LITTLE BIG SOLDIER Blu-ray Review
Set during China's war period, Little Big Soldier is the story of a soldier (Jackie Chan) and a general (Wang Leehom) who come from opposing states and also have very much opposing views on the war and the world. Jackie Chan in one of his finest performances plays a soldier from Liang, who ultimately survives the war by playing dead. Lee Hom Wang plays a general from Wei, who is wounded fighting for his country. A painful yet comical journey commences when the soldier decides to kidnap the general and bring him back to his state in the high hopes of collecting a reward. When the unlikely duo is confronted by danger, they quickly learn that they must join forces in order to survive!Little Big Soldier is a LOT more fun than I'd expected. Ever since Jackie crossed over with Rumble in the Bronx, his output had been on the decline for the most part, but the highest paid actor in Asia seems to be in the middle of a late career resurgence, and I'm all for it. He's slowly turning from the daredevil stunt master to a more stately Buster Keaton-ish character. Sure, he'll still do a few crazy stunts, but it is really what he is doing between the stunts that caught my attention in Little Big Soldier.
My compatriots here have also been pretty complimentary about the film, with our man in Hong Kong, James Marsh saying this:
More competent and coherent than THE MYTH, while presenting a more familiar on-screen persona than in SHINJUKU INCIDENT, the result is Chan's most enjoyable film in quite some time, a welcome blend of comedy, action and heroic melodrama for which he is perfectly suited... Put simply, LITTLE BIG SOLDIER is Jackie Chan's best film in years.and Charles Webb saying this:
It's not his best martial arts film (that remains Drunken Master 2) but I think it's his best performance.though, in fairness to his review, Charles did have a pretty major problem with the film's finale.
I did not have a problem with the film's finale, though I won't elaborate any further than that. It was a surprise to me in the theater and one that I owe it to you not to spoil.
Jackie Chan's star is once again on the rise. After the middling effort that was The Myth, he's turned in very solid performances in The Shinjuku Affair and The Karate Kid; Little Big Soldier continues and even ups the ante on his hot streak. Now, if he can just manage to both avoid Hollywood crap like The Spy Next Door and not kowtow to Chinese officials on his upcoming 1911, I think we can expect a more great films from Jackie Chan.
Well Go USA know what they are doing, that's for damn sure. Little Big Soldier comes to us on a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack. The Blu-ray I viewed for this review was perfect. The image is intentionally very golden brown, and that is picked up nicely in this transfer. There is an immense amount of detail in each of the meticulously art-directed frames of this film. I have no complaints, the film looks great. Audio is just as good, with an actively directional sound mix that sounds great and will occasionally test your home theater. Honestly, even when I'm not a huge fan of the film, I can always count on Well Go to present it in perfect quality. It just happens that this film is fantastic, so we all win!
The extras on Little Big Soldier are not as hefty as on some other Well Go releases, and seem to be ported over from the HK Blu-ray release in 2010. Most of it is just little behind the scenes snippets, showing how awesome Jackie Chan is. I can't complain about that, but I would have liked something a bit more comprehensive, since this is a film that has allegedly been in the works for around 20 years. Surely there are some stories there. Also included is a music video, which is mostly just clips from the film interspersed with Chan singing in a studio.
Even with the relatively minor amount of extras, this is well worth purchasing because the film is so damned good. This one comes highly recommended