Plot: What’s it about?
Bu (Shu Qi) wishes she could find some adventure and perhaps some romance in the process, but in her small fishing village all she discovers are more unfit suitors and the same old stuff. It seems as though she might have a chance when she finds a bottle floating in the waters near her village with a romantic note inside. Whoever penned this note must be her Mr. Right or so she thinks, and as such she leaves her village behind to locate the writer. But her hope soon turns into disappointment when she learns the writer of the note is not what she expects…he’s a homosexual. C.N. (Jackie Chan) is also looking for romance, but he has more than his fair share of adventure. When the two meet in the middle of an encounter with some bad dudes, the pair seems to have instant chemistry and the first sparks of romance appear. But what worries Bu is C.N.’s glamorous lifestyle which makes her insecure, so she pretends to be the girlfriend of a powerful criminal. This leads to more trouble than Bu expects and the two end up in a skirmish which forces C.N. to fight for his newfound love or risk losing his one true friend…
Just when you think good old Jackie doesn’t have much left, he comes out of left field with one of his finest films to date, Gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Jackie Chan you should find a lot to like here, but if the only sequences you like in his films are action driven ones, you might be bored with this one. There are a few high octane fight scenes, but for the most part this is more of a romance film than anything. And of course since Jackie is involved there will be plenty of hilarious moments, in and out of the fights. The fight sequences that do appear are visually stunning and truly open up a new realm in Chan’s career. The scenes aren’t the typical wild melees you might expect, but they are just as enjoyable and amazing to be sure. I have to say, Chan is my favorite actor in the movies and I am very pleased with his performance here, which I feel is his best work as of yet. I’ve read that some have been bored with this movie, but I feel if you have an attention span at all you’ll have no such problems. This film has it all…action, romance, dazzling cinematography, and of course Jackie Chan. I recommend this disc and film to fans of Chan and anyone looking for a terrific romantic comedy laced with some well crafted action.
This film was directed by Vincent Kok, who also helped pen the screenplay along Jackie Chan and Andy Law. I am very pleased with Kok’s visual style and approach to this film, which has become one of my favorite Chan films. Instead of relying on the hectic and masterful action skills of Chan, Kok has created an incredible visual world around Chan and used more of his non action skills also. Kok uses all manner of filters, color plates, and other visual tricks to enhance the visual impact of this movie and it all works to perfection. I cannot wait until Kok gets behind the camera of another film, because I am sure it will be as powerful as this one. The lead in this film is Jackie Chan, who gives an unusual non action driven performance and sparkles while doing it. Chan shows his comedic flair more than ever here and delivers his dialogue to literal perfection. The timing seems flawless and I hope to him in more roles such as this in the future. Shu Qi (The Storm Riders, Extreme Crisis) gives a terrific performance as well as the adventuresome Bu. The supporting cast also includes Bradley Allan (Mr. Nice Guy, Gen X Cops), Tony Leung (Tokyo Raiders), Elaine Jen (A Confucian Confusion), and Ken Lo (A Man Called Hero).
Video: How does it look?
Gorgeous is presented in a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, with a full frame version also included on this dual layered disc. As I mentioned above this film has some excellent and effective visuals, so the transfer must pull out all the stops to ensure it looks tremendous. As I expected from this release, it comes through on all fronts and this is an amazing transfer. The colors shine from the lush greens to the metallic silvers and golds with no signs of distortion at all, flesh tones also appear natural at all times. The contrast is just as sharp with no serious issues, shadows are deep and well defined and detail level is very high. I noted no compression errors and the source print is reference quality.
Audio: How does it sound?
In a terrific and welcome gesture Columbia/Tristar has included both the original Cantonese and English dubbed audio tracks with this release, both in the Dolby Digital 5.1 format. I chose the Cantonese track, but both tracks pack a wallop and are very effective. The English dub is a little silly at times, but makes for a good laugh if nothing else. The music and effects take use of the surrounds when needed, but this is mostly subtle use. The dialogue sounds crisp and clean at all times and the subtitles are yellow and easy to read. Columbia/Tristar…I salute you!
Supplements: What are the extras?
This isn’t a special edition disc, but it is loaded with extras such as a behind the scenes featurette and an audio commentary. The featurette runs just over thirty minutes and is filled with interviews, behind the scenes footage, and on the set shots as well. This featurette is presented in Cantonese, but optional English subs have been included. The disc also contains a talent file on Chan and a music video which I am familiar with. The main supplement is a running commentary with Jackie Chan, which is a real treat for his fans. He discusses his career, inspirations, and future directions as well as his thoughts on this movie.