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Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) leads a mercenary team to recover several lost artifacts from the Old Summer Palace, the bronze heads of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals which was looted by foreigners in the 1800s. Assisted by a Chinese student and a Parisian lady, Hawk stops at nothing to accomplish the mission. Written by
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Doesn't reach the level of Jackie Chan's earlier gems.
In the past 3 decades Jackie Chan has successfully developed and maintained his own kind of genre full of unbelievable action, acrobatic fights, thrilling moments, unlimited fun and decent humour entertaining all age groups ranging from the innocent kids to the intelligent old. His latest offering is also made on the similar format showcasing all the essential ingredients of a Jackie Chan film but still cannot be rated at par with his earlier classics since its not that exciting as it may seem from its short synopsis.
This time the heist specialist or treasure hunter Chan takes up an assignment to deliver the 12 bronze heads of the Chinese Zodiac, stolen from Chinese dynasty's Summer Palace centuries ago. The location of few of those heads is known but the rest need to be discovered and brought back. Chan and his crew are hired to find these 12 bronze heads and the film is all about their adventurous expedition to complete the collection.
It begins with a novel, exciting & well shot sequence where Chan is escaping from a mansion after completing his ongoing mission. It sets the mood right and you are all game for watching something very exciting and exceptional coming up in the next reels. But unfortunately, despite having some great action sequences, CZ12 doesn't turn out to be that entertaining as expected. The fun and humor element is not the same as found in Chan's other movies and the characters are very weak, foolish and forced which are not able to impress at all. Particularly the bunch of pirates and the girls are simply there to act as few silly characters in the film and nothing more.
A major negative feature of the film is the use of French and other foreign languages in it for a considerable period of time without any English subtitles on the screen, which forces you to keep watching it helplessly like a fool. After few initial good moments the screenplay becomes directionless and only aims at the thrilling actions sequences thrown in to keep the pace going. The camera-work is truly superb as usual and the background score successfully manages to excite you in all those well conceived brave scenes, especially the ones involving the sky diving and volcano sequences.
So if you are a die-hard Jackie Chan fan from decades, then this film will surely remind you of his gems such as ARMOUR OF GOD (1986) and more. But at the same time, will not give you a similar experience in the theater watching the miracle man. Yet, CZ12 might impress many young viewers not familiar with the amazing living legend called Jackie Chan. And at the age of 58 (with more than 100 films), I can't even imagine any other person in the entire globe performing such risky and unbelievable stunts all alone by himself like a rubber man.
To say it all, as a true fan of the maestro I loved watching CZ12 and its crazy sequences but as an exciting adventure project its not upto the mark if compared to Chan's earlier gems and could be a lot better (keeping in mind its interesting plot). The man is there in the entire film standing tall as always and if this is supposed to be his last major action project, then it surely deserves to be seen by all his fans as a must for this one reason alone.
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