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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Accidental Spy
Accidental Spy
Other // PG-13 // August 13, 2002
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Hkflix]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted May 10, 2002 | E-mail the Author
C O N T E N T
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The Movie:

Although it definitely won't go down as one of his best films, Jackie Chan is his usual likable, entertaining self in this comedy/drama/action film that has him starring as, of all things, an exercise equipment salesman named Bai. After he finds himself stopping a band of criminals from a robbery, Bai finds himself in deeper as he's asked to find a deadly toxin - which other criminal groups are also seeking out.

As with other Chan films, the plot sort of takes a backseat to the action sequences, most of which are spectacular as Chan shows audiences year after year that he still has the same amount of energy, humor and skill. I also always love Chan's ability to turn common, everyday objects into props that can be used for the film's action sequences, which is a talent that's again visible here.

If anything, the film didn't quite have the comedic spark that really makes many of Chan's movies so enjoyable - that little bit that takes everything to the next level. That's not to say that the film isn't without some comedy, but most of it is more serious in tone. I was satisfied with the amount of action, although I've seen other films from Chan that had more spectacular stunts. I will say that the production values were very good, as the film has some exotic locations and technically looks very professional. Like the great many of Chan's films though, I more than enjoyed the ride, even if it wasn't the most exciting feature the star has ever made.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Accidental Spy" is presented in non-anamorphic widescreen in the film's original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Although it unfortunately isn't anamorphic, the quality seemed to be pretty respectable. Sharpness and detail were fairly good - the picture seemed often somewhat soft, but not soft enough to cause irritation.

Although there was some instances of edge enhancement and a couple of light traces of pixelation, I was pleased to see that there was little in the way of print flaws. A couple of slight speckles and marks appeared, but nothing that I found annoying. Colors appeared rather subdued, but otherwise natural. Not a particularly great presentation, but certainly watchable.

SOUND: I was impressed to find that the film is offered here in both Chinese/English DTS 5.1 and Chinese/English Dolby Digital 5.1 (some parts of the film are in English, some are in Chinese) presentations. Even better than that, the sound presentation was actually pretty respectable. The film's entertaining score often reached around to the surrounds and sounded quite enveloping, as if the musicians were playing in the room. Surrounds also let loose occasionally (although a little bit inconsistently) with effects during the more intense sequences, or some minor ambient sounds during the more subtle moments.

There was actually a noticable difference between the Dolby Digital and DTS presentations as I flipped back and forth between the two. The DTS presentation sounded more detailed, more enveloping and offered stronger bass. The Dolby presentation, on the other hand, sounded occasionally thin and didn't have the same smooth sound quality that the DTS offered.

MENUS:: The main menu provides some basic background animation, but not much in the way of options.

EXTRAS: An English language trailer.

Final Thoughts: Not Jackie at his very best, but at least this is still an moderately entertaining Chan effort, with good stunts and great locations. The DVD really doesn't provide anything in the way of extras, but at least has moderately enjoyable video and good audio quality from the DTS version. Available for import.

Apparently, Miramax/Dimension has gained the rights to release it in US theaters in the near future.
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