood, A
Detroit
Hide and Seek
What Happened to Monday
River Wild, The
Veteran
Slumber Party '57
Juliette, or Key of Dreams
Summertime Killer
Sweet Virginia
Ben & Arthur
Your Name
Red Hot Shot, The
New World
Trick Baby
Weapons of Death
Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World, The
Kills on Wheels
Strait-Jacket
This Man is Dangerous
Burning Paradise
Away
Mistress of the Apes
   
 
Newest Articles
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
Music, Love and Flowers: Monterey Pop on Blu-ray
The Melville Mood: His Final Two Films on The Melville Collection Blu-ray
Always Agnès: 3 from The Varda Collection Blu-ray
Re: Possession of Vehicles - Killer Cars, Trucks and a Vampire Motorcycle
The Whicker Kicker: Whicker's World Vols 5&6 on DVD
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
   
 
  Rob-B-Hood Baby on boardBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Benny Chan
Stars: Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Louis Koo, Charlene Choi, Yuen Biao, Gao Yuan-Yuan, Teresa Carpio, Matthew Medvedev, Terence Yin Chi-Wai, Conroy Chan Chi-Hung, Andrew Lin Hoi, Ken Lo, Go Hayama, Cherrie Ying Choi-Yi, Candice Yu, Asuka Higuchi, Ku Feng
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Action, Martial Arts
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: A trio of cat burglars, including ridiculously-named acrobat Thongs (Jackie Chan), skilled safecracker Landlord (Michael Hui) and smooth womaniser Octopus (Louis Koo) are willing to take on any perilous job, so long as the financial rewards are enough to help ease their troubled lives. While Thongs has a serious gambling addiction that disgraces his hard-working siblings and Landlord struggles to cope with a wife (Teresa Carpio) driven crazy since the loss of their child, Octopus is a gigolo sponging off rich girlfriends who callously suggests his young, pregnant wife Yin (Charlene Choi) should have an abortion.

These seemingly amoral criminals get more than they bargained for when they accept a mysterious assignment from an eccentric underworld tycoon. Their target turns out to be a cute infant (Matthew Medvedev) who steals their hearts transforming the hitherto hardened crooks into matronly protectors of their fragile but troublesome charge. What at first seems to be simple kidnapping spirals out of control as the trio dodge debt collectors, mob enforcers and a specialist police unit led by Thongs’ childhood friend-turned-kung fu kicking cop Inspector Steve Mok (Yuen Biao). Eventually, they must choose between the biggest payout they’ve ever had and the safety of the baby, which looks increasingly in doubt as the real reasons behind his kidnap begin to emerge.

Rob-B-Hood proved a much needed Hong Kong hit for Jackie Chan. At the time his inebriated antics at a local pop concert, coupled with some ill-advised remarks about the political situation in Taiwan and public antipathy towards the increasingly execrable Rush Hour movies saw the once-beloved clown prince of kung fu on the verge of becoming a hate figure in his native land. Thankfully, the public embraced this kung fu twist on Trois Hommes et un Couffin (1985) proving that, like politicians, troubled movie stars can rely on cute babies to rescue their careers. Benny Chan includes all the usual gags about crying fits, dirty nappies and late night bottle feeds, but this being a Hong Kong movie, he ups the ante with all manner of outrageous scenes with the frail little guy trapped in a washing machine, dangled from a tall building or attached to a runaway van.

Young Matthew Medvedev is a genuinely adorable child. Chan milks his cuteness for all its worth, but counterbalances the sentimentality with an unexpectedly tough streak of drama. The film has a depth of characterisation rare in Hong Kong action-comedies and things grow remarkably poignant at times as Thongs faces his stroke-ridden father (Shaw Brothers veteran Ku Feng) and army of poverty stricken siblings, Octopus admits he’s a no-good husband to long-suffering Yan and Landlord struggles to console his bereaved wife. Making a return to the big screen legendary comedian Michael Hui musters a great deal of sympathy for his downtrodden ne’er do well.

On top of Hui, there is the added pleasure of seeing Yuen Biao kicking butt alongside Jackie after more than twenty years. Still one heck of a martial artist, he convincingly lays waste to armies of triads, though the standout scene remains a series of farcical confrontations at Thongs’ apartment between loan sharks, kidnappers and weepy Yen while Mok remains clueless almost throughout. There are cameos from Hong Kong stars including Daniel Wu (as a gay security guard in a gag reference to Brokeback Mountain (2006)), but Gao Yuan-Yuan adds little as Jackie’s mainland love interest and the film grievously wastes Charlene Choi and her sprightly comic skills in a nothing role.

Serving in his usual, multiple capacities as producer, co-screenwriter and action director, Jackie Chan shows no sign of slowing down. As he approaches sixty, it remains astonishing to watch him leap off an apartment block, fight on a trampoline or narrowly sidestep a massive car crash with baby in tow. Despite a handful of lapses, the action builds to a cracking finale with the baby trapped in a cryogenic freezer while Thongs battles a pair of lethal triad fighters and Landlord struggles to crack open the high-tech door. The scene where Jackie runs electric volts through his own body and tries to revive the comatose child is so startling even the villains are in tears.

Available on region 2 DVD under the title Robin-B-Hood. I stuck with the original Chinese title because I'm hopelessly pedantic.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1592 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
Paul Shrimpton
  Rachel Franke
Jason Cook
Darren Jones
Keith Rockmael
   

 

Last Updated: