Little Big Soldier (15)

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The Independent Culture

Jackie Chan goes from mock to epic in the course of this odd-couple road comedy, set during China's internecine struggles in the third century BC.

He plays a foot soldier from the state of Liang who's survived the carnage by the expedient of playing dead: he even wears a fake broken arrow on his breastplate. In the aftermath of one bloody battle he takes hostage a proud, bellicose general from Wei (Wang Leehom) who would rather have died with honour. On their way back to Liang this unlikely pair argue the toss about war and character, each resenting what they regard in the other as moral failure. In the meantime they have to keep their wits about them as bandits lurk in the mountains ahead. Chan is his usual ebullient self, pretending to play the coward yet showing both ingenuity and courage when up against it. It's not vintage Chan, but it will do.