We’re used to seeing Jackie Chan as the courageous good guy, who never backs down from a fight. But in Little Big Soldier Jackie plays a man who is – not a bad guy – but definitely not very courageous. In fact, Jackie Chan’s soldier will do practically anything to avoid fighting, and to stay alive no matter what!
Set in the Qin dynasty era the movie is about a nameless soldier who survives a battle by pretending he’s dead. While scavenging amongst the dead bodies he finds another survivor – a general of the opposing forces.
The soldier decides to kidnap the general and bring him back home in order to get a reward of land and – even more importantly – exemption from service. But things do not go as smoothly as the soldier expects and on their way back to Liang they meet up with all sorts of dangers and obstacles.
This is actually a classic road movie, set in a historic Chinese era. And the role is perfect for Jackie; the lovable happy-go-lucky farmer who sets a positive spin on everything, no matter how desperate the situation. This guy has no problem with leaving such trifles as honour and dignity aside if it can help him to survive. But in his heart he is a kind, gentle man who is concerned not only for his own life but also for others – even those who are his enemies.
The general (played by Lee-Hom Wang) is his opposite; an honourable man who is more or less obsessed with an honourable death before a dishonourable life. And the two work just so splendid together that it’s a sheer pleasure watching them act.
Little Big Soldier is a wonderful action comedy, filled with unforgettable moments – and with Jackie Chan’s charming persona lighting up the screen. It appears to me he really enjoys this role and it’s easy to understand why; this soldier is an irresistably charming man – who can’t even fight properly. It’s quite hilarious to see his total lack of kung fu skills – splendid work by Jackie as always! And as Jackie is also the action director of this movie you can be sure that the action and fighting scenes are terrific!
Little Big Soldier is one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies. It’s beautifully filmed, with great sceneries and some superb acting. It’s also funny, moving and very touching. So whatever you do – don’t miss it!