Shanghai Knights is about a villain who kills the father of Jackie Chan and takes the royal seal for another villain played by Donny Yen who will in exchange murder the entire royal family, so that the prince can take over the throne. Jackie Chan and his partner this time played by Owen Wilson, who I don’t like nearly as much as Chris Tucker but is still funny sometimes, try to stop the criminals.
Jackie Chan plays a sheriff. His partner played by Owen Wilson is sometimes funny. They also work with Jackie Chan’s sister who is attractive and a skilled martial artist. There’s a kid who picks pockets and is a little annoying, but tags along anyway.
The villains are pretty good. Donny Yen is great as always as the villain while the duke makes you dislike him with his cheap tricks shooting a detective in the shoulder with a hidden gun and knocking Owen Wilson out of a window when he isn’t looking.
Despite being highly juvenile, this movie does boast some clever action scenes such as when Jackie Chan does a parody of Singing In the Rain with the umbrellas. The final fight scene between Jackie Chan and Donny Yen is pretty good. Quite frankly any avid martial arts fan would tell you Donny Yen would defeat Jackie Chan in a real fight, but fortunately the plot was on Jackie Chan’s side and Donny Yen gets blown up by fireworks from Jackie Chan’s sister. It’s another example of a fight scene that the villain should’ve won along with Roger Moore vs Christopher Lee in Man With the Golden Gun. Oh, well, I digress.
There is a lot of humor in this movie. It’s one of Jackie Chan’s many comedy action movies, aided by the fact that this time Hollywood is in charge and the humor actually kind of makes sense. Owen Wilson is a decent comedian I guess. Jackie Chan’s sister beats the crap out of Jack the Ripper by knocking him off a bridge and endearingly calling him a bad name in her native tongue.
The music is dramatic and sometimes fits the mood pretty well. The setting this time is Britain. Jackie Chan seems to travel all over the world, particularly when he ends up in a movie like Around the World In Eighty Days. Whether he is in a different dimension, a German military base, France or Britain, though, he is almost always entertaining.