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大兵小將 (2010)
Little Big Soldier

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 04/15/2013
Summary: jackie keeps it going

This is an excellent Jackie Chan action comedy that is a totally Jackie Chan movie from the first frame to the last. That old "geezer" still has it going on better than ever.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/10/2010

A minor soldier (Jackie Chan) captures an injured general of the opposing forces after a huge battle which leaves few breathing, and determines to take him back to his home territory to claim his reward. They are pursued by forces who would wish to stop them, and through facing adversity grow to respect each other.

The plot's nothing too original, and its message(s) are fairly trite, but it's well written and directed, and carries the viewer along. I assume nobody's expecting to make another stunt-packed action extravaganza anymore, so realistically all we can hope for is that he makes decent films that show his other talents - acting and comedy. LBS delivers on this more than most of his films from the past decade, and is a quality production all round. It doesn't feel like "A Jackie Chan Film", in that you can't imagine anybody else in the role, but he does fill the role well - as does Wang Leehom.

There is some action in the film, but Jackie's character is specifically not a skilled fighter, so he mostly plays it for laughs - when he's not involved the action can be quite brutal and dramatic though. It's not really an action film, the fights are just part of the story, and are done relatively realistically.

Well worth a look.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/14/2010
Summary: how marvellous to be alive...

it is a time of war in china; the various kingdoms are clashing in battles and have been for a very long time. after one such battle, between the troops of liang and wei, a liang soldier (jackie chan) starts snooping round the battlefield, having played dead whilst both sides slaughtered each other. to his surprise he finds the wei general (wang lee-hom) alive and, after binding him and throwing him on a cart, sets out to take him back to liang, where he can gain the reward of land, money and exclusion from the armed forces. this isn't going to be an easy journey, though...

now, after a couple of recent jackie offerings, i'd been left feeling a touch nonplussed. however, after enjoying a solid performance in the 'the karate kid' (the only good thing about the film), i was feeling very positive about jackie and, instead of hoping for something that wasn't rubbish, i was looking forward to 'little big soldier'. strangely, i was not let down...

imagine 'midnight run', but with jackie chan instead of robert de niro and wang lee-hom instead of charles grodin, replace john 'marvin' ashton with stephen yoo and ken lo (prince wen and his bodyguard, yong), then transplant the story back to china, 250bc. there you go; 'little big soldier'! well, not quite but pretty much; it's the same kind of road movie featuring two characters from the opposite sides of a coin who just may have been friends if they met under different circumstances...

if it sounds like i'm being critical, i'm not. and, i reckon i enjoyed this, more than i would've enjoyed 'midnight run', if i sat down and watched it again: i remember being decidedly underwhelmed when i last sat through it...

any way, i really enjoyed this. jackie and lee-hom have a good rapport and work very well together: i was very happy watching them bicker as they travelled together. the pacing of the movie is pretty good, there is drama and plenty of humour, china is made to look very pretty and there's even some nice moments of action thrown in for good measure; mainly hand to hand stuff, all very much embracing jackie's tumbling and gymnastic stylings. i reckon that it won't be too long before this ends up in my dvd player again.

very enjoyable...

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 07/07/2010
Summary: Ancient Chinese road movie

A lowly deserter in the Liang army (Jackie Chan) captures the general of the opposing Wei army (Leehom Wang) by playing dead and waiting to see what happened when the dust settled. Planning to trade in the general in return for a discharge from the army, the former farmer and his captive cross the country, facing common foes, bonding and separating along the way.

It’s pretty safe to say the typical brand of Jackie Chan film is completely dead and buried, and what we’re left with is often confusing to the older fans. However, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is by some distance a more immediate and satisfying film than he has produced for a good many years.

A glance at the plot synopsis will probably make it obvious that this is little more than a road movie set in ancient China. But actually, that is the movie’s greatest strength – the familiarity of theme lets the viewer just sit back and let things unfold in their own inevitable way. Yes, the pair are enemies to start with, but gain respect and understanding from each other along their travels. The simplicity of the plot I found refreshing after a glut of similarly-set period epics (mainly of which are excellent, I may add hastily).

LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is a sight better than the trailer I saw, which I must say pitched the film as a serious period epic (RED CLIFF, you have a lot to answer for!). In fact, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER has quite a large comic element, although it never threatens to overshadow the drama. The film works best when focussed on the two lead characters, and sometimes when the emphasis shifts on to the supporting cast, the interest dips a little.

I have to admit not being at all familiar with director Ding Sheng’s work, but he makes a good job on the movie, and the now-obligatory beautiful landscape shots look suitable impressive and breathtaking. His film is certainly an enjoyable little time-passer, and while it is doubtful if it will shake the movie world to its very foundations, it is well worth a spin.

Reviewer Score: 8