Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 6th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Hong Kong, 2006
Director: Benny Chan
Writers: Jackie Chan, Benny Chan, Alan Yuen
Cast: Jackie Chan, Michael Hui, Louis Koo, Charlene Choi, Biao Yuen, Yuanyuan Gao, Nicholas Tse, Cherrie Ying
DVD released: May 24th, 2010
Approximate running time: 121 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: 15 (UK)
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese, Dolby Digital 5.1 English
DVD Release: Cine Asia / Dragon Dynasty
Region Coding: Region 2 PAL (UK)
Retail Price: £17.99
Synopsis: A trio of thieves desperately needed another big payday to help them pay off their mounting debts. A wealthy crime boss whose son recently died tragically. Hires them to kidnap a young child who he believes is his grandson.
Over the past decade there have been a steady decline in the quality of films that Jackie Chan has appeared. During this period Chan has spent his time alternating between making films in Hong Kong and Hollywood. Even though most of the film’s that he has had made in Hollywood like the Rush Hour films have been successes at the box office. The film’s that he has made in recent years in Hong Kong have been more miss than hit. This brings us to Robin-B-Hood, Chan’s third collaboration (excluding his cameo in Gen-X Cops) with director Benny Chan. Their other two collaborations being New Police Story and Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?
Where to start with Robin-B-Hood? The tone of the film plays to Chan’s strength as an actor. Tongue and cheek humor which is often built into the fight scenes. Unfortunately the story, at least the first half spends way too much time focusing on the comedy. With the bulk of the action sequences put in the latter half of the film. All of the action sequences are inventive and well executed with some of the more memorable ones being Chan’ s character trying to elude the bad guys on a roller coaster. And another standout action sequence features Chan and Louis Koo’s characters battling two henchmen dressed in white, while locked in a vault with below freezing temperatures. Performance wise Chan and Koo make a great team. Another performance of note is Yuen Biao (The Prodigal Son) in the role of Inspector Steve Mok. The scenes in which Biao and Chan’s characters interact are easily the most entertaining. Another area where this film doesn’t quite work is that the plot feels drawn out and the film would have benefited pacing wise if it was 15 to 20 minutes shorter. Overall despite its short comings Robin-B-Hood is an engaging enough film that works as well as its does because of solid cast who are all very good in their respective roles.
Cine Asia presents Robin-B-Hood in a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The opening credits are in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Just like the region 1 Dragon Dynasty DVD release. While the different aspect ratio is perplexing, the framing doesn’t ever feel too cramped. The image looks detailed and black levels remain strong throughout. Colors look nicely saturated and flesh tones look healthy. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is kept in check.
This release comes with two audio options, a Dolby Digital 5.1 Cantonese and a Dolby Digital 5.1 English. Both audio mixes sound crystal clear, balanced and robust, especially during the fight sequences. Removable English subtitles that are easy to follow have been included.
Extras on disc one include trailers for Fist of Legend (1 minute 31 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and Kill Zone (1 minute 28 seconds – anamorphic widescreen). Extras on disc two include a promo trailer for the film (2 minutes 16 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), interviews with actors Jackie Chan (39 minutes 8 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and Conroy Chan (14 minutes 34 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and director Benny Chan (16 minutes 2 seconds – anamorphic widescreen, in Cantonese with English subtitles) and two featurettes "Playtime for Adults: On the Set of Robin-B-Hood" (21 minutes 41 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Cantonese with English subtitles) and "Robin-B-Hood: An Original Making of" (22 minutes 5 seconds – letterboxed widescreen, in Cantonese with English subtitles). The three interviews and two behind the scenes featurettes do a good covering the ins and outs of this production. Overall Robin-B-Hood gets a well rounded DVD release from Cine Asia.