Mr. Nice Guy (1997)

Rating: B-

Dir: Sammo Hung
Star: Jackie Chan, Richard Norton, Gabrielle Fitzpatrick, Miki Lee

Chan’s first synch-sound film in English certainly doesn’t lack for action, though there’s something oddly backwards about it. The opening bears more than a faint resemblance to the end of Police Story, while the finale is martially artless and sees JC merely going berserk in a very big vehicle — the “I saw nothing” gag from PS also makes a return, like an old friend. In between, there’s Fitzpatrick against two gangs, one headed by the supremely slimy Norton — it’s a shame they don’t get to square off properly, at least in the UK version. At only 85 minutes, including a lengthy sequence of out-takes, one wonders what’s missing. Plot? Characterisation? Could be. What’s left is fast and fun, with some typically Jackie-esque moments, and cheerfully devoid of any emotional content whatsoever. Nice to see two of the “Three Musketeers”, Samo (who cameos as an irate cyclist) and Jackie, back together; now, where’s Yuen Biao?