The Adventurers

August 15th, 2017


The Adventurers

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Release Year: 2017

Rating: 7.7/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Stephen Fung

Stars: Jean Reno, Qi Shu, Andy Lau

The world's top thieves join forces to pull off the heist of a lifetime. But when they find themselves pursued across Europe by a legendary French detective, they'll have to take their game to the next level.

Writers: Chi Kwong Cheung, Stephen Fung, Jean Reno, Qi Shu, Andy Lau, Jean Reno, Qi Shu, Andy Lau, Jingchu Zhang, Eric Tsang, Tony Yo-ning Yang, Yi Sha, Wonjin Hahn, David Bowles, You Tianyi, Eric da Costa, Teresa Trnková, Daniel Svoboda, Jeff Fritz, Bure Li, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jean Reno - Pierre
Qi Shu - Red
Andy Lau - Zhang
Jingchu Zhang - Amber
Eric Tsang - Kong
Tony Yo-ning Yang - Po
Yi Sha - Charlie
Wonjin Hahn -
David Bowles -
You Tianyi - Tingting
Eric da Costa - Security Captain
Teresa Trnková -
Daniel Svoboda - Guard
Jeff Fritz - Butler
Bure Li - Helicopter Gunner

Country: China, Hong Kong, Czech Republic

Language: Chinese, English, French, Russian

Release Date: 3 Jan 2017

Technical Specs


User Review


Rating: 6/10

This is a remake of the 1991 classic Once a Thief, a John Woo gig featuring absolute A- Listers such as megastar Chow Yun-Fat, heartthrob Leslie Cheung and HK's own 'Marilyn Monroe' Cherie Chung. Due to skyrocketing talent fees the Chinese film industry experienced in recent years, it's now increasingly more difficult for a would-be blockbuster to assemble a large cast of A or B-Listers, so the cast of The Adventurers, starring Andy Lau, Hsu Chi (with her newly-wed husband Stephen Fung at the helm), Jean Reno among others, is already one of the most high profile releases of the summer in China, but even this cast pales in comparison with that of the original, which is a shame. Imagine if Pitt, Damon, Roberts were all replaced with notable but much less bankable stars in Ocean's Eleven. Like Clooney in Ocean's Eleven, Andy Lau's character also begins the film as a parolee after serving several years in prison. This is where the comparison stops, however, as Ocean's is without a doubt a much superior film.

The Adventurers maintains the original's 2 male 1 female 'gang of three' setup, complimented by Zhang Jingchu, who plays Andy Lau's ex-girlfriend, and Jean Reno, whose French cop chases after Andy Lau across Europe. Most of the film's humor is provided by actor Sha Yi, who perfectly portrays the superficiality of his 'tu hao' aka 'Nouvelle Riche' character who easily falls prey to Hsu Chi's stunning beauty. However, much of his lighlights were linguistic, and being a native Chinese myself, I doubt if these would cross over to the English speaking audience. Other than Sha Yi, one could make the point that the film lacks in terms of 'entertainment'. There are only a few funny moments I can recall, and most of the (limited) banter between members of the gang fell flat at my viewing.

The film benefits from fluid camera-work, so at least it's a fairly good looking film, but it's mostly held back by a plot that is way too predictable. There are several twists in the final act, none of them surprising. The action set pieces are solid but uninventive, as one questions whether it's wise to stick so closely to the original film's formula of car chases and gun fights, especially since the action/heist genre has advanced so much in the past two decades. Also, by focusing primarily on the action, the film somewhat sacrifices character development opportunities. Ocean's Eleven explains practically everything to its audiences, such as the group's funding, line of thinking, risks, etc. In The Adventurers, as I watched the group travel from one place to another and REACT to situations, I wondered how everything 'behind the scenes' worked, because these were never explained. In other words, there aren't many details for the keen eyed spectator to pick out. In this sense, this film's much closer to Ocean's Twelve in being a somewhat messy story that just kind of 'happens' without much external logic supporting it.

Overall, this is an OK adventure/heist film with beautiful visuals and a predictable, formulaic script that's not likely to make you awe in wonder. 6/10


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