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Don’t waste your night on these ‘Knights’

David Silva of Burbank is the city editor of the News-Press, The

Leader’s sister newspaper.

I volunteered to review “Shanghai Knights,” having loved the first

Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson team-up, “Shanghai Noon.” One of these days,

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I’m going to have to take a look at why I always seem to volunteer

for bad experiences.

The plot to “Shanghai Knights” is somewhat of a redux of the first

film. Mild-mannered Chan joins forces with the unapologetically

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ne’er-do well Wilson to recover a stolen treasure (the imperial seal

in “Knights,” Lucy Liu in “Noon”) and avenge a blood debt. Their

quest takes them to merry old England, where they encounter the

latest of Hollywood’s evil British lords (Aidan Gillen), Arthur Conan

Doyle (Thomas Fisher), Charlie Chaplin (Aaron Johnson) and, you

figure this one out, Jack the Ripper (Oliver Cotton).

Never you mind that Chaplin was less than a year old when the

Ripper was tearing about Whitechapel. Thinking about this movie will

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only get you in trouble.

Fans of Chan’s astounding martial acrobatics and Wilson’s deadpan

humor will find a lot to love here. Wilson’s delivery of “That’s the

most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me” is almost worth the

price of admission. Almost.

But watching Chan tiptoe over logic and character development to

get to the next fight scene was curiously reminiscent of William

Macy’s description of a porn script in “Boogie Nights": “Chan and

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Wilson enter the ballroom. They talk. Chan goes at it. Chan and

Wilson enter the market- place. They talk. Chan goes at it.”

It’s possible “Shanghai Knights” had its inspired moments, but if

there were, I slept through them.

“Shanghai Knights” is rated PG-13 for action violence and sexual

content.

* If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a movie on

the newspaper’s tab, call Entertainment Editor JOYCE RUDOLPH at

637-3241.


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