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Shanghai Knights
DVD disk
10.08.2004 By: Indiana Sev
Shanghai Knights order
Director:
David Dobkin

Actors:
Owen Wilson
Jackie Chan
Donnie Yen

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Roy O’Bannon (Wilson) and Chon Wang (Chan) are two “cowboys” who trek their way to London to avenge Wang’s father’s murder. This sequel to SHANGHAI NOON has about as much originality, fun and excitement as my last dentist appointment.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
What’s the big deal with the great Jackie Chan? Okay, so he does his own stunts and does them well. But, he can’t act! He’s not even a capable or average actor...the man is awful. So, that makes him a stuntman who’s making movies, right? The result is this reviewer getting frustrated when he sees him matched up with a very charming and talented actor/comedian like Owen Wilson. I laughed regularly at Wilson’s quips, cracks and one-liners, but unfortunately that was offset by Chan’s horrible delivery, embarrassingly weak acting and tired old “I’m going to use an ordinary object to kick someone’s ass” fight scenes. I can’t believe this is still entertaining to some people. How about this for an innovative idea: Get a real Asian actor, have a stuntman do his stunts and then pair him up with an equally efficient actor (like Wilson) so that they could have the camaraderie and the skill to give a movie like this some life!

That being said, the script here was also as generic and lifeless as my last date. They obviously wanted to cash in on the last hit from this duo so they slapped together a quick fish-out-of-America plotline, dumped a few ”Brits have lousy teeth" jokes in there and voila...instant dud. I’m genuinely surprised that Wilson actually had a few funny lines, in fact, I suspect that most of his dialogue was improvised by himself, especially since the rest of the screenplay sucked. Dumb bad guys, dumb love story and about 4 or 5 dumb fight sequences that you’ve seen in about 10 other Jackie Chan films. Only one impressed me a little bit, an homage to Gene Kelly’s “SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN” fight sequence that just reminded me to stop wasting my time watching junk like this and rent a quality movie instead.
THE EXTRAS
There are two sets of audio commentaries on this disc. The first is with the director David Dobkin. There a few lulls in this one, but then again, there aren’t exactly layers and layers of important themes to discuss in this clunker. Next, the two screenwriters, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar get a chance to talk about their rotten gags and stupid ideas. It’s funny to see how misguided two people can be. These deluded scriptwriters' idea of what’s funny is funnier than the actual movie they wrote.

They don’t skimp on the deleted scenes though, with 11 in all. It’s always fun to see more Owen Wilson, it’s just tough for me to watch all the money they spent on these scenes go to waste when they could have used it to hire an acting coach for Jackie Chan. Action Overload is a 90 second “feature” putting together many of the action sequences from this bomb in a black & white silent film type video. Nothing special, this is just another bullshit feature they add on to make it seem like they have a ton of them. Finally, Fight Manual is a 9-minute feature which has Jackie and the director talking about all the challenges an action/comedy demands of them. This includes many boring and unnecessary behind-the-scenes fight sequences and even more boring “insights” on these fights. For Jackie Chan fans only!!!!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
* YAWN * You’ve seen all this before in about a dozen other films, so don’t waste your time. Rent a funny Owen Wilson instead like MEET THE PARENTS or THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS. The extras are also about as weak as Chan’s chances of a long career in Hollywood. I strongly advise everybody to keep away from this terrible movie. Diagnosis: Shit.
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