The Adventurers (2017) - Hong Kong / China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan
Remaking John Woo's classic comedy heist film Once a Thief is a tough ask. Directed by Stephen Fung and starring Andy Lau, Shu Qi, French actor Jean Reno, Zhang Jing Chu and Taiwanese Tony Yang, it works as a fun mindless entertainment that goes a tad too long. Films about stealing priceless valuables and the process behind the heist is always a joy to watch. Fung if anything managed to make everyone looking at their coolest and it's easy to say when you three of the most photogenic actors from Asia plus the adjective for cool in Jean "The Professional" Reno. It's mindless fun and the frantically paced which helps of course.
Andy Lau plays the leading high end thief with a sort of steady coolness and confidence similar to Tony Leung in Tokyo Raiders. However, Lau's character is not allowed to reach any deeper than superficial events, mending relationships arrears with Zhang Jing Chu. The standoff between Lau and Eric Tsang (playing the background boss behind it all) revoked memories of Infernal Affairs. Shu Qi provides some much needed sparkle and humanness in her performance and full credit to her for delivering. Taiwanese Tony Yang simply pales in comparison in contrast to the two leads. Zhang Jing Chu is again her self inflicted victim role and is fast becoming a stable in these kind of roles. Meanwhile, we get Jean Reno oozing coolness with little character depth in a largely pay-check receiving display.
All in all, in The Adventurers, director Fung tried to craft out a non stop adrenaline fuelled ride with a heist premise to excite the audience. The effect is mixed as those expecting another Once a Thief kind of fun will end up getting something less relevant and more mindless. It's still fun and the pacing is fast enough to not bore the audience, but one would think that Fung can do far better stretching himself and Lau can certainty play a more difficult role.
I rated it 3/5
In cinemas now.
Coming soon on DVD and Blu Ray at https://neofilmshop.com/search?q=Andy+Lau