Robin -B- Hood
Jackie Chan is back as Thongs a cat burglar
with a knack of getting out of tight spots. Offered a chance at a big
payday he gets involved in a kidnapping scheme with his stalwart
partners in crime Octopus and Landlord. His hostage is a newborn baby
who comes with a lot of family baggage. Soon Thongs is fending of the
police, a loan shark and a squad of mob thugs all the while protecting
the infant and its 30 million dollar ransom.
Thongs is a gambling addicted ner’ do well who has a strained
relationship with his father who despises his criminal lifestyle. His
gang is made up of Octopus, a fellow burglar and pretty boy womanizer,
and Landlord the older brains and mentor to the other two. Life seems to
repeat itself, job after job with Thongs squandering his criminal
earnings on gambling of all sorts, Octopus on courting rich women with
expensive tastes and Landlord saving his ill gotten wealth by hording
his cash in a refrigerator. When Landlord ironically gets burgled of his
entire life’s savings it forces him to take a desperate caper to kidnap
a rich family’s baby and return it to the child’s grandpa. He cons the
other two into accepting the mission for a cool 7 million. Landlord gets
incarcerated for reckless driving for a week, leaving Thongs and Octopus
in charge of looking after their new baby hostage.
The two spend time feeding, changing diapers and finally bonding with
the baby. Unfortunately grandpa, a triad boss, is impatient and tells
his thugs to take the baby now at all costs. Thongs and Octopus survive
many attempts to snatch the baby including a police roadblock, a
high-rise baby dangling (Michael Jackson…sorry I just had to type that)
and a high speed car chase. Finally Landlord is released and can
negotiate the baby’s handover for a now increased reward of 30 million
dollars. Thongs and Octopus have second thoughts about the baby’s
welfare and decide to steal the baby back from grandpa which leads to a
great roller coaster sequence. Grandpa recaptures the baby and has it
DNA tested. We find out grandpa is quite deranged over his son’s death
and saw the baby as his one final reminder of his son’s memory.
When the DNA test turns out to be negative grandpa leaves the baby in a
refrigerated room which was preserving the corpse of his beloved son.
Thongs and Octopus find themselves locked in this cold room trying
valiantly to keep the baby and themselves from freezing to death.
Landlord manages to unlock the room and save the two but the baby is not
responding. This leads to the films greatest moment Thongs grabbing some
alligator clips and using himself and a car battery as a defibrillator.
The baby is rushed by ambulance to hospital. Flash forward and we see
our three petty criminals in prison getting mock executed (for a State
education display). They are then briefly reunited with baby Matthew by
the grateful real parents who disclose the infants name and who
forgivingly offer all three employment for saving Matthew’s life.
Part of the Dragon Dynasty range this is a great action comedy full of
memorable stunts and images. Jackie Chan choreographed and did many of
his own stunts. A great jumping sequence onto air conditioning units to
scale down a tall building, a last second grab to save baby Matthew from
a multi car collision and a hilarious wheelie on a quad bike stand out
(just watch the end credits to see some mishaps when shooting). Although
Jackie Chan plays a loser he still has great charisma and empathy as do
his partners. We sense although a petty criminal he still has a sense of
ethics and honour. The comedy is about right and the action is well
spaced to prevent any boredom. The fact that this is a Hong Kong
production and not Hollywood is beneficial. Who in Hollywood would let a
newborn baby take a tumble in a clothes washer, be dropped from a
escalator, a high-rise and a rollercoaster, be almost frozen to death in
a cold room tomb and be jacked up to a car battery. Great stuff and all
done in a comedic way.
Picture quality is very good shot in 16:9 with a running time of 121
minutes. Dolby Digital 5.1 is in Cantonese with English subtitles with
well defined sound. Extras are very generous being a two disc Ultimate
Edition including a Featurette with star Jackie Chan, and interview with
Director Benny Chan and co-star Conroy Chan, an on the set and original
making of Robin-B-Hood and finally a Trailer Gallery.
A great fun action-comedy from Jackie Chan full of great stunts, laughs
and memorable moments. With a PG rating it can be entertainment for the
whole family, just don’t try any of this at home kids. Great value for
money with a bonus second disc filled with extras I came away feeling