SHANGHAI  KNIGHTS   - A  Narada   Film Review

    Chong Wan, and  
    OWEN WILSON as    
    Roy Obannon
     Chong Wan, and     
     FANN WONG as 
  	 Chon Lin
     Chong Wan, and 
     DONNIE YEN as
     as Wu Chen
Shanghai Knights -  2003   - David Dobkin - Director  & Roger Birnbaum - Producer

  Being a sequel, SHANGHAI KNIGHTS already had two strikes against it.   Hollywood makes a sequel for only one reason - they thought they left money on the table, and they are frantically trying to return to the crime scene to clean up.  Entertainment never enters their minds.   On the other hand, Jackie Chan films are never bad.  This reviewer therefore felt sure that SHANGHAI KNIGHTS couldn't possibly be any worse than the original.
       Never underestimate Hollywood.  The tone of comedy had changed this time around, to something between campy and downright banal, and used some of the oldest gags in the motion picture industry -- some old Chaplin; --the revolving door gig, --people stuck out on the hands of Big Ben, and even some Keystone Cops antics with 'horseless carriages'. On top of this, Director Dobkin was straining way too hard to convince us that this was the closest-of-close "Buddy Pic" - as buddy pics go, this film's cringe-factor was equal to that of "Batman & Robin".
       And was there little less spring in Jackie's step?  A greater use of stunt doubles?  More 'action' special effects?  Jackie will be 50 next year, so we can't hold this one against him personally, but if we are going in for SFX, lets do it with class.  To express myself with some semblance of control, in addition to the worst SFX I've seen in a decade, the film had probably the cheeziest scenery backdrops ever to appear in a moving picture - the '1890's London' backdrop looked like it was done for a school play with poster paints and a toothbrush - it was that bad.
       In a sort of reverse-divining process available to those of us who never miss a Jackie Chan film, an observation of the out-takes at the end of each film is a sure indication of the time and care that went into its making.  To be honest, the out-takes from SHANGHAI KNIGHTS left us straining, wishing we could find a little something to laugh at.  One suspects this film was done on the slimmest shoe-string.  This is not a film Jackie will want to include on his resume.
      Enduring Line or Phrase:  "That's the most romantic thing a woman has ever said to me."

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