A Boring Jackie Chan Movie? It's Possible!
This Kung Fu is too practised to make you go ‘wow’. There is no Yoga except a couple of references in dialog, and you don’t know if the movie is meant for kids or adults. Everything looks plastic and the story looks anything but legendary. Jackie Chan is better than his last film (so the one star!) and his drive with the Lion earns the other half.
So Jackie Chan is one of China’s foremost archaeologists, and he has invented a color process to detect metal in artifacts. A visiting professor from India (Disha Patani) asks for help in decoding an ancient map that will lead to treasures buried in China. Randall (Sonu Sood) is also after the treasure and attempts to steal the key from the Indo Chinese team. But the Indian archaeologist is a princess and so is her training assistant (Amyra Dastur) and the diamond sceptre will open the doors to an underground temple full of treasure.
If you gag when you realise Sonu Sood plays Randall, then you sort of guess that the treasure will turn out to be something the bad guys will not want. You watch haplessly as the treasure hunt takes you from China to India to Dubai, where there is a spectacular car chase. You don’t want to know what so many Chinese people are doing there, you don’t want to know how a bidding is allowed for stolen undocumented diamond. You just let the car chase - which goes on and on - numb every ounce of logic you possess. You watch Jackie Chan chase Sonu Sood with a lion as passenger. Of course it is a computer generated lion, but the expressions of both the driver and passenger are meant to make you laugh. You do, because there’s nothing else that is good about the film.
Jackie Chan admits he likes Indiana Jones movies, and they make no bones when copying falling down underground passages like a slide (you actually see a proper slide, so you know there is no real danger here), hanging from vines as computer generated snake attempts to scare them. You know they are all trying real hard to act.
There are three Chinese and one Indian sidekicks whose action sequences with Hyenas is exhausting to say the least. Also opening this week is the Chinese American collaboration movie called The Great Wall which also falters because the plot is weak and the action is boring. Looks like filmmakers need to get their act together and realise just marketing means nothing if the content is banal. Wait for the film to show up on cable.
(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)