Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mr. Nice Guy

Yat goh hiu yan; Action comedy, China/Australia/USA, 1997; D: Sammo Hung, S: Jackie Chan, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Miki Lee, Richard Norton

Reporter Diana got a hold of an incriminating tape that could put drug dealer Giancarlo behind bars, so his associates chase after her. Luckily, she is saved by Jackie, a TV cook, who also has a talent in martial arts. But they accidentally swap their tapes - now, Diana has Jackie's receipts while he has her evidence. Diana manages to escape, but the mobsters kidnap Miki, Jackie's friend from Hong Kong, and want to swap her for the tape. A first attempt fails, but Jackie helps the police arrest some mobsters. Then he goes to the mansion of Giancarlo, but gets caught. In the end, Jackie escapes and destroys the mansion with a giant mining vehicle.

It tells a lot about Jackie Chan when it can be said that this hyper-dynamic and super-fast action comedy is actually one of his lesser achievements from his first phase of his career. The star of many Asian martial art adventures filmed already so many incredible stunts that he is smart enough to even enrich such weak stories as this one with enough excellent fight scenes. "Mr. Nice Guy" displays its virtues the most in many comical moments that don't take the standard 'good vs. bad' story too serious, like when a car stops just in time in front of an accident, but then a second vehicle hits it behind and pushes it into a crash or when the hero is running away from the bad guys in a room full of doors. As already stated, the plot with a TV cook fighting mobsters is again miserable, but the one-dimensional, cartoonish bad guys are even worse - as such, they are forgettable since Chan plains all the attention - among others, in the hilarious finale where a giant mining vehicle destroys the bad guys mansion!


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