Shanghai Knights | Chicago Reader

Shanghai Knights

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson travel to Victorian London in this western buddy comedy, a sequel to Shanghai Noon. Early on I was distracted by the sight of a lawman in the Old West reading a modern paperback, but I soon abandoned any expectation of historical accuracy—this could be happening anytime between 1871 and 1909 (or, to be more precise, whenever people started saying “This blows”). On the other hand, the film's lackadaisical approach to period yields some funny anachronisms (“I'm trying to teach him a skill set!” Wilson whines to Chan after they pick up a Dickensian street urchin). Despite his advancing years, Chan delivers some fleet slapstick; like his hero Buster Keaton he works intuitively with levers, pulleys, ladders, and umbrellas. But some of the gags, like the hidden-room-behind-the-rotating-fireplace wheeze, may well predate the Victorian era. Directed by David Dobkin. 107 min.

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