Little Big Soldier is one of my favorite Jackie Chan movies. This pseudo-historical twist on an unlikely buddy comedy is a journey you really need to consider. It is a hilarious adventure with a powerful and relevant message. I have watched this movie in both the original Cantonese and its English dubbing. While the dubbing is solid, I prefer the original because there is a lot of emotion that is lost in translation. Not that I understand any Cantonese.
Little Big Soldier is about a farmer who doesn’t want to be a soldier. He uses his wit to survive a bloody battle where he was able to capture an enemy general by chance. He is determined to turn in the enemy general to his own empire so that he may never have to fight in another war. The two start off as enemies, but will reluctantly become friends along the way.
This movie is a reimagining of historical events, but it also aims to show how meaningless war is. While I can’t speak on its historical accuracy, the narrative is fantastic. The movie does a great job of showing the effects war has on some of the different groups of people in China. From the nomadic tribes to the wondering homeless trying to survive, everyone is affected by the decisions of a few greedy men. It is scary to think a single impulse or feud could uproot and destroy the lives of thousands of people. This movie makes some very powerful criticisms about war while at the same time being silly and entertaining.
You can watch this movie in Cantonese for free on YouTube. You can watch the English dubbing on Peacock with a subscription.