Rob-B-Hood — movie review
Posted on December 6, 2006 by Chris Nelson
As much as I hate “it’s like film x meets film y” type proclamations, I feel compelled to do it with Rob-B-Hood. I mean, the film’s premise is so simple that such superficial comparisons prove quite apt. Rob-B-Hood sees Jackie Chan and Yuen Bio as thieves tasked with kidnapping an upper-crust society baby for a cool $7 million payday. You see, there’s a bit of doubt regarding the baby’s paternity, and one of its possible grandfathers, a rather scary mob boss, wants to confirm his dead son’s assertion of having fathered the child. While awaiting the big trade off, Jackie and Yuen are forced to take care of the baby, protect it from thugs, and basically keep the little sucker from a premature expiration. And yes, here it is: Rob B Hood is like Three Men and a Cradle meets Burglar and Mr. Nice Guy. An odd combination by any standard, but one that actually had us laughing to the point of missing entire chunks of dialog.
When approaching a Jackie Chan film, one would probably say the main draw is the stunts. While Rob-B-Hood’s fight scenes are merely par for the course affairs (due in no small part to Jackie Chan’s slowing with age), the real gasp inducers in this film are the sequences involving Chan saving the baby from peril. There are scenes of falling baby, flying baby, stolen baby, and one of the most dangerous stunts I’ve ever seen Jackie pull (and I’ve been a devout Chan fan going on 12 years): Jackie Chan, with baby in hand, narrowly dancing out of the way of a multi car pileup. Honestly, this one is just plain crazy.
When the film shifts away from the stunts, the audience is treated to an assortment of gross out, shock, and politically incorrect humor. There’s quite a bit of slapstick involving dirty baby diapers, more baby peril involving washing machines and pillows, and, for some reason a whole bunch of gay jokes, from the brief “Back Back Mountain” quip, to Biao’s full on transition from lady’s man to ultra flaming gay man, as he becomes more and more attached to the baby. It’s all quite manic and nonsensical, but again, quite fun.
Rounding out the package are bit parts and cameos by current HK mainstays, Charlene Choi, Nicholas Tse, and Daniel Wu. These parts are brief, but should serve as a draw for the youth obsessed teenies (“Before 21, Before Too Old”, anyone?).
All in all, Rob-B-Hood is another step in the right direction for Jackie Chan after his dreadful, but thankfully brief Hollywood sojourn. When compared to his last three films, I’d say Rob-B-Hood is pretty decent; far better than Myth, but not quite as good as New Police Story. Rob-B-Hood is a fun film, and a respectable addition to Chan’s resume.
Some bonus screenshots:
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