Review By Jamie M MacDonald
Forgotten by the public and abandoned by the industry he devoted his life to Master Lao (Jackie Chan) and his beloved horse Red Hare lead a simple life, making a living by taking photos day to day with tourists in the city near where they live. Losing everything his business, wife and daughter Bao (Liu Haocun) Leo`s only family is Red Hare whom he raised from when he was a colt. When a debt collector (Andy On) and his men come to collect from Leo, Master Lao and Red Hare defend themselves the only way know how fists feet and hoofs are flying, who would’ve known that this exchange would be caught on camera? Overnight Master Lao and Red Hare start to get offers of stunt work again. Looking at this as his comeback, Lao puts all he has into training Red Hare and performing. Always in the back of his mind is the debt dispute where he could lose Red Hare through the court system. Faced with this Lao asks his daughter Bao for help. Could this be his big comeback in show business, could it be a chance to reconnect with his beloved daughter Bao who has not wanted anything to do with him since her Mum died. Or will Lao let his career come first and sacrifice all of this?
It is an enjoyable action family comedy drama from up and coming writer director Larry Yang; the film blends all these with ease. Mainly due to the wonderful engaging performance from Jackie Chan, he gives a heartfelt and moving tribute not only to his career but also to Hong Kong Stuntmen across the industry. A passionate look back at his career and the personal sacrifices he must had made to maintain it through the years; it is like with this film Jackie Chan has come full circle. Red Hare is the heart of the story; also him trying to rebuild a relationship with his daughter played by the very talented Liu Haocun, she and Jackie’s scenes together are very touching as they get to know each other. It is full of nice little cameos as well. My favourite of which is from Wu Jing, the exchange between Jackie and Wu is just pure magic. Of course we have Chan`s trademark fight scenes, this time though the horse gets involved which is so good to watch and really did put a smile on my face with a few laugh out loud moments during them. Also you have the drama of Red Hare been taking away from Jackie, he really gives all his heart to these as you see his desperation struggle as he tries to come to terms with it if he does lose his beloved horse.
Ride On is most definitely a return to form for Jackie I think he gives his best acting in years for this film. It ticks all the emotional boxes as well as keeping action fans happy with some very nice Chan style fight scenes. The Finale fight with Andy On and his men is a delight to watch and blends with ease Jackie`s style of action and comedy. With Vanguard Jackie took a back seat to the younger cast, but with Ride On It`s all him. I was happy to see him in a leading role that I really can`t see anyone else playing, the film works because of Jackie. Jackie Chan is back to his best and by the end of the film you will be both smiling and have a tear in your eye.
Now to finish off just a wee mention about the exciting news from Emperor Motion Pictures about the sequel to New Police Story to be directed by Nicholas Tse and starring Tse, Jackie Chan and Charlene Choi. This is most welcome and exciting news! Also it proves for me that Jackie is well and truly back!