Director: Jackie Chan
Cast: Jackie Chan, Oliver Platt, Laura Weissbecker, Yao Xing Tong
b! Says: *½
Chinese Zodiac is disen-Chan-ting
Succinctly described by another reviewer at the screening as a ‘Chinese Dabangg’, Jackie Chan’s ‘Chinese Zodiac’ (also known as CZ12) is far from impressive. Marketed as his last big action flick, we were left sorely disappointed after having being made to wait for nearly an hour before Chan throws his first real punch. This is one for the fans but even they risk leaving the theatre with the sorry realization that they might have finally, FINALLY outgrown Jackie Chan.
Chan plays JC, a relic thief but with no noble, Lara Croft-like intentions. He’s hired by an antique collector to retrieve the lost Chinese Zodiac heads that were pillaged by the British from the Summer Palace in the 1700s. The heads are extremely valuable and the collector hopes to fetch big bucks at high-stakes auctions of the same. JC’s team is joined by researcher Coco (Yao Xing Tong) who wants to see the relics returned to their original resting place. Will the team be able to retrieve all twelve heads? Will JC sprout a conscience on the way?
Chan is charming as ever, but even his star power couldn’t keep us from gagging at the puerile humour. Also, there’s a lot of Mandarin and French dialogue without English subtitles that leaves you absolutely befuddled in parts. Side stories, one in which Chan plays Agony Aunt to his team’s members, only make the proceedings more mediocre than they already are.
But all this would still fly if the action scenes were worth mention, but what we instead get is Chan rolling down a hill in a fat suit, scaling buildings and popping mints (hardly the stuff adrenaline rushes are made of). Only two hand-to-hand combat scenes stand out and they’re over before they even begin.
Jackie fans had best stay away. This movie is bound to leave you disen-Chan-ted.