Revenge and romance are more motivating than greed in “The Adventurers,” even though its heroes are Chinese jewel thieves. Fresh out of prison, Zhang (Andy Lau) recruits beguiling Red (Shu Qi) and computer-savvy Po (Tony Yang) for risky heists and handoffs in Cannes, Prague and Kiev. The bandits are as sexy and debonair as the trio of art thieves in John Woo’s 1991 “Once a Thief,” which “The Adventurers” very freely remakes.
Zhang is tracked by Pierre (Jean Reno), a French policeman who — like most of the movie’s Europeans — speaks English. The cop enlists Amber (Zhang Jingchu), an art expert and Zhang’s ex, to help catch his quarry. But the thieves benefit from swagger, charisma and high-tech gadgets so awesome that Po could probably make more money by selling the designs than from stealing precious gems.
Hong Kong director Stephen Fung (“Tai Chi Hero”) is no John Woo, but he gives “The Adventurers” almost as much style as its larcenous characters exude. While the basic ingredients are familiar, Fung endows them with panache and speed, and he punctuates the action with humor. Many of the gags turn on the allure of Shu, who married the director partway through filming.
Unrated. At Regal’s Rockville Center Stadium 13. Contains violence and drinking. In Mandarin, English, French and Russian with subtitles. 104 minutes.