Wednesday, July 14, 2010

little big soldier

how marvellous to be alive...


it is a time of war in china; the various kingdoms are clashing in battles and have been for a very long time. after one such battle, between the troops of liang and wei, a liang soldier (jackie chan) starts snooping round the battlefield, having played dead whilst both sides slaughtered each other. to his surprise he finds the wei general (wang lee-hom) alive and, after binding him and throwing him on a cart, sets out to take him back to liang, where he can gain the reward of land, money and exclusion from the armed forces. this isn't going to be an easy journey, though...

now, after a couple of recent jackie offerings, i'd been left feeling a touch nonplussed. however, after enjoying a solid performance in the 'the karate kid' (the only good thing about the film), i was feeling very positive about jackie and, instead of hoping for something that wasn't rubbish, i was looking forward to 'little big soldier'. strangely, i was not let down...

imagine 'midnight run', but with jackie chan instead of robert de niro and wang lee-hom instead of charles grodin, replace john 'marvin' ashton with stephen yoo and ken lo (prince wen and his bodyguard, yong), then transplant the story back to china, 250bc. there you go; 'little big soldier'! well, not quite but pretty much; it's the same kind of road movie featuring two characters from the opposite sides of a coin who just may have been friends if they met under different circumstances...

if it sounds like i'm being critical, i'm not. and, i reckon i enjoyed this, more than i would've enjoyed 'midnight run', if i sat down and watched it again: i remember being decidedly underwhelmed when i last sat through it...

any way, i really enjoyed this. jackie and lee-hom have a good rapport and work very well together: i was very happy watching them bicker as they travelled together. the pacing of the movie is pretty good, there is drama and plenty of humour, china is made to look very pretty and there's even some nice moments of action thrown in for good measure; mainly hand to hand stuff, all very much embracing jackie's tumbling and gymnastic stylings. i reckon that it won't be too long before this ends up in my dvd player again.

very enjoyable...

the dvd is hk$39 from buyoyo.com

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