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Robin -B- Hood DVD Review - -

Feature 8.5
Video 8.0
Audio 7.5
Special Features 9.0
Total 8.0
Distributor: Roadshow
Classification: PG
Peter Parmac


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 thoroughly entertained.


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