The Adventurers is a heist film with a Mission: Impossible feel about a team of thieves traveling around Europe, attempting to find pieces of a valuable necklace known as GAIA, while evading a French cop determined to catch them in the act. It stars Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers, Infernal Affairs) and Jean Reno (The Professional, Mission Impossible). If you liked the Oceans 11, 12 and 13 or From Vegas to Macau movies, this will be right up your alley.
Andy Lau is Zhang, a thief who recently was released from a prison in France. Years earlier he had stolen “The Eye of the Forest”, a gem that makes up part of GAIA, but was betrayed by someone and ended up in jail. When he is released, the cop who arrested him, Pierre (Jean Reno), is waiting to welcome him to the outside so he can follow him and find the stolen gem. But Zhang escapes, thanks to his team, and Pierre begins the chase.
Soon the team is in Cannes tracking another piece of the necklace, “The Wings of Destiny”. We meet Chen Po (Yo Yang from the Taiwanese series “The Pursuit of Happiness”), a hacker with absolutely no game when it comes to the ladies. Then there is Red Ye (Qi Shu – The Transporter, Journey to the West), a beautiful thief who enjoys disguises and has a bit of an eye for Zhang, much to the chagrin of Po.
To help him locate Zhang and the team, Pierre decides to recruit Zhang’s former fiancee, Amber, played by Zhang Jing Chu (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Rush Hour 3). He’s hoping he can use her as leverage and she’s trying to get closure from her failed relationship.
Though you can see the plot twists coming a mile away, it’s still a fun, adventure movie. I’ve always been a big fan of Jean Reno, who also seems to have a big following in China judging by my Weibo feed, and I’ve enjoyed watching Andy Lau in House of Flying Daggers and From Vegas to Macau III. I was a little surprised that the two of them didn’t have more on screen chemistry together as they are both great actors, but I couldn’t quite get invested in their story. I was much more interested in the team of thieves and how they would pull off each heist or get out of each situation they were in so I wish a little more time had been spent fleshing out their characters.
There was a fourth member of the team, Demon (and now I’m wishing I’d watched through the credits as I can’t find the actor’s name online), who I wish they had utilized more as he only interacts with Zhang briefly, yet for each of the heists also plays a significant role in helping the team get in or get away, and gets mentioned more than he’s seen.
Yo Yang as the hacker was my favorite team member and I hope that he gets to be in more films like this as he’s able to blend humor and action in his performance. I know Shu Qi is married to the director and I remember her from The Transporter, but I wasn’t as impressed with her character. She starts out being a smart ass and able to get out of any jam, and then she gets into a situation where you’d expect to see her character easily finesse her way out, but suddenly turns all “deer in the headlights” instead. I’m sure it was to try to help build up the storyline with her and Yo Yang’s character, but I felt they could have done something a little different and still had the same result.
Rounding out the cast is Eric Tsang (Infernal Affairs, Infernal Affairs 2) who plays Kong, the guy who hired Zhang to find all the pieces of the necklace and is also helping him find out who betrayed him, and Sha Yi (The Golden Era, My Own Swordsman) as the wealthy Charlie Law, the owner of the final piece of the necklace, “The Rope of Life”.
After watching the trailers, I’d expected Sha Yi’s character to have a more substantial role in the story and I had been looking forward to seeing that character arc. Instead he ends up playing a very small part which I thought was a shame. Eric Tsang is one of those actors whom I know I’ve seen before, but can’t place. The first scene where he’s introduced right away I wasn’t sure if he was actually as trustworthy as Zhang thinks or if he was working his own angle and I thought he did a good job of walking that line.
This is a fun movie though something I’d probably wait to watch at home rather than in the theater. (Side note: I did happen to get sick this weekend and being able to just curl up to watch this definitely made my day.) If you’re a fan of heist movies with fun car chase sequences, narrow escapes and gorgeous scenery, you should enjoy this movie.