Thursday, 21 September 2017

Shanghai Knights (5 Stars)

It's my birthday today, so what should I do? Go out for a meal? Spend the evening in a romantic nightclub? Anyone who thinks I would do these things doesn't know me well enough. There's only one thing I can do to make a good day perfect: I must watch a film!

Since it's my birthday it has to be a good film. I can't take a risk with something I've never watched before. This makes "Shanghai Knights" the ideal choice. I've watched it a few times before, the last time only 18 months ago, but today it hit me just how wonderful it is. It contains Jackie Chan's best comedic fight scenes. He wins all of his fights except one. A pillow fight against sexy girls in a hotel room? Poor Jackie doesn't stand a chance, not even with Owen Wilson at his side. It was an unfair fight, 13 against 2, but the numbers don't matter. One girl could have overcome Owen and Jackie.

"Can you handle us, Jackie?"
This is a globe-trotting adventure, beginning in China and continuing in America, after which the bulk of the story takes place in London.

The film is full of amusing anachronisms, much like an episode of "Xena Warrior Princess", but it still manages to give a realistic picture of life in England in the late 19th Century. We see the contrast between the rich nobility and the poor commoners, the appearance of the first motor vehicles and the terror of Jack the Ripper. This is screenwriting at its best from Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, who are best known as the creators and executive producers of the "Smallville" TV series.

A sequel called "Shanghai Dawn" was planned immediately after "Shanghai Knights", but due to Jackie Chan's busy schedule it was never made. Now, after the project has been simmering for 12 years, it looks as if it will finally be made. Let's see if Jackie still has his magic as the Buster Keaton of Kung Fu.

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