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_p (2006)

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/19/2008

Jackie Chan has returned from the mind-boggling Hollywood achievements of first time director Kevin Donovan's The Tuxedo [2002] and comedy genius Frank Coraci's remake of Around the World in 80 Days [2004] to reclaim his spot as the king of Hong Kong movies. Reuniting with his handpicked director Benny Chan Muk-Sing and longtime action directing associate Nicky Li Chung-Chi, Chan casts himself alongside Louis Koo Tin-Lok and Michael Hui Koon-Man to create a 21st century Hong Kong version of a 3 Stooges crime caper. Producers populate the screenplay with a supporting cast of every excellent actor currently working in Hong Kong. The US DVD release is well worth your time.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 02/13/2008

Jackie Chan's age may become more evident on screen with each passing film but thankfully the auteur proves (at least on native soil) he still has a few tricks left up his sleeve. Even if Chan's creative well for eschewing nominal stunt choreography has drawn noticeably thinner in the last decade "Rob-B-Hood" is an otherwise pleasing comedy with a dash of melodrama. Unfortunately, the whole charade grows tiresome when the film overstays its welcome by no less than 30 minutes. American audiences who were appalled by "The Addams Family Values" (1993) for featuring an infant who appeared to be put in harm's way for the sake of entertainment should steer clear of "Rob-B-Hood" (re-titled "Robin-B-Hood" for the North American market).

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Masterofoneinchpunch
Date: 01/22/2008
Summary: Never act with babies or Kung Fu Masters

I did not enjoy the previous effort of a Benny Chan directed Jackie Chan film in “New Police Story” that I was definitely worried about a “Three Men and a Baby” inspired effort. The result was mixed, but going in with low expectations I was pleasantly surprised. “Rob-B-Hood” (US release name is a bizarre name change to “Robin-B-Hood” though in this movie there is no stealing from the rich to give to the poor; neither title is very good) is the third film in the collaboration between Benny Chan and Jackie Chan and Benny’s first attempt at a comedic action film. While this film was successful in Asia it was not theatrically released in North America and most of Europe.

Jackie Chan and Louis Koo Tin-Lok star as mediocre bad guys Thongs and Octopus. Jackie Chan tired of stereotypical nice guy roles wanted to play a criminal, though his character Thongs is a burglar and compulsive gambler, the “good guy” nature of his character comes through quite clearly and his performance does not veer far from most of Jackie’s previous personae. This role is a good step in broadening his experience as an actor. Octopus is a married womanizer who works with Thongs. He married very young to Pak Yin (the terminally cute Charlene Choi) and is doing his best to woo wealthy young women while avoiding his wife. Thongs and Octopus both work under the guidance of the Landlord (Michael Hui) a conservative criminal who hoards his theft while the other two spend their “earnings”.

The Landlord has had his loot stolen by another criminal (he suspects everyone after this) so he allows himself to get contracted to a nefarious case to kidnap a baby for seven million dollars and give the infant to the possible grandfather to test if the baby is his sons (the son is dead and currently frozen in a very expensive decorated freezer). Thongs and Octopus both need the money so they acquiesce and help the Landlord with the felony. Of course, Thongs and Octopus, through a partially botched kidnapping attempt, are forced to take care of the cute defecating infant until they can reestablish getting the kid to who hired them. And, of course, they get attached to the baby (I cannot believe the baby got nominated for Hong Kong Film Award’s Best New Performer category).

Some of the negatives of this film include the ill-defined female characters (it seems they would have been better characterization in the original three-hour workprint, but that meant a whole lot more exposition); especially Gao Yuan-Yuan’s Melody character who I had trouble figuring out what her relationship with Thongs was the first time I watched this. Some of the baby poop jokes were overdone as well as some of the infant’s scenes in general (reportedly the child was an enfant terrible on the set; delaying shooting and helping push the film over budget). There is only so much you can do with a babbling, spitting, crying child with flatulence. Yuen Biao’s Inspector Steve Mok character is definitely underused (as well as Michael Hui), though at least he gets more than a cameo in this film. And then there is the horrible overuse of Pepsi advertising including one scene where Jackie slides down a pole revealing the largest Pepsi graffiti I have ever seen.

I did end up liking this film though. There is a certain congenial innocence with the lead characters that works well in this comedic action hybrid. In most Jackie Chan movies there are little stunts that sometimes seem as throwaways but are quite dangerous and are done with Keatonesque ease. In this movie Jackie slides down a staircase column and props himself up with ease at the end. If he fell on the wrong side he could have been seriously injured, but since it is so effortlessly it seems so simple. Jackie Chan has used more wires in his stunts and it definitely shows in this film, but I do not fault him for it, since his body cannot handle the punishment like it used to. The stunt where he jumps from air conditioner to air conditioner to the bottom of the street is impressive (even if a wire was used) and his and Louis Koo’s stunts in the amusement park owned by the grandfather (location was Ocean Park) were quite good. In fact Jackie was said to be impressed of Koo who was willing to do many of his own stunts in the movie.

There could have been more fighting in this movie but there is a good scene in the apartment of Jackie between Jackie, Yuen Biao, Ken Lo and more. It is inspired by a similar scene in Project A (this is also mentioned in the Benny Chan commentary), but still pleasant. While there are many faults in this film and I think that many action purists will not like this film, I found much that was enjoyable from the comedy to the action and stunts. Now please Jackie no more movies with babies.

The extras on the Dragon Dynasty DVD are quite good though they have stupendously stupid names. The best is a 39 minute interview with Jackie Chan named “Crashing the Hood.” In this he talks about how he wanted to be more serious as an actor and how he wanted to play more of a bad guy (this would be repeated on most of the extras) and how he had trouble passing the script through China. He talks about how he wants to work with more of his Peking school brothers (Sammo Hung and Yuen Wah) and some of his experiences with Michael Hui on “Cannonball Run.” He even talks about his changing belief in CGI, how he channeled his Mom’s stroke into this character and his non-use of storyboarding. He does make a mistake stating that this is his first main bad guy role (that would be “Killer Meteors” (1977) plus he did a couple of “thug” roles even earlier in his career). The most telling quote is when he states “I control the whole movie” dispelling any notion of the director as auteur for this film especially since this movie is produced by Jackie’s company JCE Movies Limited.

“The Hand That Mocks The Cradle” is a 16 minute interview with Benny Chan that repeats much of what is in the commentary except that he does state that Jackie Chan micromanages much less now then he did when he first directed him in “Who Am I.” “Baby Boomer: A featurette with costar Conroy Chan” (14m) is interesting because of so much of what Conroy actually does. He is an X-Games promoter, was an electrical engineer in college, is a rap group member and has an Australian accent. However, he has a small role in the film. “Playtime for Adults: On the Site of Robin B. Hood” (22m) and “Robin-B-Hood: An Original Making Of” (22m) are typical “making of” fare that were originally (along with the director’s commentary) put out on the R3 release. Luckily those two features have scenes of Yuen Biao being interviewed.

Now where are the deleted scenes?

The audio commentary by Benny Chan (with two interviewers who do not state their names), which was ported over from the R3 disc, is informative if not a bit dry. The Dragon Dynasty cover has a mistake in advertising stating that Bey Logan is on the commentary. He is not -- to the condemnation of some and to the happiness of others. Benny Chan talks much about how many scenes were cut (the work print of the film was three hours long; though he states he prefers the shorter version; thank goodness) and that most of the cut scenes were non-action. He also talks about some of the influence of Project A and Winners and Sinners. It was the first comedy for Benny Chan and Benny talked about how the baby was very difficult – this was echoed in much of the extras. Most of the commentary was scene-by-scene discussing where the missing scenes were, who some of the cameo actors are and his personal feelings on several scenes such as his struggling with the rationale of the “shocking” scene toward the end.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: leepifer
Date: 08/23/2007
Summary: The true star is the Baby !

Jackie's back in the comedy, blended of action.
That's why the movie was successful! Jackie Chan still tries to extend his role and this time he is a gambler/robber.He plays quite well, trying to mix some fun and a little melodramatic family affairs.Beside him, Louis Koo is a very good selfish lady killer and Sam Hui is still in the mood to play both funny and drama role!
The trio has adoptation aventures with a so cute baby that they have to protect him against all kind of danger who give some excellent Chan' action trough the scenes.And it is always good to see Biao and Chan on screen, even if he is underused.
Overall, the film got the advantage that you can watch it with your children and your Grandparents.Yes it's a family movie to have a good time with a light-hearted baby'story and Jackie does it well, showing the most kind part of his personality.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: steve_cole1
Date: 01/14/2007
Summary: Great but why so long !!!!!

I decided for some reason to watch the uncut version and what i hate about jackie films is there is too many fast forward moments . Most jackie films are 1and half to 1 hour 45 mins which is perfect . There was 15 minutes of magic in it which included jackie and yuen biao back together which was great to see why wasnt he more in the film i dont know. The cameos in the film were stupid but funny like Daniel Wu

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 01/11/2007
Summary: better than expected

I saw this in mandarin, and i always like to watched a movie with the original language, perhaps this may of effected my score for this movie

The good, Yuen biao has seemingly disappeared for a while now, its good to see him in this minor role which suits him. There is a little of everything in this movie, some drama and a message about gambling and taking people for granted, some laughs, some cuteiness, some action and some jackie chan stunts which still amaze!!

The Bad: with all this mix, there isnt much character development apart from Jackie's character. Charlene Choi Cheuk-Yin only cries in this movie and does nothing else. Terence Yin Chi-Wai was over the top in his minor role, or was it suppose to be like that? Louis Koo clearly shows he isnt much of a fighter. Michael Hui was almost part of the background. Ken Lo unfortunately is a weak bad guy in this movie, he deserves a lot better.Also was this a opportunity for JAckie to sing a song or two

I did like this movie more than i should, i think because the few movies he's done lately have just been bad.Worth a watch!! I feel generous giving this movie:

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 12/30/2006

Rob-B-Hood stars Jackie Chan, Louis Koo and Michael Hui as a trio of theives who have pulled off many successful heists. However, Jackie gambles away his share of the money, while Louis fritters his cash on his mistress. Michael actually stows away his money in a safe, but after he is robbed, he enlists the other two for one last big job, the kidnapping of a Triad boss' baby. During the getaway, things go awry, and Jackie and Louis must take care of the baby for a week until payment can be arranged.

The above plot doesn't really sound like a typical Jackie Chan movie, and Rob-B-Hood is definitely not that. It takes over an hour for the film's first real action sequence to appear, and the stuff presented here has obviously been tweaked with wires and CGI. Don't get me wrong -- the action in Rob-B-Hood isn't bad, but it pretty far removed from the scenes Jackie produced during the 1980's. Instead, the movie concentrates more on comedy, rather than action.

Jackie is well-known for his comedic skills, so he handles these parts well -- but things would have been funnier if the jokes weren't so obvious. Rob-B-Hood subscribes to the notion that all men are incapable of even feeding a baby, and so we're treated to the same kinds of jokes that have been around since Ricky and Fred tried to change Little Ricky's diaper back in the 1950's. The dramatic scenes are handled a bit better, especially those Jackie has with his father (Ku Feng), but they verge into over-acting and melodramatics at times, which tends to take away from their impact. Despite this, one can see that Jackie is truly trying to become a better actor, since that seems to be the main weapon in his filmic aresenal nowadays.

Despite having one of the worst titles ever, Rob-B-Hood is actually a pretty good action/comedy picture. Its' main problem is that it stars Jackie Chan and this is about as far removed from "a Jackie Chan film" as he's ever produced, so many people have discounted the movie from that fact alone. But those more adventurous viewers who are willing to take a chance on something different from Jackie will probably find themselves pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's not the next Drunken Master or Police Story, but as Jackie is in his fifties now, can we really expect those types of films from him now? He seems to be settling into movies where the story, not the action, is the main focus -- and if his projects continue to have the quality of Rob-B-Hood, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

[review from]

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 12/27/2006

Thongs (Jackie Chan) and Octopus (Louis Koo) are burglars and safe crackers under the leadership of The Landlord (Michael Hui). The three come into the care of a small baby when The Landlord takes a big job from a high paying gangster.

This film was retitled ROB-B-HOOD for the western market, and you have to wonder why they bothered – it’s a terrible title that fails to clarify the pun that straddles English and Cantonese and fails to make sense in either. It’s best to just forget the title altogether.

Approaching ROB-B-HOOD in the same spirit of all the other recent (i.e. within the last decade) films of Jackie Chan, I expected to enjoy it more second time around. However, I have to admit the opposite is probably true. I don’t like young children in movies at the best of times, and babies even more so. And cute babies are the worst – there’s a tacit implication that only cute babies have any worth, and that if this young spud was an ugly little git, no one would care when he nearly bites the bullet in the final reel. To say that isn’t really giving anything away – you always know there’s going to be grave peril and that the little blighter is going to pull through in the end.

Certain other things pissed me off about ROB-B-HOOD. The whole “two gay dads” routine brought back bad memories of Sammo Hung at his most abrasive and ignorant – is it really funny that two men should be in charge of a baby? On a similar note, I still don’t know what all the stuff with the gay security van drivers is all about – I assume it’s a reference to some other work but it goes right over my head.

Thankfully, there are good moments. Louis Koo is solid, Michael Hui is pretty darn funny (although it’s a shame Sammo Hung didn’t take part) and Yuen Biao has a great action scene. It’s a crying shame he doesn’t have more screen time, as the scene where he and Chan get in a rumble in Jackie’s appartment is a definite highlight. Chan himself shares screen time with his co-stars more than usual, and is best when in full action mode, despite a decent acting scene with his father (veteran Ku Feng). The action scenes are...well...let’s just say they could be a lot worse. Jackie is wired up an awful lot - even when you don’t think he needs to be – but some of the stunts look pretty impressive.

It’s that damn baby I can’t get past though. Speaking as someone who detested that bit in OPERATION CONDOR when the baby in the pram went into the traffic and Jackie heroically saved it, I did not relish the same idea stretched over a feature length movie, which is essentially what we have here. And this is no ninety-minute quickie – ROB-B-HOOD lasts nearly two-hours-and-fifteen minutes long in its extended cut. This seems longer than necessary even for the most devoted Jackie Chan fan.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 12/13/2006
Summary: three crooks and a baby...

after jackie's return to hong kong, i haven't been particularly impressed with his output. indeed, i'd say that i've preferred his hollywood offerings over them. 'new police story', apart from a couple of interesting fight sequences, was melodramatic, humourless, over-blown fluff. 'the myth', had potential but was ruined by it's faliure to reach it; the good points, were far out-weighed by the bad. needless to say, i didn't have very high expectations for this film, despite the early promise, that it would reunite jackie, yuen biao and sammo...

well, that early promise never materialised, but i did enjoy this film.

thongs (jackie chan) and octopus (louis koo) are two crooks. their work ranges from complex safe cracking to opportunist smash'n'grabs; whilst octopus blows his ill-gotten gains on courting women, thongs gambles his away. on the other side of the coin, the pair's boss landlord (michael hui) saves all his earnings. as thongs' gambling debts increase, octopus' marriage crumbles and his courting is fruitless, landlord is burgled. our little trio are now in trouble but, when landlord is given the opportunity to make a huge amount of money, the three jump at the chance with no questions asked. the thing is, the job is kidnapping a baby; the grandson of a triad boss. things don't quite go according to plan, which leaves thongs and octopus baby-sitting, instead of counting their loot...

now, i'll start by saying that there are some events, concerning the baby, which seem to divide viewers. some people seem to almost believe that a real baby is being thrown around and put in all kinds of danger; these people need to sit down and tell themselves that it's a film, the baby is not in danger, if it appears to be in danger, it is a cgi baby or a fake. personally, no matter how silly the baby bit got, i just kinda went with it...

for me, to see jackie looking comfortable in a role, that's not your standard atypical jackie role, clearly enjoying the humour and drama of his character was great. okay, so he dipped his toes in the water of over-acting towards the end, but i'm more than able to forgive it. louis koo also suprised me. having seen the publicity materials knocking around for the past few months, i'd developed a dislike of his plastic-looking head. louis, i'm sorry. having michael hui back on screen was also a good thing and, together with jackie and louis, the trio work well together, in terms of comedy, drama and action.

now, unfortunately, the rumoured screen reunion of the three brothers didn't happen, but yuen biao has a supporting role as an old friend of jackie's, who is a cop. to see the pair of them bickering, whilst fighting off a bunch of hoods, was great. it wasn't on par with their prior work, but their years have advanced considerably, so that was never going to be the case. still, it made me very happy.

as for the other action, well it's not thick and fast, but there's several very entertaining sequences. now, there's nothing too adventurous and very restrained use of cgi but, after recent efforts, i'd say that this is a good thing; what's there is clever, well executed and, most of all, fun to watch.

so, it's not a dramatic return to bone crunching stunt work and frenetic fight sequences, it's a pretty solid comedic drama, with some good fun action and some silliness involving a baby. if you can cope with the baby stuff, then it's an enjoyable watch.

more like this please jackie...

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 12/12/2006
Summary: 7/10 - decent enough action-comedy

Jackie Chan, Louis Koo and Michael Hui are thieves who end up with a baby to take care of. None of them are exactly the responsible family types, but if a cute baby can't turn these bad boys around then what can?

Originally the gossip had Project BB (as it was called) down as the long dreamt-of reunion film for the Three Brothers of HK cinema (Jackie, Sammo and Biao), but I guess that didn't happen - although Yuen Biao has a role (more like an extended cameo), Sammo is nowhere to be found. A shame.

However, whilst the film disappoints in that respect, it exceeds expectations in other ways - namely, I thought it sounded like a cheesy remake of Three Men & A Baby, and whilst it broadly is just that, it's a pretty well crafted and entertaining film. It's not as action-packed as the trailer implied, and there are quite a few scenes in the 135 minute 'extended version' that should have been left on the editing room floor (haven't seen the shorter 'theatrical version' yet, so I don't know which of those actually were). But, there's some good stuff in there - some funny stuff, some decent enough action, even some drama that works. I'd rate the film as more successful than New Police Story, but not as good as The Myth. Make of that what you will.


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 11/26/2006
Summary: rob-ME-please!

The “taikor” (big brother) in the Hong Kong movie industry is back! With a totally different genre of movie from his previous movie, Jackie Chan teamed up with “all girls want a piece of” Louis Koo, the long time disappeared Michael Hui and yes, a cute little baby!

Seriously, movies these days comes with a pretty self-explained title. Which from the there, we all can practically guessed 50% of the outcome correctly. If there isn’t much twist, it would go up to 70%.

Ya ya.. Goo goo ga ga… Let’s just jump in to the story. Okay, this movie starts of with a quite long opening. The opening of the movie basically is a character building scene. Which features the dynamic thief trio that includes, Slipper (Jackie Chan), Octopus (Louis Koo) and Landlord (Michael Hui). They were rumoured to be the best at what they do.

They grab hold of every opportunity to steal anything valuable. From money to jewelry to antiques even shark’s fin! Yes, they seems to have it all. But Slipper and Octopus are big spenders. Slipper likes to gamble and he gambles big! Octopus on the other hand likes buying expensive car, fine dining and obviously courting girls. He spent like 70% of his money on girls. Landlord on the other hand saves his money because he is getting blind soon, thus he saves all the money up for his future us.

One day, while robbing a hospital safe, while they are trying to run away, they bump in to another big scene. Where millionaire daughter, Man Yee (Cherrie Yin) just gave birth to a baby boy. Her husband, Calvin (Andrew Lin) was very happy. However, Man Yee’s ex flame, Max (Terence Yin) came and grab the baby and tries to kidnap both mother and the baby. Being surrounded at the escalator and some pushing here and there, Max fell and died while Octopus and Slipper manage to save the baby.

Things seems just fine. Octopus continue to court girls while his wife, Bak Yin (Charlene Choi) keeps popping up out of no where to create some cute scenarios. Slipper continues to gamble which makes his family hate him more when the loan sharks kept going there and disturb them. The Landlord was most upset when his house was robbed and all the money he saved up was gone in a day.

Being broke to the max, the three of them decided to take up a big job. Octopus and Slipper was totally excited when heard the amount of money they are going to get after the job and never asked what are they actually targetting. Yes, they never actually knew that would end up turning them from a thief to nanny.

Yes, they kidnapped a baby. They were supposed to send it to the other party but things goes terribly wrong and they would have to take care of it while wait for the landlord to comes out from the jail.

Obviously lots of fun, milk, diaper, pee, singing and emotions. The other party finally send people out to get the baby back. As Octopus and Slipper spent so many days with the baby, their bonds grew. When they saw the baby was in trouble, they couldn’t care less about the money and instantly save the baby.

Well, overall.. it is a more comedy than action. Yes, I assume Jackie is sorta old for actions that he used to do. But it was entertaining. Yeah, I always think anything with Charlene Choi in it is for sure entertaining as she never fails to deliver her cuteness to the audience.

It’s worth the watch since it is a 2 and 1/2 hours movie (with lots of the scenes beind censored). Wonder how long the original one is gonna be?

Reviewer Score: 7