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Overall Rating

Awesome: 26.09%
Worth A Look31.88%
Average: 26.09%
Pretty Bad: 10.14%
Total Crap: 5.8%

5 reviews, 39 user ratings

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Shanghai Knights
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by Brian McKay

"Dumb and Anachronistic beyond any suspension of disbelief - but Fun!"
3 stars

I probably don't need to write this review, and you probably don't need to read it. Come on. You know what you're getting into with this one. It's not gonna be all that good, but unless you absolutely loathe Jackie Chan or Owen Wilson, it won't be half bad, either.

The plot synopsis is unnecessary. You know the deal. East meets West, hijinks ensue. But the semi-rigid standards of quasi-professional review writing that I hold myself to demand that I provide one anyway, so here goes. After becoming buddies in the first movie, Chon Wang (Chan) and Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) unite again to go to London and track down the killer of Chon's father. The killer, a snooty Lord Rathbone (Aiden Gellen), killed Chon senior as part of some simplistic conspiracy to rise to the British throne while helping co-schemer Wu Yip (Donny Yen) become emperor of China. Chon and Roy go to London, stick out like sore thumbs, and get into all the prop-assisted beatdowns you would expect. Chon's gorgeous sister Lin (Fann Wong) tags along to get revenge, and like Michelle Yeoh did in Supercop, she pretty much upstages Chan in the fight scenes (plus she's a lot easier on the eyes than Jackie. Really.)

The story and antics are mostly predictable, and Chan's fight scenes are hampered by the fact that he's obviously slowing down (and after all the punishment he's put his body through, it's a miracle he can even walk). Fact is, he's fought using just about every piece of furniture on the planet already, and the prop fighting is just starting to get OLD. Also, to call the film historically inaccurate would be kind. More like it takes history, bends it over the table, and sodomizes it with aplomb.

But it's still fun, thanks to the following.

1)Owen Wilson is funny. Which is not to say that he's any kind of great actor. But he is funny, and can save anything if he has even halfway decent lines to work with (couldn't quite save Zoolander though). The chemistry between he and Chan feels genuine, and that covers a multitude of sins.

2)Fann Wong is gorgeous. And she really does upstage Chan much of the time with a quickness and agility that he just can't match anymore.

3}Donny Yen (Iron Monkey) also livens things up considerably, although he looks like he's holding back in the final mano a mano with Jackie, lest he hurt the man.

That said, Chan does still have plenty of charm and kung-fu chops, and it's hard to be completely bored during one of his fight scenes. But at the same time, much of the magic seems to have faded. Just like growing up watching horror movies leaves you desensitized to gore, having seen dozens of Jackie Chan movies is starting to make his usually enjoyable shtick feel like old hat.

I almost saw HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS AND PUNISH MEN FOR TWO HOURS instead (The things I am willing to suffer through just to get a date with a lovely lady). I was spared only by the fact that my date and I were late to the theater, and so SHANGHAI NIGHTS was a welcome substitution. Although fun, the movie was not great - but the company was, and that always helps.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 02/11/03 18:12:44
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User Comments

11/14/15 Ionicera 2 stars for the movie + 1 extra for Aidan Gillen 3 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 4 stars
7/04/06 Ashley Hinz Better than Shanghai Noon. 5 stars
7/28/05 Quigley the plot was bad, but the action and wilson's humor redeemed it. gotta see this movie 5 stars
7/16/05 tony Better than the first one. But still had flaws 3 stars
1/24/05 keithers.. Fun...but Chan Fans would be let down 3 stars
9/19/04 nicole alright 5 stars
5/09/04 reuben jay martin A lot of action 5 stars
4/13/04 Daniel Lowe A hilarious movie with a tonne of action, it is my al time favourite movie. 5 stars
1/29/04 stuntman A very fun film to watch 4 stars
1/01/04 Punk_Ass I was very suprised by this movie. Much better than the first. Really a fun movie 4 stars
11/26/03 jason fchan fucking great 5 stars
11/21/03 rony i was kind of let down by the plot and story, but the action sequences were great. 4 stars
9/08/03 Lauren Duggan It's a awesome movie 5 stars
8/12/03 tricia I loved it 5 stars
5/29/03 Blong It was Awesome 5 stars
4/30/03 Valerie Cameron Plot thickens when some silly boob lets them into secret room! 5 stars
4/22/03 Eloise shame HBS offers no rating lower than 1 Star. 1 stars
4/21/03 jackie chunny i too studied years in film so i must know alot,this movie rocks you pussys 5 stars
4/21/03 eddy mc murphie fucking awsome,i am a critic and could not fault this wonderful chan masterpeice 5 stars
4/13/03 Max Coakley Good 4 stars
3/20/03 Cameron Slick A silly, anachronistic mess, but the pairing of Chan and Wilson makes the movie fun. 4 stars
3/13/03 Roy Smith truth :the plot is.. pathetic, but the action and jokes are fun 4 stars
3/07/03 nick2k it was actually a fun movie. i think jackie and owen got a WORKING formula going. wheee! 4 stars
2/17/03 Suzz fun Jackie Chan film as usual 4 stars
2/17/03 stuntman one wacky adventure!! 5 stars
2/16/03 123 the plot is.. pathetic, but the action and jokes are fun 5 stars
2/12/03 KingNeutron Lots of fun, esp if you're a M.A. fan. 5 stars
2/12/03 Brian One-liners that are funny, JC fights, and they added a chick (hmm.. Rush Hour 2?). Decent. 3 stars
2/12/03 bob leather jacket Surprisingly enjoyable, hilarious and fun to watch 5 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Not As Good As "Noon". Wait for the DVD 3 stars
2/10/03 scooby anything with jackie chan rules! 5 stars
2/10/03 Yo Mama! Not as bad as the rest make it out to be...good laughs, although a bit predictable. 4 stars
2/10/03 Darth Cunnilingus Lots of laughs, Jackie Chan delivers another winner. 5 stars
2/09/03 Large Farve Please..... make it stop...... 1 stars
2/08/03 Titus Some fun sequences, but generally not nearly as good as the first. 3 stars
2/08/03 George Jung Fuck me for watching this, fuck me up my stupid ass. 1 stars
2/08/03 Rob Just bad...honestly 2 stars
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  07-Feb-2003 (PG-13)



Directed by
  David Dobkin

Written by
  Alfred Gough
  Miles Millar

  Jackie Chan
  Owen Wilson
  Fann Wong
  Donnie Yen
  Tom Fisher
  Aidan Gillen

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