Mr. Nice Guy | aka Mister Cool (1997) Review

"Mr. Nice Guy" Chinese Theatrical Poster

"Mr. Nice Guy" Chinese Theatrical Poster

AKA: Superchef
Director: Sammo Hung
Producer: Chua Lam
Cast: Jackie Chan, Miki Lee, Richard Norton, David No, Bradley James Allan, Andy Cheng, Paul Andreovski, Jonathan Isgar, Habby Heske, Joe Sayah, Glen Chin, Cameron Douglas, Emil Chau Wa Kin, Joyce Mina Godenzi, Sammo Hung
Running Time: 94 min.

By Numskull

First of all, not since Ronald Reagan left office has there been an action movie with a plot this feeble. Second of all, Sammo Hung: good actor, great director, outstanding fight choreographer, SHITTY editor. This movie uses so many of those choppy slow-motion “dreamlike” shots that I began to think the popcorn I was eating was laced with LSD. Perhaps it’ll be remedied in the American theatrical release. Also, in the otherwise excellent horse-and-buggy sequence, when they’re running along the strip mall, they pass two or three different signs TWICE! How in the name of hell-bent fuck did this go unnoticed?!? And while I’m on a roll with the negative points, why, oh WHY did they have everything come to a screeching halt once Jackie wrecks the mansion with the bulldozer? That blond-haired guy needed his ass kicked so badly!!! ARRRGGH!!!!!

Take heart though, this movie is actually above average…I guess there’s a shiny side to every penny (I just coined a phrase! HAH! Get it? COINED a phrase? Um…never mind). S & M fanatics everywhere will love seeing a woman get smacked around every 5 minutes. Sammo’s usual slow pacing goes out the window…nay, down the shitter. The action scenes are evenly spaced and well done except for the car chase near the beginning. It failed to excite me, but that may be a strictly New England thing…I live in Massachusetts, where you can be going 75 mph down a dead-end street and still have someone behind you who wants to go faster. Anyway, go see Mr. Nice Guy everybody…I guarantee you’ll have more fun than you’d have braiding your pubic hairs.

Numskull’s Rating: 8/10

By Dan-O

After regaling us with the tale about a lawyer who can kick ass, a food delivery person who can also kick ass, a race car driver that, coincidentally, can kick ass, and perhaps the least believable, the only cop on the planet that doesn’t get winded after running the length of his squad car, Jackie has once again pulls a ripe rutabaga from his ridiculous premise garden, stuffs it with whoop-ass, bakes it at 450 degrees (if you can point out to me a keyboard with a degree symbol, I go down on you), yanks it out of the oven just before it’s done, and finally, heaves the whole mess out the freakin’ window with the most painful ending to scar my brain tissue since I saw “The Big Lebowski”.

Keep in mind, I saw the Hong Kong version, so I can’t comment on the acting or dialogue. But other than the ending, the movie was fun, and would’ve been more fun in the theater. But how the bloody hell would I know, since the theater where I live ran the thing for less than 1 week. Meanwhile dreck like “Species 2” and “The Odd Couple part 2” get top billing. How many times do Lemmon and Mattau have to make shit movies before we as a collective whole stop watching them as they decompose on-screen before our very eyes. Anyway, when I amass my fortune, I’m building my own goddamn theater that will showcase nothing but Jackie Chan movies, in THX Sensurround, for a dollar a ticket. Where was I? Something about a movie review, if I recall… Oh yeah, I feel that I must back up Numskull on this one: that blond guy seriously needed an ass thrashing, but did it happen? Nope. Do I care? Not really. I essentially knew where this movie was headed when the red-headed reporter lady did the 100 yard dash through downtown Generic Australian City in her skivvies. Oops, I hope I didn’t ruin the movie for you, giving away that essential plot point and all. How can you possibly watch the movie now?

I felt there were way too many of moments in this film, as in Rumble, where I just wanted to fast forward through the tacked-on romantic subplot and get to the violence, or to the credits in regard to the final scene, which in case you haven’t deduced by now, involves Jackie going ape-shit with heavy machinery for what seems like 2 consecutive eternities of constipation. As you know from reading my reviews in the past, I rarely get too deep into the movie, instead going for more of a general impression style of review. If you want a synopsis, read the top of the damn page. I’m just here to tell ya whether or not I can recommend the flick or not, and in this case I can say without and fear of retaliation… see Mr. Nice Guy. It’s cute, the fight scenes are gorgeous, it’s funny, Jackie does his own stunts, yadda yadda ya. Maybe I shouldn’t’ve seen Who Am I? first. I was spoiled rotten by that flick, wasn’t I?

Dan-O’s Rating: 7/10

By Dembone

This was the first Chan film I ever saw in the theater, and it blew me away then as it does now. I was inspired to write this review as I just came back from showing this film to my mother, a 68 year-old ‘Murder She Wrote’ fan (also rapidly becoming a JC fan!) and I always find myself more sensitive to details when I’m watching a movie with her. One thing I noticed it that it really is more or less non-stop action. Very few breathers. Great stunts, great fights, poor plot, terrible acting… All in all, the formula for a great JC flick!

The only let down for me is the prop finale. Like many JC fans, I’d much rather see a well done fight scene as a climax rather than the corny hovercraft / earthmover destruction derbys. The finale in which the house is demolished is way, way too long. I even found myself reading the cheezit box label. Well, still didn’t stop this from being among my favorite JC flicks! Good Job, Jackie!

Dembone’s Rating: 9/10 (perfect 10 sans bulldozer)

By Ro

This was my first Jackie Chan movie (yeah, I came to the party late), so of course I loved it! If you’ve got ‘non Chan fan’ friends, this is a good movie to start them off with (or Rush Hour). They’re probably not ready for the 200 proof ‘good stuff’ yet.

Jackie stars as a TV chef who accidentally gets mixed up in a gang war. He’s dressed for the most part in really baggy clothes and looks like he couldn’t fight his way out of a paper bag. Since I had never seen him before, I got a real kick out of the sight of this seemingly nondescript man doing the most incredible things! If you’ve watched his other movies, you’ve viewed him sans shirt, so you’ve already seen the muscles and I’m sure it’s not as much fun then, but the story’s OK and the action and fights are great! The scene in the warehouse includes a silent film comedy with blue doors and a fight with Jackie almost getting emasculated by a table saw! Incredible, worth the price of rental for this scene alone!

It’s also completely in English (no dubbing). Look for director (and current TV star) Samo Hung in a cameo as a cyclist!

Ro’s Rating: 8/10

By Marcia

Watched this one three times in four days the week it came out on video here in the US. Tells you right there it’s not a bad film. Of course, I was just waiting for the chance to see the Cantonese version, as those are often better. Whaddaya know, though, I like the English version much better (with the exception of the fact that a couple fight scenes are shortened). For one thing, I love the digeridoo music in the background every time somebody from the local gang shows up. Plus, it’s always nice to see a version which isn’t dubbed (in this case, the English one; they subtitle the Mandarin that Jackie’s sweetie speaks).

Several humorous bits are well worth your time, too: Samo’s cameo, the Buster Keaton-esque scene with the opening and closing doors at the construction site, and the “small breasts” comment are all worth a good chuckle. Much has been made of the lameness of the ending here (and I will admit I wondered what the hell Giancarlo was keeping in his basement that made the place explode), but what made it sweet for me was the foreshadowing (Your Sign of Quality Literature); the baddie is so totally anal retentive about his home’s cleanliness that wrecking shit seems almost like a better revenge than beating the snot out of him.

Marcia’s Rating: 8/10

By James H.

What’s up with these writers? Why, why would they be so unoriginal as to give Jackie the same name? He played ‘Jackie’ in “Crime Story,” “Police Story,” “First Strike” and now “Mr. Nice Guy.” Come on really, how about some other names! One can purchase numerous books with nothing but names!

OK, now that I’ve vented, I’ll continue. “Mr. Nice Guy” was a fun movie. It had all of the usual elements that one will find in a Jackie Chan film. Plenty of fights, comedy and bad supporting characters. His friend Lakeisha was annoying, not to the degree as say that punk in “Rumble in the Bronx.” Fortunately, she wasn’t in the movie all that long.

This movie had, like I said, plenty of fights. Highlights for me were: the carriage scene and the fight in the construction area. Again this movie had the same lame ending as “Rumble in the Bronx.” That’s were this movie breaks under its own weight. It takes Jackie 5 minutes to trashs the bad guy’s house. Why mass destruction? What ever happened to good old ass kicking? The other thing that bothered me was the ending was also like “Police Story” (the cop asking “Did you see anything?” “No, of course not.”).

Besides all of that it was a fun movie, Sammo is an amazing director and Jackie has never looked better. It’s fun, exciting and wholly implausible.

James H’s Rating: 7/10


This movie brought nothing but hype. Although I saw this movie a long time ago, March 20, opening day here in the US, the memories are still vivid. When I first saw the trailer, I was blown away! I saw the first showing of the trailer at a screening of Supercop, where Jackie happened to be there himself and had a Q&A session for the audience. Best 12 bucks I’ve ever spent. So I was obviously charged up for Mr. Nice Guy. By the way, why do those trailers seem to reveal so much? I wish there were some surprises. Oh well. Then I saw it, and sweated. I was looking at my watch, having to be somewhere real soon, and there was a guy who kept copying Jackie’s broken phrases, and a family of 6, with 2 kids crying.

So I wasn’t in the best mood to see this. Although, my situtation was like this, I still tried my best to be as objective as possible. It had it’s typical juvenille humor, along with easily forgettable plot. There seemed to be a very good flow of fighting, pretty balanced I would say. The movie reminded me of other Chan films. Police Story’s mall scene, Project A 2’s hot pepper scene, Rumble in the Bronx’ hovercraft bit along with cheesy gansters, Operation Condor’s annoying 3 women, and the list goes on. I wish it had better humor, but it failed for me. So I look to the prop fighting scenes. I must admit, the scene at the construction sight must have been in my top 10 favorites, where it was executed brilliantly.

It made for much of the movie’s lacking in character, plot, ending. So, it still had Chan’s element in it, which will always keep my interest. He seems to be coming up with such good ideas, I never cease to wonder why his movies get worse, in the other places. You take a mistake and improve on it. You want good endings like Drunken Master 2, or Wheels on Meals; the humor of Twin Dragons and Drunken Master; plots like First Strike and Police Story, and this is where Mr. Nice Guy seems to lack. I suppose you can’t make a perfect JC movie, but there are plenty of bad ones already. I know JC can make really wonderful movies, because all in all, some have really good humor, others, plot. By now, why not have it all together?

BS’s Rating: 6/10

By Dead Channel

“Mr. Keung? Sooo… how do you like my style?” Oops! Wrong movie! On with it. This movie was cool, but it seemed like mostly action more than fighting. I must say, the similarities to Rumble in the Bronx are fucking uncanny! Check this out: Have a gang dressed like a bunch of fuckers from the 1980’s who listen to Madonna, another “rival” gang of guys wearing suits who want their “stuff” (aka Coke vs. Diamonds) back from the rivals, a fight scene at a construction site (we’ll compare this one to the warehouse scene alright), a big vehicle which runs over/hits the main bad guy in the end (Rumble’s hovercraft vs. Nice Guy’s big’ol ass tractor-bulldozer thing) and numerous other accounts. In any case, pardon that bullshit I just typed above, because this movie really is quite dope. The scene with the fight on the horse carriage? Dope. The fight scene at the contruction site with the machinery? Doper. The scene where… something happened? Dopest.

Anyway, I have the subtitled Chinese version (winkwink) with the moreimpossibletoreadthanDrunkenMaster2subtitles, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying this movie. I love the fact that Jackie is a television chef, it’s quite humerous I think. But perhaps the best fucking part of this movie was the Burger King sign (the neon sign, the horse carriage scene, right before Jackie and his girlfriend jump on the carriage) which reads: HUNGRY JACK’S. God damn that’s funny, and I actually think Hungry Jack’s is the joint over in Aussie-land which has that name instead of Burger Queens. Anyway, fork this… I’m done. Check this one out especially if you’re a fan of his newer movies. The black chick looks good too I might add!

Dead Channel’s Rating: 8/10 (seemed like an almost direct copy of Rumble)

By Eirias

Normally, it’s difficult to distinguish between one Jackie Chan movie and another. I run out of words, of inventive and varied ways to describe them, to convince people that they should run and see another one. This may be the best yet released here – if not, it’s certainly tied with First Strike. First Strike relied on one or two great bits to carry it through, but was a little uneven. Mr Nice Guy is much more consistent, and even has a comprehensible plot. It’s a return to a much simpler plot line, Jackie protecting his girlfriend, with no silly saving the world threads tossed in. I like it better this way, though, honestly, plot isn’t the reason I go see Jackie Chan movies. Neither is the acting. Mr Nice Guy was shot entirely in English, but it’s still a Hong Kong film. The actors they found who spoke English are the same caliber of actor as the actors who dubbed the first four films. Richard Norton, as the villain is particularly awful. The girls are — well, having seen how poorly some quite talented actresses, like Maggie Cheung, have fared in Jackie’s earlier films, I don’t really see any point in criticizing their lack of performance, but Miki Lee is at least cute. Chan gets to act though, for one scene in which he thinks he’s lost his girlfriend. He doesn’t act often, and hasn’t in any of the first four films released, so it’s nice to see him do a little.

The real reason this film kicks the shit out of the competition is Sammo Hung. (Odd note, his name is misspelled Samo in the newspaper ads, and in the opening credits, but in the end credits, they get it right.) He has a cameo role as a passing cyclist, which is easily the best part of the movie, and he directs. Unlike Stanley Tong and Jackie Chan, who directed the first four, Sammo is not only very very good at action and action choreography, but he also has a visual style. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything approaching good cinematography in a Jackie Chan movie before, and most of Mr Nice Guy is shot in his usual style. But a few sequences, especially a desperate race after a runaway horse and cart (don’t ask) slide into a Chungking Express style blurred background, slow-motion thing which is quite cool to watch. Hell, even the driving a big truck through a building climax is well shot. And explosive. And New Line has the courtesy not to put credits in the way of the out-takes. On the other hand, I don’t really have as much desire to see it again, but this probably stems from seeing Who Am I shortly after, and Mr Nice Guy begins to pale in comparision.

Eirias’ Rating: 8/10

By Jim Carrey

Well, I was quite surprised. The American version was really a lot better than the Hong Kong version. For starters, this one wasn’t dubbed. It was in it’s actual English language. Anyone else wondered why Baggio sounded like Vincent Price? Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo Bravo for the better editing in the US release. They took out some of the Ronny vision fights and kept it mostly in 4th gear. I will say that the acting is a lot better when not dubbed in Chinese and just kept in English. The movie is shorter now so it isn’t so damn boring anymore. Unfortunately they didn’t edit out the most gratuitous scene ever committed to celluloid, that is the Underwear marathon scene. It still looks like a commercial for Victoria Secret’s and NASCAR. Jackie as usual does his same old Jackie routine. Yet again, he screws up the end by blowing things up like in Rumble, still better than Titanic. The plot is weak but at least not abysmal. The film is good and enough said. If you want to see a really great recent Jackie film, go check out Thunderbolt or his brand new one, Who Am I? Those are his best films since his early-mid ninties period.

Jim Carrey’s Rating: HK version 6/10; US version 7/10

By Andrew

I must say I enjoyed this film quite a bit. Mr. Nice Guy is slick and fast paced and contains a few eye-popping stunts. I had one real problem with this film however, and it’s something of a big problem. This film has way too many similarities to Rumble in the Bronx. There’s a gang that isn’t 100% bad, a bunch of guys in suits that are, mass destruction at the end of the film, and lots of fights. Let’s not forget that Jackie has to go on his own to get the bad guys, and that the cops play dumb at the end. (“we didn’t see anything” – a direct steal from Police Story.) All in all, Mr. Nice Guy is an excellent film, and it’s suitable for novice fans. Even non-action lovers will stand u and cheer for the horse carriage fight/chase scene (did I mention that it was stolen from Buster Keaton?).

Andrew’s Rating: 7/10

By Brian Mojica

This is a *good* Jackie Chan movie when it comes to action. It seems as if they loaded it with as much action as they could. What they got in exchange was a very flimsy plot, in the true Jackie Chan tradition. It involves drug-dealing gangs chasing a reporter who videotaped a transaction gone to hell (potential X-File: the one-camera recording resulted in what appears to be a multi-camera, professionally edited action sequence). Plot developments are revealed during the first hour, while the second half deals mostly with action sequences and chases. The action scenes, however, are very well-done. The highlight of the movie is the fight at a construction site, where Jackie does some dangerous stuntwork with electric saws. The fight also has Jackie doing one of his most impressive “climbs” since Project A Part II’s climb up a bamboo scaffolding.

Some of the action sequences could have been better had it not been for the use slow-motion/strobing effects, which I found distracting in some parts. A house and several expensive cars were demolished by a huge truck for the finale. I didn’t find this impressive at all. Jackie’s movies have been relying on big blasts instead of great fights for the finale, which is unfortunate. It’s been a while since we’ve been treated to a finale like those in Miracles and Dragons Forever. A little more humor and a more effective ending would have greatly improved this film, but it’s still enjoyable.

Brian Mojica’s Rating: 7/10

By Vic Nguyen

A good movie, but is not up to par with Project A and Wheels on Meals. Jackie plays a popular television chef, but after running into a mysterious woman, his life takes a sudden turn. It turns out that a mob tape has been switched with one of his cooking tapes, and the mob will stop at nothing to get it back. Great fights and chases, could easily be called Rumble in the Bronx 2, but it gets old and repetitive after a while. Watch for Samo Hung in a funny cameo on a bicycle during a fight filmed completely inside a van!

Vic Nguyen’s Rating: 7/10

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3 Responses to Mr. Nice Guy | aka Mister Cool (1997) Review

  1. Dan says:

    It’s kind of weird – I don’t think this is a very good movie but it’s one of my favourites, lol. I was disappointed that Jackie used a double for his swing on the crane as it looked like a pretty easy, (and fun!), stunt. I’ve never been able to find out why he didn’t do it.

  2. JJ Hatfield says:

    I believe it was due to a shoulder injury he sustained working through a scene and re-injured during earlier shooting. That much I think is true.

    There were rumors that Sammo and company were concerned whether or not Jackie would make it through the film able to do the action scenes well enough and wanted to spare Jackie’s arm extra stress. This I think might possibly be true but I have no definitive information,

    I kinda thought the crane looked like fun but then I wasn’t the one who had to do it, lol. I’m not sure how clean or how cold that water was and after I rewound the scene a couple of times it may not have been so easy either if I recall. Something about crossing the road and not being able to do a clear run and jump.

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