Little Big Soldier, Jackie Chan’s latest production, is as enjoyable as the classic sweet & sour pork. It's fresh and crispy, no quick/ready sauce used, and done just right… rather enjoyable like Jackie Chan’s earlier productions.
I thought Jackie Chan was dead to me… really. I used to have high respect to this guy, he does all his own stunts and he can move. But ever since he started to receive Hollywood checks he just turned into a stinker stamp. Really. I guess I don't need to put a list here. And the recent ‘Spy Next Door’ really pushed the bar a notch or three lower. I virtually passed out while watching! Then there is Karate Kid.
I don't think Jackie Chan is the one to blame though. Hollywood has extremely shallow understanding of Jackie Chan’s capacity, and the result is the mind numbing/stereotyping of this Jackie cookie. Nearly all his Hollywood production these days are low budget and his personality is always the same, sweet sweet chinglish speaking guy, and the movies are all PG-13 as well, made for Disney’s taste.
Jackie Chan, however, was more than that.
We all remember how we started to love this guy, in Project A, in Police Story, in Drunken Master. That was Jackie’s original style, genuine emotions, funny personality, cool kicks and flips and movies made with a purpose. Well, all movies are made with purposes, but movies made with only quick cash in mind doesn't count. Overall, Jackie’s Chinese productions are way better than his Hollywood counterparts. It's like that sweet & sour pork, that should be made by Chinese. All your western home heros beware, even most of the western restaurants, they just simply got it wrong.
Little Big Soldier is a movie telling a story near 3,000 years ago, when China was divided into bunch of smaller countries and they warfare each other for exercise. Jackie Chan presented as a small random soldier who doesn’t have fighting superpower, just want to escape the battle and live his normal farming life. He captures the enemy’s general somehow, and tries to bring his score back for reward.
The movie is shot in back-set landscape, as the time was set before paper was invented. The color saturation of the film was beautifully tuned down to reflect the simplicity of the time. Music was effective as well. But the part shining the most, is still Jackie. His moves and kicks are largely to achieve the comic effect, which was his unique signature and still just plain funny. Jackie looks very comfortable in his role, so for a while his strange English accent was forgotten. There is a girl part in the movie which is really just wrong to me, but I guess it's for wider audience interest concern, so I will let it slide. It really gave me the goose bumps though.
This piece of sweet & sour fair has been due for a long time and I'm just glad that it is finally here. Seriously, Hollywood, you should leave the Chinese dish to Chinese. Your mimicking of the Jackie Chan has been proven just waste of material, so please stop trying. To Jackie, we're glad that you still remember why we loved you in the first place.
Honorable mention: Jackie is pushing his 100th movie. The one taking the trophy is ‘Chinese Zodiac’ which is also a Chinese production.