A charming family movie
Jean-Francois Virey | 59500 DOUAI France | 09/19/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"*Gorgeous* may well mark a turning point in Jackie Chan's career. Under the guidance of his mentor, the late Leonard Ho, Chan had been confining himself to playing cops and adventurers in action-packed martial arts movies. But after Ho's death, he felt somewhat freer to explore new horizons, and decided to take risks with this uncharacteristic romantic comedy.*Gorgeous* is the story of a naïve country-girl, Bu, interpreted by the brilliant and extraordinarily charming Shu Qi (the tomboy from Golden Harvest's video-gamish *Storm Riders*), who, after being lured to the city by a message in a bottle, falls in love with an aloof, self-made businessman, interpreted by Jackie Chan. The film also has a subplot involving Chan's rivalry with a less principled businessman, whose hired goons repeatedly attempt to beat Chan up.Seduced by the script written by Vincent Kok, Chan infused the lead male character with his own personality, down to his obsession with cleanliness, his fondness for white clothes, his martial arts prowess and his name. The production designer even copied Chan's real-life office and used Chan's training equipment for the movie. (The only difference between his alter-ego and himself, Chan says, is "I don't understand Wall Street"!)The result is a mixture of fairy-tale, reminiscent at times of the Spielberg productions of the eighties, romantic comedy, Hong Kong slapstick and martial arts movie- a kind of Chinese Disney film, benevolent, healthy and moral. Even the fight scenes are good-natured, preaching fair-play, non-violence, humility and camaraderie.As Chan explains in his audio commentary, some critics seem not to have found him believable as a businessman. But that is no reflection on his acting abilities, which have improved a lot since the 1970s. On the contrary, I believe such remarks are motivated partly by the same kind of tunnel-vision that is hampering the movie careers of the great sitcom actors and actresses, and partly by the rarity of thoroughly good businessmen on screen. As far as I am concerned, Chan can play any kind of character (there's a Chinese architect in my script for *Spicemoon*; hint-hint) and I think he could have scrapped the martial arts altogether in *Gorgeous* and given us a full-fledged romantic comedy (even though we would have lost the wonderful fighting scenes with his extremely talented student, Brad Allan.)If you are tired of the depravity of most modern movies, *Gorgeous* may be exactly the kind of alternative you are looking for. I strongly suggest watching the film in Cantonese with subtitles, and treating yourself to Chan's audio commentary (in English), a loose series of reminiscences about the making of the film that will give you a glimpse of Chan's wonderful generosity, candour and intelligence."
Some of his best fight scenes ever!
Brian Reaves | Anniston, AL USA | 11/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Up front, "Gorgeous" has an ok plot. At least we're seeing a new side of Jackie as he dons the "romantic" role. Now, to the fight scenes. These are by far some of his best ever filmed! When he takes on the four guys with the baseball bats, you'll be rewinding that for sure. But don't stop yet, as the two fight scenes with the American fighter are the ones to stick around for. The moves and speed exhibited here are amazing, and the choreography on the fight scenes are absolutely some of his best ever. The thing I really appreciated about the film was the fact that there was no bad guys in the movie. The fight scenes between Chan and the American were done with respect toward each other, and even the main villian isn't really into it to hurt Jackie. No stereotype villians here, that's for sure. A great movie!"
Another side of Mr. Chan
fat_joe | planet EARTH | 06/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Judging from the title and the plot description I wasn't expecting this to be another Jackie Chan fight/stunt fest extravaganza. After all Jackie is pushing the age towards geezer-hood (but still in pretty good shape and fighting form). So you won't see any specatacular fight sequences or death-defying action scenes.What you do get though is the side of Jackie you don't normally see. As he does get older he is resorting to his charm and humor in pleasing his audience (see Shanghai Noon). And you know what .......it works. His romantic persona is on display here and coupled with an equally appealing co-star this movie will please most.Just not the action hungry fans who catch this for just that.Tony Leung is surprisingly good as the gay make up artist who takes in Bu. And Shu Qi portrays the love-struck, naive Bu with attractiveness and an appeal missing from Hollywood's leading asian actresses.For Chan fanatics this is a movie worth checking out to find that their star is indeed more multidimensional than his pugilistic repertoire he unleashes."
Refreshingly different and pleasingly romantic
Kristy K Davis | Houston, TX | 01/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jackie Chan continues to surprise! I have seen almost 20 of Jackie's movies and this is one of my favorites. It features Jackie in a totally new role than he normally plays. But the difference is delightful. It is refreshing to see him play a romantic lead. And, in typical Chan fashion he carries it off to perfection. There are also two really great fight sequences, and a great teaser ending. One of my favorite all-time Chan scenes is the very last scene in this movie. If I had one criticism, it would be that in the English dubbed version Jackie did not overdub his own voice. Still, altoghether, this is a light-hearted, fun sweetly romantic movie with a simple plot and endearing characters. If you only watch Jackie for the great stunts and power-packed fighting, this may not be the film for you. But if you also appreciate Chan's acting abilities and are a real Chan Fan, you must see this movie!"