Reviews

Shanghai Knights

3

With four Police Stories to his name and a third Rush Hour on the cards, Jackie Chan sequels ceased being big events a long time ago. But while this sporadically entertaining follow-up to 2000's Shanghai Noon lacks the originality and charm that made the first picture such a surprise hoot, Chan fans will be just about sated by the generous helping of anachronistic humour and playful chopsocky served up here.

Upping the ante by relocating Jackie's Chinese cowboy Chon Wang (pronounced "John Wayne") and Owen Wilson's laconic card-sharp Roy O'Bannon from the Wild Wild West to late 19th-century London, Shanghai Knights slightly overplays its hand by shoehorning everything from Stonehenge to Jack The Ripper into its daft narrative. It also overdoes the aren't-British-people-odd? gags, going for lame laughs about yellow teeth and spotted dick (sigh).

But director David Dobkin is at least smart enough to let Wilson improvise at will, while also having the sense to leave Chan plenty of room to pay homage to his cinema heroes - elaborate fight scenes recall Harold Lloyd, the Keystone Cops and Singin' In The Rain. It's enough to keep this sequel afloat. Just.

Film Details

  • 12A
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: January 1st 2004