Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Shanghai Knights

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
8 out of 10
Extras Rating:
7 out of 10
Movie Details:
View here

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Rating: PG-13

Starring:
Jackie Chan as Chon Wang
Owen Wilson as Roy O'Bannon
Donnie Yen as Wu Chow
Aidan Gillen as Lord Nelson Rathbone
Fann Wong as Chon Lin
Tom Fisher as Artie Doyle
Gemma Jones as Queen Victoria
Aaron Johnson as Charlie Chaplin
Kim Chan as Chon Wang's Father
Constantine Gregory as The Mayor
Oliver Cotton as Jack the Ripper
Jonathan Harvey as Fagin #1

Special Features:
Commentary by director David Dobkin

Commentary by writers Alfred Gough & Miles Millar

Deleted scenes

"Fight Manual" with Jackie Chan and director David Dobkin

Action Overload feature; all the action, music video style

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1) Ė Enhanced for 16x9 Televisions
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
French Language Track
Spanish Subtitles
Running Time: 114 Minutes

Synopsis:
Some time after Shanghai Noon, Chon Wang is still a sheriff in Nevada. He gets word from his sister, Chon Lin, that his estranged father has been killed. The royal seal he was entrusted to protect has also been stolen. Lin has followed the murderers to London. Seeking vengeance for his father death, Chon Wang heads to England. But first he must make a stop in New York where his former partner, Roy OíBannon, is living.

Chon finds that Roy is still up to his old tricks. Not only is he in trouble again, he has squandered away their reward from their previous adventure. On the run and out of options, Roy follows Chon to London. Together they face a new kind of culture shock as they encounter English society. As they investigate the murder of Chonís father, they discover a connection with a secret plot to kill the Royal Family. They also find Chonís sister locked in jail for trying to kill her fatherís murderer. Can Chon and Roy save the day?

Shanghai Knights is rated PG-13 for action violence and sexual content.

The Movie:
If you liked Shanghai Noon, youíll enjoy Shanghai Knights. While I think the first film was better, this sequel is still entertaining. This movie is the perfect example of an ďaction comedyĒ. Spectacular fights are mixed in with healthy doses of humor for a popcorn flick thatís a lot of fun.

The highlights of these films are the fight scenes with Jackie Chan. While they arenít as death defying or spectacular as his vintage material, they are still amusing and amazing. Itís really ďJackie Chan LiteĒ. Memorable scenes include a fight in a revolving door with some Keystone Cops, a swashbuckling sword fight in Big Ben, and a street fight with some English thugs that suddenly turns into a recreation of Singiní In The Rain. These tips of the hat to old Hollywood add a little extra humor to the scenes and make them more memorable.

While Jackie Chan continues to struggle with English, he seems more comfortable in this role than Iíve seen him in a while. He plays the straight man well and his stunts look even better against a big-budget production. He continues to have good chemistry with Owen Wilson as Roy OíBannon. The two pick right up where they left off in the first film. Wilsonís laid-back humor fits well with Chanís style. Fann Wong appears as Chon Lin in this film. Sheís both beautiful and tough in this role. Her blossoming romance with Wilson is funnier because of the fact that it riles up Chon Wang so much. Donnie Yen appears as the villain Wu Chow. He has a great final battle with Chan that makes them both look good. Unfortunately, though, the other villain played by Aidan Gillen isnít terribly intimidating or appealing. His character could have used some more work even if he does have a nice swordfight in the end.

Shanghai Knights also features bloopers at the end, just like every other Jackie Chan movie. There are also a number of humorous references to historical figures like Jack the Ripper, Charlie Chaplain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and others.

Overall, Shanghai Knights is a fun action comedy and a great buddy flick. The action is good and the humor is amusing. Throw historical accuracy out the window along with your brain, though.

The Extras:
This DVD is fairly light on the extras. Hereís what you can expect:

Commentary by director David Dobkin Ė Dobkin provides an interesting, though sometimes dry commentary. He talks about how he was brought on board for the project, the set and costume design, working with the actors, and more. He also discusses a few deleted scenes (which are included on the DVD).

Commentary by writers Alfred Gough & Miles Millar Ė This is the more interesting of the two commentaries. Gough and Millar discuss the writing process, collaborating with Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, and more. They talk about scenes they wished they could include, deleted scenes, and other issues with the script. And since Millar is British, he adds a different perspective to the whole American in England storyline. If you listen to a commentary, I recommend this one.

Deleted scenes Ė Thereís an incredible number of deleted scenes on this DVD. I didnít count them all, but thereís in the neighborhood of a dozen. Most of them are very brief bits of dialogue that are removed. All of the deleted scenes are edited back in with the original footage, so some of the time you canít even tell what part was deleted because they are so short. None of it was essential to the plot, though. One bit explained a little more what happened between the movies. Another part showed more of Arthur Conan Doyle exhibiting his detective skills. The biggest deleted moments, though, are involved with the fight scenes. They are cut back in for full, unedited fight sequences. The battle in the library has the most impressive deleted scene footage.

"Fight Manual" with Jackie Chan and director David Dobkin Ė Chan and Dobkin briefly talk about how they choreograph fight scenes. Apparently Dobkin stands back and lets Chan do whatever he wants. (Wise move.) Chan talks about how he gets brainstorms for bits during the fights and how he adds them in. This video has a ton of behind the scenes footage and itís worth viewing. Thereís a funny moment where Owen Wilson attempts to knock down a fleeing bad guy and snatch Chonís hat out of the sky as it flies off his head. Wilson is shown hitting the guy over and over and missing the hat. It certainly makes you feel sorry for the stuntman.

Action Overload feature; all the action, music video style Ė This is just a music video showing action scenes from the movie. Itís mainly old silent movie music and the footage is made to look old and worn. Strangely, Chanís fight choreography fits the old silent film format perfectly.

The Bottom Line:

If you enjoyed Shanghai Noon or if you like action comedies, this one is a must-see. I would only buy it, though, if I owned the first film. Otherwise itís a great renter.


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