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Shanghai Knights More at IMDbPro »

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46 out of 56 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic sequel!

Author: Renaldo Matlin from Oslo, Norway
27 December 2003

It's an odd thing, this syndrome where people seem to automatically dislike a sequel more than the original. I don't know whether its subconscious or what but the IMDb proves it; Almost everywhere I go, people seem to agree (at least movie lovers) that "Aliens" is even better than "Alien", yet "Aliens" is listed #85 on IMDb's top 250, "Alien" is #61. Then there is another masterpiece: "The Godfather", all though many people seem to agree that however great, "The Godfather Part II" is even better. Not so according to the votes from IMDb-users: "The Godfather" is #1, "Part II" is #4. "Star Wars" is #10, "The Empire Strikes Back" is #15, and the list goes on and on. It's as if the general public goes into sequel-sucks-mode before they see the film and automatically would give it a lower grade no matter what. This also seems to be the case with "Shanghai Knights". Like many of my movie geek friends I thought the first film was great, but "Shanghai Knights" took me by great surprise and turned out to be even better, much more fun, better fights, greater villains, greater scenery, bigger plot, more film references, and I can go on. Still, it gets a 6,4 average while the first one gets a 6,7. Apparently it is one of the laws of physics that all though you personally feel a sequel outdoes the original, the masses would have you believe otherwise (the "Toy Story"-movies being the exception that proves the rule).

Well, we're all better off without the masses anyway. That's why nature invented things like the plague!

Now to my review of "Shanghai Knights":

I rarely laugh out loud to comedies unless it's Monty Python-type comedy filled with unpredictable insane humour, but "Shanghai Knights" had me in stitches several times. I really liked the first film, but the sequel is filled with references to everything you ever found fascinating about Britain and the charming duo of Chan and Wilson this time reaches its peak. But what really gets this film going is fight scenes like you've never seen them before! I am serious, I've watched Jackie Chan-films since I was a little kid and everyone knows he is the Buster Keaton of martial arts, but this time the fights – choreographed by Jackie himself – are so exhilarating to watch, boasting with playfulness to such a degree it leaves you dumbstruck in awe. All though it is apparent they used wires on some of the stunts, the mix of wire- and wireless stunts seem to balance themselves perfectly, giving a show fit for the greatest circus on Earth! It is hard to put to words the sheer delight it is to watch Jackie Chan (now close to 50!) beating up a gang of crooks while at the same time doing an homage to Gene Kelly and "Singin' in the Rain"! It gave me that rare sensation I remember getting the first time I saw Chaplin perform the "dance of the rolls" in the "Gold Rush", Buster Keaton caught in the middle of that hurricane in "Steamboat Bill Jr." or when Donald O'Connor ran up the wall in "Singin' in the Rain". It is a rare cinematic treat, created by and performed to excellence by Jackie Chan, again underlining what a rare and unique screen artist he is and how grateful we should be for him risking his back to give us that joy. People who still think of him as only a martial arts artist should take a hike. He's been a legend in his own right for close to two decades, one of the greatest entertainers of his generation (if not THEE greatest) so I ask you this: when will they give him an Honorary Academy Award!? I am sure Chaplin, Keaton and Gene Kelly would have supported this wholeheartedly, had they been alive today!

A great deal is also owed to the writing pair of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar (Made Men, Spider-Man 2) who pepper the story with quirky charm – the type Chan & Wilson seem born to play, once in a while serving up hysterical one-liners that should crack up anyone with an IQ over 50 (the best one has to be the subtitle after one of the characters has an encounter with Jack the Ripper).

Not surprisingly many of the people with an IQ *under* 50 bothered to fill the Goof-section up with all the factual errors in "Shanghai Knights" when it is just the thing you have to expect from a crazy comedy of this kind. For as long as I can remember I've enjoyed British history, I know the first real automobile wasn't invented until 1889, I'm a big fan of the Jack the Ripper-legend who terrorized London in 1888, I love the work of Chaplin who was born in 1889, I know Arthur Conan Doyle was originally a doctor of optometry, but not once did I mind all these things clashing in 1887's London, it is pure fantasy and should be enjoyed as such. Wonderful escapism played to perfection by great talent in front of and behind the camera. The writers didn't intend to re-create history, they just did as Jackie Chan would do in a fight: take every thing available and throw it in to make it more entertaining to the viewer! Then again there are people who have NO relation to any of the above-listed things and not surprisingly they won't find "Shanghai Knights" that entertaining. Which is really sad, for if you love movies you should *really* learn to love history as well, as the two can make a fabulous pair whether it is done in the name of fantasy or fiction.

Of course director David Dobkin also deserves special praise for never letting the heart and soul of the film getting lost in all the commotion.

I didn't mention Owen Wilson in all this, but don't get me wrong, he's great as usual. Wilson and Chris Tucker (Rush Hour) has to be the greatest thing happening to Jackie Chan since he discovered the art of mixing comedy with martial arts. And of course the supporting actors deserves mentioning, especially Aidan Gillen who makes a wonderful sneaky upper-class villain (named Rathbone, not exactly the most inventive referance to Hollywood – legendary actor Basil Rathbone - but still wonderful the same) and Aaron Johnson as a kid who looks and acts like he was just pulled out of "Oliver!" with great conviction (a scene where Wilson tells him of for being a an orphan is both heartbreaking and side-splittingly funny at the same time). Fann Wong also does a great English language-speaking film debut as Jackie Chan's sister.

To sum it all up; leaving me laughing to the point of exhaustion, "Shanghai Knights" is one of this years most pleasant surprises!

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33 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Expected nothing but LOVED IT!

10/10
Author: ornshaw from Fort Worth, Texas
16 February 2003

I saw this movie only to accompany my children, but I absolutely loved it! Had never seen a Jackie Chan movie, but now I want to see Shanghai Noon too, so we will rent that one. There were several adult references and I don't mean sexually, but funny references only adults would remember. Be sure to stay for the credits as the outtakes are great. I want to see it again!

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37 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

This Sequel Worked

Author: MLDinTN from TN
27 January 2004

This movie is actually funny and entertaining. I wasn't expecting much because the past several Jackie Chan films, Rush Hour sequels and the Tuxedo, have sucked. But, the duo of Chan and Wilson really worked. The whole Sherlock Holms gag with the author and the Charlie Chan kid were very funny. IT was also very funny when they are in the hotel in New York City and we find out Roy really works there and isn't rich. This has plenty of Chan stunts with ladders, amazing kicks, and swords. Plus, it was nearly 2 hours, but it didn't feel long. Most "comedies" now days if over 90 minutes really start to feel dull, but that wasn't the case with this film.

PS: Watching this makes pillow fights look really fun!

FINAL VERDICT: This is worth renting if you are looking for some laughs and entertaining night.

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Jackie kicks it where the others missed it every time, historically inaccurate.

7/10
Author: zer0oskul from you know iT!
15 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only people who should feel insulted by this posting are the two college bred guys I was making fun of the other day because they were using points from this movie to try to win an argument.

Even a history fan such as myself can enjoy the thing.

To point out historical inaccuracies, I will have to ruin the movie but only slightly, I won't offer any major plot points.

The year is 1886, the Statue of Liberty is almost completed and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is about to publish his first Sherlock Holmes story.

The year is 1902, Charlie Chaplin is thirteen and there is an automobile with a steering wheel available.

The year is 1837 and the Artful Dodger(who for no reason I can understand is also Charlie Chaplin) is wandering the streets of London hoping to meet Oliver Twist but winds up with Xion Uang and Roy O'Bannon and gets to go to America with them at the end, though Charlie Chaplin was not an orphan. He was actually an actor from the age of five and did not get to America until he was 21 in 1910.

The year is 1888, and Jack the Ripper is wandering the streets of East London, hunting down prostitutes(and Xion Lin for some reason)to mutilate.

The year is 1862 and Richard Gatling has just invented the Gatling Gun of which of which the Chinese assassins have a prototype.

Aside from the immense historical inaccuracies, Jackie Chan is incredible, the gags are brilliant, the Singing in the Rain fight sequence will make you say ooh and ow, Owen Wilson makes the most evil insult to orphans everywhere. I recommend seeing it but don't use it as a historical guide for anything.

You will like it and your kids WILL love it.

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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Fish Out of Water Across the Big Pond

7/10
Author: EmperorNortonII from San Francisco, California
17 March 2003

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson get together again in "Shanghai Knights," the sequel to "Shanghai Noon." It's difficult to say which I like better, although the two seem a little more at home in "Noon." "Knights" is a movie not to be taken seriously. The soundtrack attests to that, being mostly British invasion rock from the 1960's. And there is a lot of historical fudging, not the least of which is Owen Wilson's dialogue and attitude. He just seems so miscast as a cowboy. What keeps this movie from going wrong is Jackie Chan's amazing moves. Here he shows where he shines as an action-comedy star. And the martial arts styles of Fann Wong and Donnie Yen are no slouch either! So, never mind the anachronisms, just prepare to admire Jackie Chan.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Is Jackie Chan Heading for a Lifetime Achievement Oscar?

7/10
Author: Ralph Michael Stein (riglltesobxs@mailinator.com) from New York, N.Y.
8 February 2003

Well, a Lifetime Achievement Oscar may be the only category that's open to the aging but impish martial arts virtuoso, Jackie Chan, whose latest series-sequel, "Shanghai Knights" is...excellent, fun, entertaining.

My kid got into Jackie Chan films a while back and we have a half-shelf of $5.99 videotapes of the young Chan. Poorly shot with howlingly funny dubbing they nonetheless catch a Kung-Fu master at the height of his considerable prowess.

Hollywood and Jackie's sincere but imperfect effort at learning English led to a series of films that are high budget such as "Rush Hour" with its sequel and "Shanghai Noon," now followed by this film. Each has a sidekick for the irrepresible Chan but "Shanghai Knights " is the first where the faithful companion is a strong character in his own right.

"Shanghai Knights" begins with the Peking (not Beijing, it's the end of the nineteenth century) murder of Chan's dad and the theft of the Imperial Seal (a device to mark documents, not a pet). Chan is a Nevada sheriff who upon learning of the homicide and theft sets off to New York City to find his pal, played formidably and with evident relish by Owen Wilson.

The duo head for London where an unending series of misadventures brings the heroes, along with Chan's gorgeous and martial arts-skilled sister (Fann Wong) into the path of such diverse characters as little Charlie Chaplin, Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Jack the Ripper and others. Of course all ends well and if the martial arts terpsichore is less breathtakingly complex than its predecessors - well, let's cut Jackie some slack.

The film is PG-13 but Wilson provides a measured but running dose of raunch aided by a bevy of scantily clad beauties. There's no doubt HE had a terrific time making the movie.

Director David Dobkin keeps the pace moving and pays humorous tribute to films and stars from the Gilded Age of the cinema. I won't spoil the amusing surprises but listen to the music as the intrepid trio (sister now a full-fledged partner) waft to and fro in a caricature of nineteenth century London. Sad to say most moviegoers won't recognize the well-executed takeoffs of some great moments in film.

As always, a special Chan treat are the outtakes before the end credits, scenes that prove making these films may not be good for the health of the no-longer-young star or his cast but they all have a blast (literally).

And here's good news for the many who will enjoy this movie. I don't know if there will be a "Rush Hour III" but last week I couldn't get within 150 feet of the venerable Yonah Schimmel's on the Lower East Side's Houston Street. Chan and crew were filming a sequel to this new release - a flunky stopping pedestrian traffic told me the title would be "Shanghai Knish!" I can't wait.

7/10.

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Very funny film

9/10
Author: Tom Rito from Phoenix, AZ
8 February 2003

Went to see this film today and I still have a smile on my face. It all depends on what you want from a movie. If you want to go and be entertained and laugh for a few hours and see one of the best film chemistry between two actors in film history, then you will enjoy this movie. This is just a feel good comedy from start to finish. No more, no less. It's not the best movie ever made, but for a few hours, it will make you feel good. So don't go expecting too much, just go and have fun. I kind of wish they could make one of these movies every month.

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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Matches the enjoyment of the first, which is good!

7/10
Author: CMUltra (collectormanultra@yahoo.com)
20 July 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Minor Spoilers!*

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson reprise their characters of Wang and O'Bannon in this second installment of the series. I hope there will be a third!

Chan's slapstick fight sequences are even better here than in Shanghai Noon. They're bigger, better and there are more of them! In addition to all of the clever integration of set items (fruit stands, wax sculptures, books, ladders, etc) that we are accustomed to, the Shanghai Knights sequences are also imbued with a wonderful sense of meta-humor. While he's using an umbrella in his kung fu against the Fleet Street gang, there is a sudden brief and whimsical nod to Singin In The Rain, complete with flawless stylisms by Chan.

I believe the use of actual characters from the period was a bit overdone. At times they were cute winks to the audience while, at other times, they seemed needlessly inserted. Distracting. One very nice addition was Jack the Ripper, if only because of the brief and very decisive meeting he has with Wang's sister, Lin. Lin is played by Fann Wong and, as the female interest, is superior to Lucy Liu's character of the first movie.

The villains are better too. Aiden Gillen is good as Lord Rathbone, then fantastic in his action scenes. The best, however, is Donnie Yen. Yen's portrayal of the evil Wu Chow is okay, but who really cares? The character itself is merely the vehicle to get Yen and his fantastic martial arts skill into a movie with Jackie Chan. Seeing these two work together in beautifully choreographed fights was a dream come true. And though partially edited out of the actual movie, the DVD thankfully offers their climactic fight scene in its full-uncut glory.

My only disappointment of note was Wilson's O'Bannon character. He wasn't quite as consistently funny in this outing, and the character itself could have been portrayed better. There was no evolution in O'Bannon. He had the exact same deficiencies as in the first movie. I understand that the charm of O'Bannon lies in his irresponsibility, but a *little* maturing could have been accomplished while keeping the charm intact. Evolution is important to keeping the characters fresh, but O'Bannon was the same as in the first.

Overall, I rank this a little better than the first and HIGHLY recommend it!

6.5 out of 10.

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19 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly Better than the First!

Author: Michael Margetis (MrWhite2) from Glendale, Arizona
14 February 2003

This sequel is actually better and funnier than the original. It also has cooler fight scenes too. It is actually a pretty good movie. I laughed really hard in the theater. The story is about a former chinese warrior Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) who after his father gets killed by a ruthless heir of the thrown, seek vengeance on him with the help of his old partner Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) and his sister from China who told him about the death of his father. This one has actually more action and is more funny than the original by a long shot. I personally think that Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights are way better than the Rush Hour movies. I would say this is probably one of Jackie Chan's best movies, and his best comedy for sure. I would recommend this to fans of both Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan and Action/Comedy fans as well. Grade: B-.

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16 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

fun sequel

7/10
Author: Charles Herold (cherold) from United States
1 June 2004

The implied promise of a sequel is that it will give you what you got from the first movie, but that promise is often broken. Shanghai Knights is an exception, giving the audience that same mix of goofy dialogue and slapstick martial arts that made the first movie so much fun. This time the duo heads to England, allowing them to make a bunch of incredibly silly jokes about England and Sherlock Holmes and Charlie Chaplin. The movie is essentially one long wink, and if you like that sort of humor your likely to find much of it amusing. At times I thought they pushed the anachronistic dialogue a little too far, as when Owen asks the gorgeous Fann Wong if she works out, but overall it works pretty well. Chan supplies a number of very entertaining fight sequences along with his usual goofy charm and the end result feels like a more actiony version of a Hope/Crosby road movie.

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