, 18 Mar 2007
China 1881 When the Princess Pei-Pei (Liu) is kidnapped from the Forbidden City and held for ransom Chon Wang (Chan) begs to be included in the party sent to rescue her. When the train they are travelling on is robbed by Roy O'Bannon (Wilson) and his gang and his uncle is killed Chon Wang goes after Roy. Eventually they team up and ride off to save the princess.
When even the outtakes at the end of a Jackie Chan film are less entertaining than spending the same amount of time slapping yourself in the face you know it's been a really bad day at the office for the clown prince of Kung Fu movies. Shanghai Noon is an embarrassment. The comedy, from both Chan and sidekick Owen Wilson is thuddingly unfunny (and, in one extended sequence with some indians, more than a little bit racist). The physical comedy for which Chan is justly famous is here reduced to such tired gasg as him getting off his horse the worng way and then walking funny; oh my sides, how they ache.
The most serious crime though is that the action is not only rather dull
(shocking what with Jackie, his stunt team and Yuen Biao working on the film) but ineptly shot. Dey forgets to let us see Jackie in several of the big sequences, including a long fall which is the best stunt in the film (an embarrasing standard).
Chan, Wilson and Liu are fine, doing what little is asked of them perfectly well but there's little to love here. There's no moments to rewind gasping 'how'd he do THAT?', none of the fights really get the blood pumping and the comedy is a laugh desert the fact it's not the worst of Jackie's american films speaks only to how catastrophically awful The Medallion really was.
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