Shanghai Noon

Dir: Tom Dey
Star: Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu, Roger Yuan

It's hard to work out why Chan's follow-up to Rush Hour doesn't work as it should. There's certainly more action, the plot is no dumber, in a rescue-the-princess kind of way, and Wilson, the bandit with whom he teams up, is much less irritating than Chris Tucker. However, while Rush Hour put Jackie into a fresh new arena, this feels more like an amalgam of a dozen other JC films: this fight's like Drunken Master 2, that one's from Dragon Lord and even the whole "living with the natives" schtick was done in Who am I?. There are also hideous mis-steps: I like Kid Rock, but using his music distracts badly from the Wild West setting. Odd moments poke through, the best being Wilson and Chan playing that obscurist Chinese drinking game that involves pointing and singing, which is so genuinely good-humoured you can't help but smile. This is more an exception than the rule, and when even the traditional out-takes provoke barely a yawn, you can tell this has failed to deliver.


How the East was won
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