Directors: Vincent Kok, Jackie Chan
Stars: Jackie Chan, Hsu Chi, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Emil Chow, Brad Allan
A naive country girl named Bu (Hsu Chi) finds a message in a bottle from a man named Albert (Leung), who is looking for his lost love. Bu travels to Hong Kong to find Albert, only to discover his lost love is another man. Albert takes pity on Bu and allows her to tag along on his fashion shoots. During one of these, Bu runs into a determined businessman named C.N. (Chan) who is more concerned with his rival (Chow) than romance, and Bu sets about to change all of that.
Gorgeous is something new from Jackie Chan. It's his first romantic comedy. Originally, he was just supposed to be a producer, but then -- despite some hesitation -- decided to star in the film. I think he should have followed his gut instinct and just stuck behind the scenes. Gorgeous works as neither a romantic comedy or a Jackie Chan film (to wit, his particular blend of action and comedy). The romance in the film simply doesn't work. The whole bit with older men and young women is overused on both sides of the ocean, and the fact that Hsu Chi and Chan show almost no chemistry together doesn't help out matters any. (Chan supposedly didn't want to work with the former Cat III actress, fearing it might taint his "family man" image; ironically, after the film came out, Chan was involved in a scandal where he eventually admitted to having an affair.) As for the comedy, it depends too much on broad stereotypes (such as Tony Leung's flamboyantly gay character) and silly pratfalls to be effective. The fights (most of which feature Chan's gweilo protégé Brad Allan) are decent, but they're too short and lacking the quickness and fluidity of Chan's best work.
This is an interesting experiment that ultimately fails, mostly because of Chan's lackluster performance. If Chan wants to shift his emphasis from martial arts/action to this, he should do his fans (and himself) a favor and step behind the camera. To be fair though, the film does have its' share of fans -- mostly those infatuated with Hsu Chi. Myself, I find her not that great-looking as to forgive Gorgeous' many shortcomings, but you still may want to give this movie a try.
A review of the DVD for this movie (US version) can be found here
Note: this review is based on the US version, which has been cut by about a half-hour from the HK version. From what I have gathered, the HK version isn't all that much better, but at any rate, here's a list of the cuts, thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be warned that reading this may "spoil" the movie for you if you haven't seen it already.
This is divided in segments of 5 minutes, 0 - 5 meaning from 0 minutes to 5 minutes and so on. Minutes are from HK version.
- 00-05 - cut part where Bu, father and mother are in their bar singing Karaoke; Bu adds water to her father's friend's beer. Bu has a monologue where she complains that the island has no romance. (US goes straight to open market fair)
- 05-10 - cut conversation with mother about the oyster Longyi gave her (US goes straight to her father singing like crazy) - cut her mother explaining what love feels like; dad eats a fly.
- 10-15 - cut Longyi singing in Karaoke, Bu pensive; Bu "asks" the dolphin what option she should choose. (US goes straight to the airplane scene) Cut Jackie's assistant sparring on the gym and asking him to join in. Jackie says he has no time for that now.
- 15-20 - cut Tony Leung (TL for now on) telling Bu to go home as soon as possible. Bu tries to convince him to let her stay. TL pushes her and she gets hurt. She gets upset, leaves and sits down on the stairs outside the apartment. TL can't stand seeing her sad and let her stay. (US goes straight to the photo shoot on the boat)
- 20-25 - cut a bit on the boat where Bu complains she's hungry and asking when they'll leave.
- 25-30 - no cuts
- 30-35 - cut part where the boatmen who saved Jackie and Bu are training. Jackie calls to find out about some Silicon Valley stocks and to know if Emil Chow still controls his company's shares. Bu makes gestures trying to say she's hungry. Bu starts to walk away and Jackie watches smiling at her silly walk. (US goes straight where she holds her stomach and Jackie arrives in a car)
- 35-40 - cut Jackie's assistant looking at the money Jackie's deal has made and complaining.
- 40-45 - cut after Bu leaves suddenly, Jackie finds out she forgot her blouse. Bu stares at the glass bottle outdoor sign, TL asks her to stop moaning. Bu tells TL that the bottle is very special. (US go straight to TL talking about gossip magazines)
- 45-50 - cut after Longyi arrives at airport; tourists say he's Chow Yun Fat just to trick him and steal his bag.
- 50-55 - cut after both sets of bad guys leave, Stephen Chow comes out for a small cameo.
- 55-1:00 - cut Jackie on golf course talking to his protégé.
- 1:00- 1:05 - cut part where Bu is getting ready to go out from TL's apartment; she asks him if he thinks she's pretty. TL gives her money to go to a boutique to get dressed up.
- 1:05-1:10 - cut when Brad Allan gets out of the van, he asks Emil Chow to play a tape for him. Bu walks out to see what's happening. Emil Chow sits down on the van and gives the tape to one of the thugs.
- 1:10-1:15 - no cuts
- 1:15-1:20 - cut some parts during the training sequence scenes (too many to mention).
- 1:20-1:25 - cut part when Longyi returns to the kitchen and almost finds out Bu is inside the refrigerator; TL returns to kitchen and throws hot water on Bu.
- 1:25- 1:30 - cut after Bu runs away crying from the gangster's girlfriend blaming herself, saying she has a big mouth. Jackie disagrees. She tells him to go after Bu, he says no. On the plane, Bu talks to the lady she met on the last flight. (US version goes straight to scene with Jackie on the office) Cut a bit with a Japanese girl talking to Chan on the monitor.
- 1:30-1:35 - no cuts
- 1:35-1:40 - no cuts
- 1:40-1:45 - no cuts
- 1:45-1:50 - cut scene where Bu's father is at the bar saying she returned. Bu's mother talks to her about college and how love changes people. Bu meets Longyi and TL, and tells Longyi that she likes older men. TL meets Bu's mother and Bu asks him to be his adopted brother. (US version goes straight to Bu calling the dolphin)
- 1:50-1:55 - cut TL next to Longyi pointing to Jackie, cut TL and Longyi again after Jackie is thrown in the table. Jackie is thrown down again by Bu's uncle.
- 1:55-2:00 - cut when TL puts his hand on Longyi's shoulder; a girl comes up and talks to Longyi, saying she is her neighbor. TL and Jackie's assistant look at each other affectionately.
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This DVD is available for purchase at www.hkflix.com