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,
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
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
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
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
* If you would like to become a Reel Critic and see a movie on
the newspaper’s tab, call Entertainment Editor JOYCE RUDOLPH at