Mr Nice Guy review

The near-suicidal, often multiple injury-inducing, stunt-driven antics of Hong Kong action emperor Jackie Chan are hardly unfamiliar to Western audiences. Even those who aren't die-hard fans of his voluminous Hong Kong out-put can still have caught him in the re-dubbed, more US-friendly Rumble In The Bronx and First Strike. Or even in his `mildly amusing' Cannonball Run role as the Japanese hi-tech supercar driver.

But, obviously feeling the need to cash-in on his growing popularity in the West, Chan has shot his latest HK high-kicker almost entirely in English and stuffed it full of Caucasian faces.

Despite this rather unnecessary gesture, Mr Nice Guy barely pokes its nose outside the standard Chan action-comedy stable, offering little that is new or exciting. Okay, so the stunts are still impressive. Gasp! As Jackie is nearly crushed under the wheels of a giant mining truck! See! Jackie leap from a bridge, catch onto a half-constructed crane and swing down into the path of his escaping enemies! Gawp! As Jackie almost has his testicles bisected by a buzzsaw! Watch as another insurance company puts Jackie on its blacklist...

But for every great stunt or fight sequence, there's 10 minutes of ludicrous plotting, painfully stretched humour and awful dialogue (which mainly consists of Taiwanese starlet Miki Lee screeching ""Jackie help!""). Not to mention the sub-Aussie soap acting and embarrassing '80s-reject baddies.

Both Chan and director Hung (Meals On Wheels, Project A) are merely going through the motions. They may be having fun doing it, and it's all harmless enough, but Mr Nice Guy is hardly worth trekking to the multiplex for. The bottom shelf of Blockbuster warmly beckons...

A cheap, cheerful and occasionally enjoyable effort, marred by low production values and a lame plot. There's only 25 minutes of genuine entertainment here: the rest is only salvageable if approached with a 'so bad it's good' attitude.

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