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The Adventurers

A Chinese Action Adventure That's All Too Familiar

19th October 2017

­Whilst Hollywood is busy cramming in stars from the Far East, it appears the feeling is reciprocal as the Chinese stick Hollywood, or French in this case, stars in their movies.

The Adventurers sees Jean Reno (Leon, The Da Vinci Code) as a French cop chasing down a jewel thief in the shape of Andy Lau (Infernal Affairs, Railroad Tigers).

Whilst Lau is a thief, writer, director and producer Stephen Fung (House of Fury, Tai Chi Zero), wants us to believe he’s one of those good thieves, the ones we’ll like.

To achieve this, Lau has been double-crossed and the only way he can find out who was behind it is to steal all the artefacts that make up a massive diamond necklace.

Along for the ride are Shu Qi (The Transporter, Chinese Zodiac), Zhang Jingzhu (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Rush Hour 3) and Tony Yo-ning Yang (The Crossing, My War). Lau takes his orders from Eric Tsang (My Lucky Stars, Infernal Affairs).

The movie is a remake of the 1991 John Woo movie, Once A Thief which starred Cho Yun-Fat, which had more comedy than The Adventurers and the three main protagonists where all related.

A remake this may be but it also borrows heavily from other movies. There’s more than a passing resemblance to Jackie Chan’s Armour Of God films and not just because most of the actors have, at some point, been in a Chan movie.

There are chase scenes galore but they’re all a bit 80’s feeling. Trucks conveniently, or inconveniently, pulling out, lots of guns but no-one can hit anything, that sort of thing.

There aren’t many laughs throughout, this is mainly the Andy Lau show (he also produced), as he grumps his way through trying to get “Plan B” as a catchphrase going.

We romp around the world at breakneck speed, taking in Cannes, Ukraine, Prague and probably others I’ve forgotten already.

The direction has that familiar feeling of Chinese films from the 80’s or early 90’s. Dynamic in its approach, plenty of aerial shots, again it all adds to the Jackie Chan-esq nature of the whole thing.

There are more gadgets than Q division can shake a high-tech stick at, most of them are of the impossible sort but that’s ok as they’re all like that from the start.

Reno, god love him, isn’t looking his best in this. He performs well, it’s not as if this is one of those films you see him in and think, what was he thinking (Just Visiting anyone?).

But he can’t muster the same dynamism we’ve seen previously, he actually looks physically ill, I googled to check he was ok.

Lau is fine as the lead, he could crack a smile every now and then as his grumpy mood doesn’t seem to fit with his companion’s happy-go-lucky approach to things.

The Adventurers isn’t a bad movie, it’s not that brilliant either. It zips along, it isn’t going to tax you and you’ll probably forget it instantly.

At the same time though, those of us yearning for the past and the golden Jackie Chan years, will feel a sense of familiarity whilst watching it. Like a pair of comfy slippers, that have seen better days.



Stephen Fung

Cheung Chi Kwong, Stephen Fung, Zhichao Ha, Huang Xiaozhuang, Yiu Fai Lo, Todd Weinger

Running Time:
2h 20min

Whilst Hollywood is busy cramming in stars from the Far East, it appears the feeling is reciprocal as the Chinese stick Hollywood, or French in this case, stars in their movies.

Andy Lau, Cheung Chi Kwong, Eric Tsand, Huang Xiaozhuang, Jean Reno, Shu Qi, Stephen Fung, Todd Weinger, Tony Yo-ning Yang, Yiu Fai Lo, Zhang Jingzhu, Zhichao Ha

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