S.M.A.R.T. Chase

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
S.M.A.R.T. Chase Movie Poster Image
So-so action movie has some violence.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 94 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Some talk of living for today, that now is all we have. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No positive role models. 

Violence

Action movie violence. Fighting with punches, kicks. Bottles broken on heads. Characters knocked out with fire extinguishers. Exploding car. Vehicle chases: cars, motorcycles, scooters. Lead female antagonist slices arm of female protagonist with sharp claw finger. Good guys toss decapitated thumb that used to be on the hand of one of the bad guys. 

Sex
Language

"S--t" said once. "Hell." 

Consumerism

Advertisement for Silk soy milk prominently featured on one of the character's computer screens while he's drinking soy milk. Johnny Walker bottles shown in a bar scene. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking in bars: whiskey, scotch. Cigar smoking. Cigarette smoking. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that S.M.A.R.T. Chase (aka The Shanghai Job in the UK) is a 2018 British-Chinese art heist action movie in which Orlando Bloom plays a down-on-his-luck security agent with a chance to redeem himself. There's a lot of action movie violence: The fighting is primarily done with fists and kicks, but there's also fighting with guns, bottles, and exploding cars. Vehicle chases occur throughout, with cars, motorcycles, and scooters. There's some blood with the violence, including a scene in which the good guys toss the cut-off thumb of one of the bad guys. Some consumerism occurs, along with drinking and cigar and cigarette smoking. Profanity includes "s--t" and "hell." 

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What's the story?

In S.M.A.R.T. CHASE, Danny (Orlando Bloom) is a down-on-his-luck security agent who has been responsible for the safe transport of some of the world's most valuable art. His reputation took a hit when a Van Gogh he was transporting was stolen when his security truck was ambushed. Now he's trying to redeem himself by transporting a valuable Chinese vase out of Shanghai, with the help of his Security Management Action Recovery Team. When they are ambushed once again while trying to transport the vase out of the museum, Danny and his team engage in chaotic back-and-forth between those who took the Van Gogh painting and those who are paying them to steal the vase. As the conspiracy is slowly revealed, Danny must find a way to protect those he loves, while also taking full advantage of the opportunity he sees not only to reclaim the vase, but also to take back the Van Gogh painting and restore his reputation. 

Is it any good?

This doesn't really do much to distinguish itself from other action movies. There are plenty of fight scenes and vehicle chases and plot twists in S.M.A.R.T. Chase, but it never really emerges as anything new or different from movies with similar fight scenes and vehicle chases and plot twists. There's a forced theme of living for today, but it easily gets lost in the complications of the story. It's not a boring action movie, necessarily, but the lack of originality means that it doesn't leave a lasting impression.

As the down-on-his-luck security agent trying to redeem his reputation, Orlando Bloom seems to be doing his best with each line of dialogue and each knockout punch and kick of the bad guys, but the lead character, Danny, still comes off as a cookie-cutter action movie hero. Not even the action really stands out as anything that would leave anyone at the edge of their seat. (Does anyone for even a second think that that priceless vase is going to shatter when it's tossed back and forth?) It starts off with an interesting enough premise, but once it gets going, S.M.A.R.T. Chase just seems to go through all the action movie motions. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about action movies. How does the violence and action of S.M.A.R.T. Chase compare to that of other action movies? 

  • How do the different characters view the Van Gogh painting and the vase that have been stolen? 

  • How was product placement used in this movie? Do you think product placement should be allowed in movies, or does it interfere with the enjoyment of the movie? 

Movie details

For kids who love action

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