Shanghai Knights (2003)

Posted in Reviews by - September 11, 2015
Shanghai Knights (2003)

Shanghai Noon was the surprise comedy hit of 2000, which teamed the slapstick athletics of Jackie Chan with the dry wit of deadpan comedian Owen Wilson to remarkably good effect. A sequel was inevitable, and this is it: a highly enjoyable follow up which sees cowboys Chan and Wilson travel to Victorian England on a quest for revenge. A sword-fighting royal kills Chan’s father and the Chinese Imperial Seal is stolen, and before you can say “buddy movie”, the two likable leads are in London, kicking up a fuss with the locals. Although the story aimlessly wanders into some nonsense about assassinating the royal family (and lapses into sentimentality aren’t uncommon), the good humour reliably picks up the pace. Stereotyped British gags involving Sherlock Holmes, bad teeth and Jack the Ripper are all easy shots, but it’s the detail in Jackie’s action sequences which lift the film. Great set-pieces include a revolving door sketch, a fantastic market brawl involving fruit and umbrellas, and a vase-juggling exercise of which Buster Keaton would be proud. As for the performances, the affable chemistry between the two leads prove there is life in the franchise yet, not to mention great support from Fann Wong as Jackie’s kung fu sister and an immaculately-dressed evil turn from Donnie Yen, who is all-too-hastily killed off during a long-awaited duel with Chan near the movie’s end.

AKA: Shanghai Kid IIShanghai Noon 2

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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