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Shanghai Knights

Shanghai Knights (2003)

February. 07,2003
| Adventure Action Comedy Western

The dynamic duo of Chon Wang and Roy O'Bannon return for another crazy adventure. This time, they're in London to avenge the murder of Chon's father, but end up on an even bigger case. Chon's sister is there to do the same, but instead unearths a plot to kill the royal family. No one believes her, though, and it's up to Chon and Roy (who has romance on his mind) to prove her right.


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That was an excellent one.


A waste of 90 minutes of my life


It's not great by any means, but it's a pretty good movie that didn't leave me filled with regret for investing time in it.

Ezmae Chang

This is a small, humorous movie in some ways, but it has a huge heart. What a nice experience.


Enjoyed this equally as much as Shanghai Noon. Seen it as a kid, watched it again, this time understanding all the cultural references which made it even more enjoyable. Charlie Chaplin, Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle, etc. Flaws, of course there were (machine gun hitting absolutely nobody, okay, maybe just 1 person). Same as the first, I didn't enjoy the stereotypes. Sure it makes it fun sometimes, but I'm just tired of them. Definitely enjoyed the "Singin in the Rain" fight scene, one of my Jackie favorites of all time. I wonder where they'll go next (sequel pending).


The hilarious Jackie Chan & Owen Wilson action comedy "Shanghai Knights" captures the light-hearted lunacy of those classic Bob Hope western comedies "The Paleface" (1948) and "Son of Paleface" (1952). "In Shanghai Knights," our hapless heroes constantly make clowns of themselves in outrageous outfits, and barely have enough time to catch their breath because the cunning villains hold the upper hand. Indeed, the Alfred Gough and Miles Millar screenplay adheres to the familiar formulaic fracas about strangers-in-a-strange-land who find themselves out-manned as well as out-gunned and must navigate an arduous obstacle course of cliffhanger proportions. At the same time, Shanghai Knights" relies on saddle-sore clichés, such as the one about the bad guys who murder the protagonist's poor old pappy. Of course, the lead vows to punish them! Naturally, a priceless cultural treasure is at stake, too.Aside from some occasional profane language of a PG-13 variety, this lavishly-mounted, seriocomic melodrama boasts the best marital arts choreography of any American-made Jackie Chan movie, along with the presence of "Iron Monkey" star Donnie Yen. The computer-generated long shots of London, England, which approximate the look of the late 1880s, are impressive, while Adrian Biddle's stunning widescreen cinematography is a treat for the eyes. If you missed the original "Shanghai Noon" (2000), Shanghai Knights" catches you up about everything relevant to the narrative. Ultimately, what differentiates this 107-minute cowboys-in-England comedy from any recent farces is its reckless disregard for realism, historical veracity, and the laws of gravity. Nevertheless, "Clay Pigeons" director David Dobkin serves up this buffoonery with such consummate style that its clichés and conventions contribute to rather than detract from audience expectations.In "Shanghai Noon," a pint-sized but obedient Imperial Guardsman named Chon Wong (Jackie Chan of "Rush Hour") embarks on a cultural odyssey to the wild and woolly West to free a beautiful Chinese princess kidnapped by her tutor. Chon Wong (pronounced John Wayne) teams up with sympathetic 'Butch Cassidy' type outlaw Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson of "Bottle Rocket") after his gang of owl hoots double-cross him. Together, Chon and Roy rescue the heroine and vanquish the vile villains. As "Shanghai Knights" opens, Chon still wears the tin star as the sheriff of Carson City, Nevada. Meanwhile, Roy has headed back east to New York City and has written dime novels about his dubious exploits. Half-way around the world in distant China, an outcast Wu Chan (Donnie Yen) steals the Great Seal and stabs Chon's father in cold blood when the senior tries to stop him. Chon's gorgeous, heretofore unknown sister Chon Lin (Singapore-born actress-singer-model Fann Wong) wires Chon about his dad's death and pursues the villains to cosmopolitan London. Promoting his deputy to sheriff, Chon heads off to New York City to find Roy.Roy has made a mess of his life and earns his income as a lowly waiter. When our heroes arrive in England, they deal with a gallery of Charles Dickens type characters as well as some real-lifers. One of the more humorous scenes shows what happens when Jack the Ripper falls prey to a high-kicking martial arts babe. During the screwball shenanigans, Chon Wang and Roy O'Bannon meet Arthur Conan Doyle, before the author wrote the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, drop in on Queen Victoria, and foil an assassination. Talk about a whirlwind of events! Jackie Chan plays tribute to his all-time favorite comedians and dancers in "Shanghai Knights." Chan cavorts with an umbrella a la Gene Kelly in an imaginative homage to "Singing in the Rain," while he battles his assailants. Later, Chon dangles helplessly from the Big Ben clock tower like famed silent movie comedian Harold Lloyd did in "Safety Last" (1923). As Roy and Chon struggle to smuggle themselves out of New York, Jackie adroitly thwarts Gotham police dressed, appropriately enough for the era, like the Keystone Cops in a revolving hotel door. The way that our hero eludes and handcuffs the cops in the revolving door gag is priceless. When Chan isn't generating more than enough giddy-up in terms of his own unique acrobatic antics, Wilson indulges in his giddy-yap brand of verbal wit, spouting words and phrases coined in the 1960s that were never uttered in the 1880s. "Shanghai Knights" features modern-day music on its soundtrack as if to make this semi-kung fu western palatable for contemporary tastes. Altogether, as sequels go, "Shanghai Knights" surpasses "Shanghai Noon."


Shanghai Knights was phenomenal. You can't even compare this to the present profanity- laced, soft-porn comedies that are littering Hollywood's landscape. What made this movie more enjoyable than the average Jackie Chan movie was co-star Owen Wilson's wonderfully-timed, great sense of humor. The chemistry between Chan and Wilson is terrific and Owen Wilson's ramblings add so much to this film. Fans of the typical Jackie Chan movie will still be entertained by his amazing stunts, but Jackie has never been funnier. The story isn't much more than an excuse to see Owen and Jackie in action, but they more than make up for a somewhat weak plot and other minor, underdeveloped characters. For what kind of movie this is the cinematography is worth mention. Great shots of Great Britain. If you thought Rush Hour was half decent or have fallen in love with Owen Wilson from any of his other movies then go rent this movie now.


Excessively silly and unnecessary follow-up to Shanghai Noon finds Chan having adapted to life in the Old West. When the great Imperial Seal is stolen back east in China, he tracks down old pal and reckless gambler Wilson and together they travel abroad to England to not only try and find the seal, but more importantly to rescue Chan's sister who was also abducted as part of the dastardly deed. Makes good use of its British scenery, and Chan is as typically fun to watch, but Wilson is annoyingly one-note, there's an abundance of stupid, redundant gags, and a story that's too weak to sustain the entire film. Can only be recommended for fans who really enjoy the Chan-Wilson team. **