Mr. Nice Guy (1998) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Mr. Nice Guy is very thin on story, yet brimming with visual energy and stunts. This film is basically an extended foot chase that is stretched out into 90 quickly paced minutes making the picture feel more like a ride than a movie. Along the way, Jackie Chan has his numerous prerequisite fights and dare-doing stunts as always accompanied by his affable, self-deprecating humor. Mr. Nice Guy isn’t on the same level as the four previous Chan flicks, but it’s not bad of its type.

A popular television chef (Jackie Chan) accidentally gets entangled with a female reporter in possession of an incriminating videotape that a implicates a notorious local drug kingpin (Richard Norton). Now, Jackie and the reporter are the targets of two warring gangs who are trying to get the videotape. Chan’s Chinese films have a strange predilection for adding romantic comedy elements to the formula. It seems Jackie spends a lot of time in his movies having to clear up mistaken actions, identities, and motives. As if leaping, fighting, and avoiding death aren’t exhausting enough, this guy has to constantly explain himself to the woman in his life.

This picture is so lightweight it could almost pass for family viewing. Aside from the fact that every female character gets punched in the face at least once during the course of the film. It happened so often I was thinking that the filmmakers had a certain motif they were incorporating. These odd elements and mixture of tone rank Mr. Nice Guy below Jackie’s previous efforts.

Director: Sammo Hung
Stars: Jackie Chan, Richard Norton, Miki Lee

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