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Famous detective Charlie Chan is called out of retirement to help a San Francisco detective solve a mysterious series of murders. With his bumbling grandson as his sidekick, Chan also encounters an old nemesis known as the Dragon Queen who is the prime suspect. Written by
Reportedly, Chinese-American protesters tried to prevent this movie from being made in San Francisco. They picketed locations where the film was shot then later demonstrated outside cinemas in the USA where the picture was playing. The opposition centered around the Charlie Chan character being considered a "racist stereotype", the opponents disapproving of the character's "Chop Suey pidgin English, fortune-cookie proverbs, and Uncle Tom bowing and obsequiousness". See more »
The short version: If you want to turn the sound off and look at Michelle Pfeiffer at some of her her dead sexiest shots, I'd give it a B. If not, it's a straight F, and I'm not talking the 59% kind of F--I'm talking the 0% kind of F.
The long version: Waaaahooooo. Words fail me. I had to look long and hard to find a redeeming aspect of this movie, and the sole item I came up with is the casting of Ustinov as Chan. My girlfriend is a die-hard Charlie Chan fan and she was dozing blissfully halfway through.
Writing: Did this picture even have writers? You know the game on Whose Line Is It Anyway where they all improvise a scene or musical on the spot? This entire movie seemed like that, as if they all loaded up on blow and improvised their over-the-top dialogue and gestures. If you repackaged "Rat Race" and called it a mystery, this might be what you'd end up with.
Casting: This movie is a career low for virtually everyone in it. To outdo the miscasting in this flick, you'd have to have John Leguizamo as Moses. Richard Hatch in a Jerry-Lewis-type capacity simply doesn't work, especially after you've watched "Battlestar Galactica". Brian Keith's role as a cop with Tourettes makes his Hardcastle and McCormick days look like Oscar material. Why have Angie Dickinson even involved if you're not going to exploit her good looks? They could just as easily have used Cloris Leachman.
I thought I'd seen the worst movie ever made after "Batman and Robin", but I may be rethinking that now. This flick was a pointless fart grenade.
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