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  Publicity Stills of "Rob-B-Hood"
Courtesy of Shaw/JCE Movies



Genre: Comedy/Action
Director: Benny Chan
Starring: Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Louis Koo, Charlene Choi, Chen Baoguo, Gao Yuanyuan, Yuen Biao, Teresa Carpio, Ken Low, Hiro, Terrence Yin, Conroy Chan, Andrew Lin, Cherie Ying, Ken Wong, and introducing Matthew as The Baby
RunTime: 2 hrs 14 mins
Released By: Shaw
Rating: PG
Official website: http://rob-b-hood.jce.com.hk/main.html

Opening Day: 29 Sept 2006


For ne'er-do-well compulsive gambler Slipper (Jackie Chan), there's only one thing more fearsome than debtors at his doorstep - having to coax a crying baby. But what if the baby becomes his golden goose to fend off his debtors? Can he overcome his phobia of diapers, milk bottles, and cloying lullabies?

Brought up in an impoverished family and kicked out of school in his teens, Slipper found himself on the wrong side of the tracks despite being nimble-footed and neat-fingered. Spurned by his family and hounded by debtors, he is goaded by his greedy landlord (Michael Hui) to collaborate in harebrained heists. Together with the agile and opportunistic Octopus (Louis Koo), the trio kidnaps BB, the grandson of a tycoon. However, due to some unexpected glitches, they fail to hand him over to the triad as planned.

With the assistance of an angelic nurse Melody (Gao Yuanyuan), the landlord's baby-crazy wife (Teresa Carpio) and Octopus' teenage fan Pak Yin (Charlene Choi), the macho men discover the joys of Rob-B-Hood. When they realize that the triad is after both the ransom and BB's life, they decide to make their hostage their protégée. Cornered by cops and threatened by ferocious gangsters, this trio of incorrigible merry men embarks on a hair-raisingly dangerous and deliriously funny escapade to put BB safely back in his cradle.

Movie Review:

The other day, two female colleagues were enthusiastically trying to convince this reviewer that women always put their children before them in whatever they do. Men, on the other hand, are hopelessly self-centered when it comes to such matters. At least, this is what they believed.

If they are willing to put their cynicism aside and watch this flick headlined by the macho Jackie Chan, there may be a slight possibility that these two ladies will change their mindsets about men.

The premise of the movie can be summarized in these few words: three men and a baby. The motley crew includes the very manly Chan (who plays a gambling addict), the very well-toned Louis Koo (who plays a suave playboy) and the very loser-ish Michael Hui (who heads the trio). The three men find themselves in a fix when they kidnap a baby, in hope of earning some big bucks.

Every ingredient that has been present in previous Jackie Chan movie is in place here. This familiar formula ensures that audiences will be flocking to the theatres to create some really healthy box-office figures.

There are the usual wholesome comedy segments to please viewers of any age. There are the usual unimportant female roles which no one really cares about. There are the usual big names (Nicholas Tse, Daniel Wu et al) who pop up in cameo roles. There are the usual “NG” scenes when end credits roll.

Heck, there is even the usual movie theme song sung by, why are we not surprised - Chan himself.

Of course, the package is only complete when there are the usual impressively-choreographed fight sequences. But come on, with a plot like that, what kind of fighting scenes would you expect? And you would not be the only one to feel that this movie does not boast of particularly exciting action scenes that will keep you at the edge of your seat. Let’s all give Chan a break: the man is already 52 years old after all.

To be fair, there are a few engagingly funny scenes, like the one where the trio is in a mad rush on the highway (ala Initial D) to deliver the baby to the villain. Believe us, it is genuinely funny and got us laughing out loud.

And director Benny Chan (in his least action-packed work after 2005’s Divergence and 2004’s New Police Story) sure knows how to make audiences go “awww…” by having countless adorable shots of the baby in this 134-minute movie. Surprisingly, the movie doesn’t feel that long, probably because of the many amusing tactics pulled by the filmmakers.

And nice trick, because you’d be distracted by how formulated the story is. But thanks to the cast’s agreeable performances, you may still find yourself rooting for the characters. Especially in Chan’s last emotional scene with the baby, because there is so much love to spread around, you’d be immersed in some potentially tear-jerking mood.

Maybe that’s why I am convinced men can take care of toddlers as well as women.

In any case, gender issues aside, this is definitely a better movie than Chan’s embarrassing 2005 outing that is called The Myth.

That, we are sure both men and women can agree upon.

Movie Rating:

(The movie may be nothing too refreshing, but the baby does provide some charming moments)

Review by John Li


. Rush Hour 3 (2007)

. Invisible Target (2007)

. The Myth (2005)

. New Police Story (2004)

. Crime Story DVD (1993)


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