"Shanghai Knights is entertaining - but I never ever want to watch it again."
- Mighty Peking Man
Shanghai Noon (2003)
Director: David Dobkin
Producer: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Jonathan Glickman
Writer: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
Action Director: Jackie Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Aidan Gillen, Fan Man-Fong, Tom Fisher, Donnie Yen
Running Time: 107 min.
Plot: After taming the wild west in the comedy "Shanghai Noon," Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) and Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) are back in the saddle, but off the range this time, they're out to settle a score in civilized London in the sequel, "Shanghai Knights." When a Chinese rebel murders Chon's estranged father and escapes to England, Chon and Roy make their way to London with revenge on their minds. Chon's sister, Lin, has the same idea, and uncovers a worldwide conspiracy to murder the royal family but almost no one will believe her. With the help of a kindly Scotland Yard Inspector and a 10-year-old street urchin, the acrobatic Chon (Chan) gives Victorian Britain a kick in the pants as he attempts to avenge his father's death and keep the romance-minded Roy away from his sister.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: It's too bad Jackie Chan isn't white. If he was, he'd make a remarkable Buster Keaton in a possible biography film. Everyone who knows Jackie Chan knows that Buster Keaton is one of his primary influences. Starting with 1978's "Drunken Master", Jackie nailed down his influential "kung-fu comedy" trademark and continued to do so throughout the 1980's and the early 90's, balancing a perfect blend of crazy kung-fu and over-the-top comedy. Now, it's 2003; and Jackie has managed to give more attention to comedy and slowly wash away kung-fu almost completely. I heard a few people, even from Jackie Chan himself, that "Shanghai Knights" is old-school Jackie Chan. If old-school Jackie Chan means something like "Project A", then these people don't know what a "Jackie Chan" film is all about. Even Jackie is clueless about his "role" in cinema.
Believe me, the absence of a "solid" kung-fu scene in "Shanghai Knights" comes to no surprise. Ever since Jackie's first Hollywood project (minus "Protector", "The Big Brawl" and those Burt Reynolds flicks) "Rush Hour", I've been able to to draw that line between "A Jackie Chan Film" (ie "Police Story" and "Drunken Master II") and "A Film With Jackie Chan" (ie "Tuxedo" and "Rush Hour I and II").
"Shanghai Knights" is far from a "A Jackie Chan Film". The martial-arts and multiple minute fight scenes are exchanged for silent film comedy and brawls that rely too much on how Jackie can dispose his enemies relying on constant use of umbrellas, ladders and other props.
I'm lazy and I hate reviewing Hollywood movies. I'm just gonna finish off this review with a quick rundown...
The bottom line is "Shanghai Knights" is entertaining - but I never ever want to watch it again. Hope I got my point across.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 7/10