REVIEW: Mr. Nice Guy (1997)

mrniceguy

Hong-kong-icon

1997, New Line Cinema/Golden Harvest

Director:
Sammo Hung
Producer:
Chua Lam
Writers:
Edward Tang
Fibe Ma
Cinematography:
Raymond Lam
Joe Chan
Editing:
Yau Chi-Wai
Peter Cheung

Cast:
Jackie Chan (Jackie)
Richard Norton (Giancarlo)
Miki Lee (Miki)
Karen McLymont (Lakeisha)
Gabrielle Fitzpatrick (Diana)
Vince Poletto (Romeo)
Barry Otto (Baggio)
Sammo Hung (Cyclist)
Joyce Godenzi (Audience Member)
Peter Houghton (Richard)
Peter Lindsey (Gronk)
David No (Victor)
Rachel Blakely (Sandy)
Judy Green (Tina)

Jackie Chan stars in this action comedy that may have a bit of a lackluster finale like when compared to most of his films, but clearly has some fun filled fight sequences.

In Australia, Jackie and Baggio are two well-known chefs who appear on both television and do cooking demonstrations at local events. One day, while out shopping, Jackie runs into Diana, a local TV reporter who is evading a group of gangsters. She has a videotape of evidence of a deal gone bad between the gangsters and the local Demons gang. This all comes from a fallout when Tina, one of the Demons, is revealed to have been infiltrating gangster boss Giancarlo and has been killed for her treachery. Jackie protects Diana while defending himself and thanks him for his efforts.

However, upon separating, Diana accidentally takes the wrong video, meaning that Jackie has the tape she needs to take down Giancarlo. When this is discovered, Jackie now has a target on his back. Things become more complicated when Jackie’s girlfriend Miki arrives from Hong Kong. When a case of mistaken identity causes Miki to be kidnapped, Jackie now must do what it takes to make sure Miki is safe and find a way to stop both Giancarlo and the Demons.

After the success of Rumble in the Bronx, it seems like Jackie Chan decided to take a bit of a different route with his next few films, both First Strike and this film in terms of a finale. Rather than doing a final fight sequence, he resorts to using vehicles to stop the main villains of his pieces. However, with this film, that doesn’t take away that Jackie Chan can still provide some fun fights along the way and it is clear that under the direction of “big brother” Sammo Hung, the film does deliver when it comes to the fight sequences.

Another notion in the film is that seeing Chan with three female friends may seem like a re-tread of Operation Condor, but this is clearly not the case. This time around, the trio of Miki Lee, Karen McLymont, and Gabrielle Fitzpatrick all resort to evading and don’t fight back, but more attempt to want to fight each other over miscommunication. Meanwhile, we get to see Chan take on the likes of old friend Richard Norton as Giancarlo, who is his one and only fight scene with Chan provides a bit of comic relief. Chan also takes on the likes of Aussie Choy Li Fut expert Gary Shambrooke, who one can see him as Matt Dillon if he were to have played Cable with his spiked up white hair as well as former JC Stunt Team member Brad Allan and current JC Stunt Team member Paul Andreovski as two of Giancarlo’s men.

Then comes the finale. Where Rumble in the Bronx used a hovercraft and First Strike had Chan go into a car to go off a ramp and crash into the boat where the villain was located, how does Chan plan to top these two? Let’s just say he has a big enough vehicle to unleash close to the amount of road fury in the famous “shantytown chase” in his 1985 Police Story. While some fans will see this as a bit lackluster only because they expect a fight to end the film, this proves to be actually quite maddening in a good way.

Mr. Nice Guy is a pretty fun film in the Jackie Chan library. While it may not a fight-filled finale, the action proves enough to showcase Chan’s talents and has a bit of comic relief to it as well, including a funny cameo from both director Hung and Chan’s friend, singer Emil Chau, as an ice cream man.

WFG RATING: B

DVD

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