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Overall Rating

Awesome: 27.73%
Worth A Look63.03%
Average: 5.04%
Pretty Bad: 2.52%
Total Crap: 1.68%

8 reviews, 71 user ratings

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Shanghai Noon
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by Scott Weinberg

"So much better than it should have been."
4 stars

My friend and I see movies together almost every Monday afternoon. The ones we see on Mondays are usually the ones our other friends refuse to see, like Small Time Crooks or Supernova. Last year, we took in a little movie called Rush Hour. For the first time in 10 years, I left before the movie ended. So how excited do you think I was for Shanghai Noon?

It's a real thrill when you expect to dislike a movie, and it slowly wins you over. I had initially planned on waiting to see this one for a few weeks, but it got some solid press and I thought I'd give it a shot. While it's not likely to hit any Top Ten lists, Shanghai Noon is a tight and funny movie. I love surprises!

When Asian Princess Pei-Pei is kidnapped to Frontier America, it's up to Chon Wang (a glorified luggage handler) to rescue her. Once there, he intermittently crosses paths with outlaw Roy O'Bannon and they begin your typical begrudging 'movie' friendship. Roy's got his own villains to deal with, who have most recently buried him in the desert up to his head. If you're wondering if they team up and trade wise-cracks and save the day, you really need to see more movies.

What makes a movie like Shanghai Noon work, where a movie like Rush Hour is pure crap is simple, really. You need a story, and although Shanghai Noon is certainly not the most original movie ever, it offers more than Rush Hour's 'plot outline' regarding a suitcase of money. You need chemistry, which Owen Wilson allows to happen. Chris Tucker is a loud, abrasive and selfish performer, while Wilson seems willing to fade into the background and let Jackie get some attention. Because that's what both of these movies are: showcases for Jackie Chan's physical gymnastics.

Having Jackie's antics take place in the wild west is a stroke of cleverness, as there is ample opportunity for him to do some 'fish out of water' gags, and his martial arts skills are looked at as alien, at best. Although he's getting up there in age, Chan can still flip, kick and chop like no one. His ability to turn normal objects (tress, for example) into weapons is a lot of fun. Here's a question: How is it POSSIBLE that the action sequences in Shanghai Noon are BETTER than the ones in Mission: Impossible 2? Credit first-time director Tom Dey with balancing buddy comedy and solid action scenes into a fun, matinee-type movie.

Jackie is as likable as always, but Owen Wilson steals the show, even with all the chop-socky going on. His Roy is anachronistically mellow and laid back. In many scenes, he allows Jackie to take center stage, only to upstage him from the background. His performance alone would make Shanghai Noon worth seeing. That it's also surprisingly funny and exciting is the unexpected bonus that makes this movie rise above the shackles of the 'buddy-action' genre.

Here's proof that formula filmmaking doesn't have to result in a bad movie. You'll laugh at the gags, you'll be in to the action sequences and best of all: You won't feel stupid for enjoying it.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 06/12/00 06:19:29
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User Comments

12/08/09 Jeff Wilder Chan and Wilson work well together 4 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Laughed my ass off! 4 stars
5/30/06 Kaitlin Prince I freakn' love these two together! Jackie is physically amazing and Owen is hysterical 5 stars
5/16/06 Ouchy wouchy bang bang funny Fun to watch. If this is the film you like you'll love this movie 4 stars
9/02/05 Tom Burns Very funny movie. Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson make a great team. 5 stars
7/28/05 Quigley one of jackie chan's best. the horseshoe sequence was insane. owen was equally funny. 5 stars
6/02/05 Chris A desent comedy worth a few laughs 3 stars
1/31/05 Paul both main actors are good 4 stars
1/24/05 keithers.. Chan has gone hollywood....(Chan fans...look for Yuen Biao) 2 stars
7/28/04 dick hertz awesome niggar 5 stars
5/31/04 Nobody Kind of funny. Very weird. 3 stars
5/19/04 John reminiscent of the old Terence Hill/Bud Spencer movies - story taken from RED SUN - cute 4 stars
12/30/03 tatum Wilson and Chan are equally funny 4 stars
8/03/03 MJM103171 Excellent! It is cinematic literature. 5 stars
7/27/03 peter cox really good 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald Chan and Wilson make an oddly irresistable pair 4 stars
4/01/03 R.W. Welch Imaginative comic actioner, numerous yuks. 4 stars
2/03/03 Turtle Much, much better than expected! Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson together...and it's great! 4 stars
5/17/02 Priscilla Postelthwaite Typical Jackie Chan fare - more zany high jinks than plot lucidity. 4 stars
2/22/02 sweet and a western i like westerns like that one! 5 stars
2/21/02 Xaver Dumb. Cute. See it. 4 stars
12/03/01 Mike Scriven Excellent comedy/western/kungfu/buddy flick 5 stars
11/30/01 Rutt13 Lots of fun, Owen Wilson rulz!!!! 4 stars
8/08/01 Mr. Hat My brother & I love 2 go see Jackie Chan pics together.This is 1 of our best theater trips. 4 stars
7/02/01 TLsmooth Owen Wilson is fucking hilarious....Chris Tucker and Rush Hour 2 can eat my shit. 5 stars
5/09/01 Jake Not too shabby. Wilson has some classic lines. 4 stars
5/07/01 Meridith owen and Jackie were hilarious!! The bath tub scene was the best!!!! 5 stars
4/26/01 tayyab_shahpk 2 stars
4/19/01 fifu a poor jackie chan movie see legend of drunken master 2 stars
4/14/01 kiren khan very nice 1 stars
3/04/01 bullit17 Not bad. Not great, but certainly not bad. 4 stars
3/04/01 Sytse Faber A very good movie! You should really watch it sometime. The best actioncomedy ever! 5 stars
11/29/00 clark damn that Brandon Merrill(the indain wife) is HOT! and legal too! 5 stars
10/12/00 Richie Cunningham Jackie Chan kicks serious ass, weapons, laughs and some good stunts a big budget chan flick 5 stars
10/11/00 The Bomb 69 the beginning and ending were slow but the middle was awesome and hilarious!! 4 stars
9/04/00 FishieDoc Great movie, I laughed through the whole thing. 5 stars
8/16/00 Larwence G. Allotta A fun movie with lots of silly little twists to the plot that are amusing and entertaining. 4 stars
8/13/00 acestorm_2000 Very,fan & cool movie .I am a big Jackie Chan s fan. 5 stars
8/11/00 Poohtoo I like Jackie, Owen & Lucy, but the movie was so average, I'm a bit disappointed 3 stars
7/17/00 Doctor Collosus Best movie of the Summer. Great action. Great humor. Even had great visuals/cinematography. 5 stars
7/16/00 Roman Those damn asians make me laugh 5 stars
7/01/00 FRED OHH 5 stars
6/29/00 PJ This movie was fucking great, Owen Wilson stole the show, almost. great flick 5 stars
6/27/00 Overserved Any movie with a bar room brawl set to ZZ Top's La Grange is A #1 with me. 4 stars
6/26/00 Clare Much better than it looks in the trailers. 4 stars
6/21/00 Heather Really enjoyed it, but there again I am a Jackie fan! 5 stars
6/17/00 Darren Shea Perfect balance of humor and action for fans of Jackie Chan's films 5 stars
6/16/00 R.A.T It was really good & really funny. 5 stars
6/14/00 Krystal Most enjoyable Chan movie in a long time- both good humor and good fighting 4 stars
6/13/00 JonnyA Didn't expect much, but... 4 stars
6/12/00 michael missos great 5 stars
6/12/00 EWillieL Zeitgeist needs a new handle. Jackie goes bigtime in style. 4 stars
6/11/00 Draugluin Owen has some great scenes. See this if you run out of better movies. 3 stars
6/08/00 Bueller Rush Hour was better. Best stuff was shown in the previews. The Chan man can do better. 3 stars
6/07/00 Zeitgeist Further proof that Average Joe American is mindless...this movie was shit. 1 stars
6/07/00 Alma Marquez Kick ass funny! 4 stars
6/02/00 siro no reason not to see it 4 stars
6/01/00 PJ oh man this movie is just great, Owen Wilson practically stole the show, funny as hell 4 stars
6/01/00 malcolm very good but not nearly the best of Jackie Chan 4 stars
5/31/00 PhilmPhreak Go see this movie - great entertainment! 5 stars
5/31/00 Derek K. It's Jackie Chan. It's a comedy. It's Owen Wilson. Why haven't you seen it yet? 5 stars
5/30/00 arnold mi:2=just good action shangahi noon=more than good action 5 stars
5/29/00 Captain Highcrime The one movie this weekend where you're supposed to laugh your ass off at the characters. 4 stars
5/28/00 Ryan Great! Very entertaining! 5 stars
5/28/00 Mike Earrp Chan's the man. Wilson delivers his lines really well. It's light-hearted and fun 5 stars
5/27/00 DatherFrawdad just seemed dull even with some nice fights. 3 stars
5/27/00 Makaveli the Don See this movie and not that MI2 crap! 5 stars
5/26/00 Danield definately jackie best state side film 5 stars
5/24/00 Chen Kenichi Deadlands/Doomtown fans will love it =) 5 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte Great flick better than Rush Hour better fight scenes, Owen Wilson is hilarious. Jet who?? 5 stars
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  26-May-2000 (PG-13)


  10-Aug-2000 (M)

Directed by
  Tom Dey

Written by
  Alfred Gough
  Miles Millar

  Jackie Chan
  Owen Wilson
  Lucy Liu
  Brandon Merrill
  Roger Yuan
  Xander Berkeley

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