Film review

Shanghai Knights

OPENS APRIL 4, CERT 12A, 114 MINS

It's 1887, and China's Imperial Seal has been stolen, its keeper slain in the process. The keeper's son is Sheriff Chon Wang (Jackie Chan), who leaves the Wild West to track down the killer, pausing to pick up his disreputable sidekick Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) before heading for foggy old London town.

Here the duo encounter Arthur Conan Doyle, Queen Victoria and the young Charlie Chaplin as they attempt to steal the Seal back from the evil Lord Rathbone (Aidan Gillen). He's 10th in line to the throne, and is planning to assassinate his way to the top unless Wang can stop him. Meanwhile, the womanising O'Bannon has fallen for Wang's sister (Fann Wong), which causes a rift between our heroes... On the downside, this is way too long, the CGI is rubbish and the plot wouldn't tax the intelligence of a backward seven-year-old. On the other hand, the chop-socky fight sequences are dazzlingly inventive and often laugh-out-loud funny. There's also something genuinely likeable about Wilson, and the script is just sharp enough to make this a buddy act to remember.

Rating: 2 / 10


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