Sunday, December 7, 2014

From the Queue: Shanghai Noon

Title: Shanghai Noon
Director: Tom Dey
Original Release: 2000
My Overall Rating: 2 stars out of 5
via Wikipedia
My Wife and I do occasionally watch movies without the girl, though not nearly as often as we once did.  Our Family Movie Night choice this week is one I've already reviewed (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - see here) so I thought I might share my thoughts on our latest arrival from the Netflix queue.  Shanghai Noon is a comedy western starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.

Jackie Chan was guaranteed box office gold at the turn of the millennium.  This truly terrible movie raked in almost $100 million, even spawning a sequel entitled Shanghai Knights (I've promised My Wife I won't put that one on the queue).  The contrived story: Chon Wang (Chan) is a member of China's Imperial Guard in 1881.  One night, the princess (Lucy Liu) is kidnapped and taken to Nevada.  Chon is reluctantly included in the party sent after her.  En route to Carson City, their train is robbed by Roy O'Bannon (Owen) and his comically incompetent band of outlaws.  Through a further series of misadventures, Chon and Roy become pals.  They set off to rescue the princess and, in Roy's case, steal the ransom gold.

Seriously, it's awful.  Giving it a 1 was very tempting.  But this is a Jackie Chan movie.  It's supposed to be fluff.  If you're in the mood for fluff, this one does have a few things going for it.  The fight scenes are great, of course.  The scenery is absolutely stunning, filmed mostly in Alberta.  There are even a few sparkling moments of humor.  Roy first hears Chon's name as "John Wayne" and remarks that it's a terrible name for a cowboy.  The best scene sees Chon and Roy playing a Chinese drinking game in the bathtub.

*****

My Rating System:

5 = The best of the best.  These are the films by which I judge other films.
4 = High quality films which I feel could hold up well in repeated viewings.
3 = The vast majority of films.  They're fine.  Once was enough.
2 = I wasn't even sure I wanted to finish it.  It's not a 1 because I'm not prepared to say it's a terrible film - just not my cup of tea.
1 = A terrible film.  An insult to the art form.

18 comments:

  1. Both points are for Jackie Chan, ha ha. It can't go any other way.

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    1. One goes to Jackie, the other goes to the breathtaking scenery.

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  2. I bet the action parts are out of this world.

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  3. Even though I adore Jacki Chan's movies, I didn't see this one.
    Not an Owen Wilson fan.
    There were a few years were I watched all of them. Mostly for him and the outrageous stunts. The outtakes show what work goes into his films.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. True to form, there is an outtake reel at the end.

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  4. It's been a while since I watched it. I remember it being cheesy fun. Maybe I was wrong.

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    1. There's not a thing wrong with cheesy fun. This one induces a few too many eye rolls, though, for my tastes.

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  5. I don't think I've ever seen a Jackie Chan movie. I see no reason to start now.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. They really are a genre all to themselves. If you've survived without them to this point, there's probably no reason to start.

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  6. This doesn't sound like a movie for me- but it was still interesting to read your review. :) You made me laugh (especially in your comment to Janie). :)
    ~Jess

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  7. I've never seen a Jackie Chan movie.

    This one doesn't look like my cup of tea.

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    Replies
    1. Even if you were to see one, this would not be a good starter film. Maurice's suggestion below is much better.

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  8. This movie makes me laugh, but I enjoyed the second one (Shanghai Knights) a lot more.

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    1. Really? Even if I were so inclined, I know my wife would refuse to watch with me.

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  9. I love Jackie Chan and, like you say the action and scenery are great but it just didn't have the spark of "Rush Hour".

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    1. Rush Hour was a surprising hit, even by Jackie standards. Interesting in retrospect, its success was expected to be a major career boost for Chris Tucker - never really happened beyond the franchise.

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