This action movie unfolds with the story of Bei, a salesman at a workout equipment store, who harbors dreams of adventures. It all starts when on one normal dull day, Bei follows his ...
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This action movie unfolds with the story of Bei, a salesman at a workout equipment store, who harbors dreams of adventures. It all starts when on one normal dull day, Bei follows his instincts to trail two suspicious looking men into an alley. When he realizes that these men are robbing a jewelry store, he jumps into action to foil their plans. Soon after Bei meets Liu, a private investigator who convinces Bei that he may be the long-lost son of a rich Korean businessman. In no time, Bei is on his way to fulfill his dreams of adventure and fortune traveling to Korea and even exotic Turkey. As Bei is drawn deeper into the game of cat and mouse, he realizes he has become the key to locating a new, highly addictive narcotic. With an assortment of characters fighting him along the way, will Bei succeed in finding the drug himself? Written by
Jackie Chan's greatest weakness in his movies is predictability: you know the good triumphs over evil, the good guys are easy to identify, Jackie drop-kicks some butt, and he takes time to save kids and babies (not to mention babes, who sometimes save him). You know that if he gets the girl, he doesn't get very far (PG all the way).
In his best movies, this is his greatest strength, too: against the repeated backdrop of white and black hats, you're never quite sure how he's going to manage to clutch victory from the jaws of defeat. You know he's going to get cornered by 6 black hats with 18 weapons in some storage room...and somehow use whatever's stored there to do away with the evil-doers.
Unfortunately, in the Accidental Spy, we're not kept guessing very long. The fight scenes are overly predictable (and, too often, the victim of a punch will start rolling their head back before they're punched). The plot is as unimportant to the Jackie Chan machine as usual, but, unlike other movies of his, the characters aren't memorable. The love-interest is lovely, but not interesting. The spy-who-coulda-have-loved-Jackie is relegated to making plot-digressing phone calls ("did you order a helicopter?").
And it's too bad, because there's otherwise some good material here: drug kingpins and orphans, lost parents, competing spy agencies, and beautiful locations (especially those Istanbul and other parts of Turkey). It's too bad that his escape from a Turkish bathhouse is wasted in this movie (you try to confront a half-dozen apes with only your bath towel to save you...and then not even the towel).
The dubbing doesn't help. Instead of offering the film in its original Chinese with subtitles (easily possible in this digital age), we're stuck with dubbing that sucks away what little life remains in these two-dimensional characters.
I really like Chan's movies, but he could have phoned his performance in for this one. Chan, unfortunately, is missing from his own movie.
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