Shanghai Knights

"Bad"

Shanghai Knights Review


I was in the minority of critics that actually gave Jackie Chan's last buddy picture The Tuxedo a passing grade. Sure, the plot is a throwaway and as Chan's super-spy partner, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a complete miscast. But thanks to Chan's great charisma, the movie transcends its doldrums. So with Shanghai Knights, the follow up to the entertaining Shanghai Noon, I feared this buddy story would suffer from similar inadequacies.

In Knights, Chan returns as Chon Wang, who along with sidekick Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson), take their latest adventure from the Wild Wild West to London, where Chon seeks to avenge the brutal slaying of his father and obtain the stolen Chinese Imperial Seal. While there, the pair teams up with Chon's much younger, hotter, and ass-kickinger sister, Lin (Fann Wong) to hunt down their father's killer, Rathbone (Aiden Gillen) and foil Rathbone's plot to assassinate the Royal family. The three certainly have their work cut out for them.

There isn't much plot to describe in Shanghai Knights because the film is a complete mess. Much of the movie's failures can be traced to the lackluster guidance of first time director David Dobkin and a weak screenplay from Noon writers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. The action sequences are mediocre at best - they completely lack the energy and excitement of those in Noon. To add insult, the comedic timing between Chan and Wilson feels too forced. I'm sure this relates to the lack of material they had written for them. Wilson is not funny here and he's just as annoying in Knights as he was in his last buddy flick, I Spy. I really hoped Chan could work some of his usual magic to help the film overcome its failings, but even Chan is a little flat.

The real find in Shanghai Knights is Wong. The Singapore pop music sensation proves she has some acting talent hidden behind her good looks. Wong's action scenes are far more engaging and though I didn't count, I bet she kicked more ass than both Chan and Wilson combined. Unfortunately, the dreadful screenplay calls for a completely unnecessary romance between her and Wilson. I couldn't have cared less.

Shanghai Knights lacks the necessary elements to give it the fun and adventurous nature of its predecessor. And while Chan can usually take a bad film and turn it around into something decent, Knights is beyond any Band-Aid he can put on it. The real entertainment is found in the closing credits where the outtakes provide for much better laughs than those found in the film itself.

Bonus features on the DVD include a half hour of deleted scenes plus two commentary tracks (one from Dobkin, one from writers Gough and Millar, neither bound to knock your socks off).

How many fingers?



Shanghai Knights

Facts and Figures

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th February 2003

Box Office USA: $60.4M

Box Office Worldwide: $60.5M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures

Production compaines: Spyglass Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Fresh: 97 Rotten: 51

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Chon Wang, as Roy O’Bannon, as Chon Lin, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Charlie Chaplin, as Lord Nelson Rathbone, as Wu Chow, as Jack the Ripper, as Prostitute, Constantine Gregory as The Mayor, Jonathan Harvey as Fagin #1, Richard Haas as Street Preacher, Anna-Louise Plowman as Debutante, as Debutante, John Owens as Server, as Master at Arms, Kim Chan as Chon Wang's Father, as Queen Victoria, Daisy Beaumont as Cigarette Girl, Eric Meyers as Front Desk Clerk

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

On the Road Movie Review

On the Road Movie Review

Wolf Alice fans are likely to be rather disappointed by this hybrid documentary-drama about the...

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Borg/McEnroe Movie Review

Skilfully made by Swedish filmmaker Janus Metz (the award-winning Armadillo), this film is essentially a...

Advertisement
The Glass Castle Movie Review

The Glass Castle Movie Review

There are quite a few terrific moments in this true story, based on the memoir...

Home Again Movie Review

Home Again Movie Review

Reese Witherspoon is so likeable that she can carry even the most hackneyed of romantic...

Brimstone Movie Review

Brimstone Movie Review

An unnerving Western with a sharp female perspective, this film is a series of gruesome...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Movie Review

Two years ago, Kingsman: The Secret Service seemed to come out of nowhere, ruffling feathers...

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin Movie Review

This biopic about Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne may look like the usual lushly...

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.