jackie chan

Gorgeous (玻璃樽)
Made in: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Directed by: Vincent Kok
Starring: Shu Qi, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung, Emil Chau
Year: 1999

Synopsis: Bu (Shu Qi), a free-sprit and hopeless romantic, lives in her small coastal village in Taiwan where she often goes to the seaside to spend time with a weird dolphin (who makes even weirder noises).

One day Bu finds a glass bottle containing a message with a love note inside. The note is signed by someone named Albert (Tony Leung), who also conveniently left his contact information.

Thinking that her discovery of the message was an act of destiny, Bu travels to Hong Kong (where Albert lives). Albert turns out to be a decent guy, but unfortunately for Bu, also turns out to be gay. Nonetheless, the two become friends and Albert invites Bu along to model shoots where he works as a make-up artist.

While helping out on a shoot taking place on a boat, Bu spots C.N. Chan (Jackie Chan), a wealthy and very lonely businessman who's being hassled by rival tycoon Lo (Emil Chau) and his thugs. With the help of a speedboat, Bu rescues CN and schemes to make him fall in love with her.

But complications arise as Lo constantly plots revenge against C.N.

The Good: As one would expect with Jackie Chan movies, the stunts and fight sequences in Gorgeous are creative, funny, and very entertaining. The one-on-one fight scenes where Chan takes on Australian stuntman Bradley James Allan are very well-choreographed and often intense.

The Bad: Overall though, Gorgeous is a Jackie Chan vanity piece that's so cheesy to the point where you start feeling embarrassed for even watching it. The music score is pretty awful in most scenes, and seems to have been composed entirely on a Casio keyboard with the help of pirated sound clips from the easy-listening station. The over-the-top goofiness and over-acting is really annoying as well.

Tony Leung, in a rather pointless role, is regarded as one of Asia's greatest actors, but in this movie he makes a complete ass out of himself. Sharing the screen with Chan should have been a treat for the audience, but instead, director Vincent Kok turns their interaction into a near career-killer for both of them.

The story is pretty disjointed, with Jackie Chan's storyline and Shu Qi's character arc often going in different directions. The minor subplots are unnecessary and add dead weight to an already sinking movie.

Who would like this piece of work: I can't imagine anyone watching this movie and feeling like it was worth the time. The message is muddled and it just drags from one embarrassing scene to the next. For fans of Shu Qi, she's definitely gorgeous to look at but finding pictures of her on the internet will be more productive than sitting through a hundred minutes of this dreck.

Even if you're a die-hard fan of Jackie Chan movies, adding Gorgeous to your platinum martial arts DVD collection will immediately render it worthless.

(1 out of 4 stars)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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