Little Big Soldier (BLU-RAY)

Little Big Soldier

On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Running Time: 
96 minutes

Rongguang Yu (Iron Monkey) has starred in several Jackie Chan films including The Karate Kid, Shanghai Noon, and The Myth.

Jackie Chan’s Little Big Soldier is a film I’d heard a lot about before it hit Blu-Ray. Reports had come back that it was an epic looking picture with Jackie Chan at his finest. Unfortunately I didn’t find it to be such. At a run time of 92 minutes, Little Big Soldier feels like hours. Your visual senses will be appeased with the great Blu-Ray transfer showing off brilliant yellow fields of flowers and gloomy well balanced black levels in caves ad such, but my God, it was sooo boring.

The film opens up on a battlefield where two warring forces have all but annihilated themselves. Both massive armies are down to only a few men, one of which is Jackie Chan, a soldier who is skilled at faking injuries. The other two are a grunt soldier for the bad guys and the General of the other army who would rather die then see his flag fall. A small battle ensues and then Jackie Chan takes the General as a hostage, hoping to make some money so he can retire. Its a long drawn out buddy genre road trip (think 48 Hours or Midnight Run) that finds both men in a several jams, being hunted down by a group of soldiers somewhere off in the distance, and despite being at odds find some way to form an unlikely friendship. This is pretty much it. Walking, a few fights, more walking.

Now I’m a huge fan of Jackie Chan. Okay, old school Chan. The Legend of Drunken Master is probably one of my all time favorite martial arts films, and of course you have other classics like Project A, Rumble In The Bronx, and his last film, the excellent re-imaging of The Karate Kid. While Little Big Soldier crams as much story in all the walking and fighting that goes on it’s still basically Jackie Chan doing what he's done for years. There’s a lot of wooden horse flipping and counter defensive fight scenes with some sword play, but when it comes down to it we’ve seen both before, and the story is so sentimental that your either on board with it or your not, and for all the in-between traveling, I simply wasn’t. Twitch Films, on the cover of the case, claims this to be Jackie Chan’s Best Film In Years. I would have to disagree. It felt more like a potpourri of idea’s from films that have already made their run decades ago, which makes sense since the script has been in Chan's back pocket for the last 20 years.

The Blu-Ray transfer for Little Big Soldier will not let you down. Clarity is a very large part of why this film looks so good. There’s no issues with the usual suspects, especially grain, which leaves room for the color palette in this film to really show off what its got. Color vibrantly pops, especially when we find Chan walking through a field of yellow flowers, and definition is excellent. A forest scene in which the two men rest on their journey is marvelously rich as each branch and twig is give ample room to put itself on display. There are a few scenes where color becomes a little saturated, I blame location mostly and outdoor lighting, but its pretty much a great transfer that viewers will be satisfied with.

Audio comes in both English and Mandarin 5.1 HD Surrounded Sound. I thought it was a bit strange that in the English dub it doesn’t appear to be Chan voicing his English parts, which he is more then capable of. All together though the film boasts a rather boisterous musical soundtrack and battle sequences work well. Immersion in the cross channel spectrum is noticeable but the soundtrack is so busy with the films massive use of sound that sometimes you may miss it. I would suggest listening in during the more major fight scenes to catch some rear and side speaker action.

~DVD Copy
~Jackie Chan Music Video
~Making Of
~English and Mandarin 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio Tracks

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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