The Adventurers (2017)

41% – Audience

The Adventurers Storyline

Infamous thief Cheung Tan has recently been released from prison. Soon after his release, Cheung immediately plots a heist with his partners Xiao Bao and Ye Hong in order to steal precious jewels in Europe. Meanwhile, French detective Pierre has been hot on Cheung’s trails for many years. This time, he decides to capture Cheung and his gang of thieves for good.

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The Adventurers Movie Reviews

The locations are exotic, the cast is pleasing, and the heists slick and exciting; ‘The Adventurers’ is good for some breezy but forgettable escapist fun

As far as caper/ heist films are concerned, ‘The Adventurers’ is a breezy, enjoyable but ultimately unremarkable entry to the genre. All the trademark elements are here – the exotic European locations that span Cannes, Prague and Kiev; the impressive high-tech gizmos to override the most sophisticated security systems as well as to get into places no human could ever fit into; and last but not least the code of honour among thieves, which not only drives the narrative but also defines the relationship between our central trio played by Andy Lau, Tony Yang and Shu Qi – yet director and co-writer Stephen Fung’s Chinese makeover of a classic Hollywood staple comes off too familiar and predictable by the time it is done with its double-crosses and shootouts.

The story begins with Lau’s career thief Dan Zhang after a five-year stint in prison for stealing the prized ‘Eye of the Forest’ artefact from the Louvre Museum, which we are informed in a snazzy prologue is one of three pieces that form a precious necklace called ‘GAIA’. Dan is greeted upon his release by the French detective Pierre (Jean Reno), who warns him that he will be closely watched. Shortly after slipping away from one of Pierre’s associates, Dan assembles his wingman Po (Yang) and hotshot recruit Red (Shu Qi) to steal another part of ‘GAIA’ – and it isn’t any spoiler that they eventually make off with the ‘Wings of Destiny’. The third and final piece ‘Rope of Life’ happens to be in the possession of a nouveau riche Chinese oligarch Charlie (Sha Yi) living up in a castle in Prague, and before Dan makes off with it and presumably disappears into the sunset, Pierre brings in Dan’s former fiancée Amber (Zhang Jingchu) to help apprehend him – the latter apparently still being resentful at Dan for not telling her at the start of his criminal profession.

It isn’t hard to guess that Fung has built his movie around a series of action sequences – the posh Cannes hotel where a livid demonstration against animal fur is taking place outside at the same time as an auction for the ‘Wings of Destiny’ is ongoing inside; the sprawling castle that Dan and Po will infiltrate in order to steal the ‘Rope of Life’ while Red exercises her seductive charms to get Charlie’s fingerprints; a quad chase through the woods surrounding the castle immediately following the break-in; and finally, the climactic showdown in an abandoned factory in Kiev where Dan will confront the person who betrayed him to the authorities five years ago and one of the other key players will come to choose his or her loyalty. Each one of these set-pieces is nicely choreographed and expertly executed, although the last one is a little less exciting than it needs to be to end the movie on a thrilling high, paling even in comparison to the earlier ones that precede it.

Whereas the sleekly performed stunts and the impressive gadgetry appeal on a visceral level, it is the characters involved and their stakes which make these sequences emotionally stimulating. Sadly, that is sorely lacking here, which is a result of the sketchy character work. The tension between Dan and Amber is hardly developed before it is resolved; ditto the budding attraction between Po and Red. We are primed for an intriguing cop-versus-robber dynamic between Dan and Pierre, but that sense of respect for the two individuals on diametrically opposite sides of the law is never quite established compellingly. Same goes for the relationship between Dan and his former mentor Kong (Eric Tsang), given how Kong sees Dan as having betrayed him for wanting out to settle down with Amber five years ago. That no less than four writers, including Fung himself, had worked on the script makes it even more disappointing that the characters are so one-dimensional in and of themselves as well as next to one another, relying instead on the sheer chemistry of the actors to give them pizazz.

Not that the cast isn’t up to it – Lau is as charismatic and suave as he’s ever been, perhaps even more so than Tom Cruise was in any one of the ‘Mission Impossible’ movies; Qi is at her playful and sexy charming best; and character actors Reno and Tsang lend solid supporting turns to anchor the picture. As far as fun is concerned, there is definitely much to embrace in their lively performances. There is also much escapist pleasure to be had watching them elude and delude their way around their targets, often set to a jazzy, upbeat score by Tuomas Kantelinen. As beautiful as the European locales themselves are, it is also to Shane Hurlbut’s credit that the movie looks as visually gorgeous as it does. Like we said at the start, ‘The Adventurers’ knows the tropes of the genre and performs them flawlessly; but without an engaging plot and/or characters we can root for, it remains a solid but unremarkable entry into the well-trod caper genre.

Quite an exciting heist movie…

I sat down to watch the 2017 Chinese / French heist movie “The Adventurers” (aka “Xia dao lian meng”) for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was a Chinese movie that I hadn’t already seen, and it had both Andy Lau and Shu Qi on the cast list, both of whom I think are great performers. And also because the synopsis for the movie sounded like an interesting movie.

Usually I am not overly keen on heist movies per se, but once in a while I do find a heist movie interesting. And as it turned out, then “The Adventurers” was one such occasion. I mean, the storyline was very enjoyable and writers Chi Kwong Cheung, Stephen Fung, Zhichao Ha, Xiaozhuang Huang, Yiu Fai Lo and Todd Weinger definitely managed to concoct a storyline that was equal bits action, adventure, thrill and entertainment. So this made for a very enjoyable movie for me.

Sure, you know how a movie such as this will end, such is the heist movie generally speaking. And that is also the case with this 2017 movie, but at the same time it was kept with enough twists and turns to make it an interesting ride.

The movie was fast paced from the very beginning, and director Stephen Fung ensured that the movie never lost its momentum, but kept up its brisk pace.

“The Adventurers” has a pretty good ensemble of actors and actresses. Needless to say that both Andy Lau and Shu Qi were good in the movie, and they definitely do have good on-screen chemistry together – just as they did in the 2009 romantic comedy “Look For A Star”. The movie also has Jean Reno on the cast list, and he does, of course, provide his usual good performance and rugged addition to any movie he is in. “The Adventurers” also have a very nice, albeit short, appearance by Eric Tsang, whom was very nicely cast for such a role.

I found “The Adventurers” to be a surprisingly good heist movie, with the right mixture of action, excitement and plot. So there definitely was something for everyone in the audience here.

My rating of this 2017 movie lands on a well-deserved seven out of ten stars. If you haven’t already seen this movie, I can warmly recommend that you take the time to do so.

OK. Makes me feel like if I’ve seen one heist movie than I’ve seen them all

Overall story is a bit mediocre for my taste, I’ve seen the concept of the high class super thief before, which is fine, but Andy Lau brings nothing new to the formula. Well, except for being Andy Lau who I’m just staring to discover and really like. He’s starred in better Asian cinema, however, Like another film he released this year, Shock wave which was impressive.

The formula has been done. Andy Lau plays an amazing thief, who wants to retire but first he goes after the holy grail of his career while a French police officer hunts him down like he’s his Moby Dick.

Although if you are really into heist movies  no doubt this will get you going, but Despite how much I’m liking Andy Lau these days (The whole reason I went to see the movie), his performance or anyone else in the movie did not spark any interest for me.