‘Chinese Zodiac’: Jackie Chan flick lacks kick
A movie review of “Chinese Zodiac,” supposedly Jackie Chan’s last action movie. It’s lackluster and slow, with only hints of the kineticism, kung fu and comedy that have been part of Chan’s appeal.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
‘Chinese Zodiac’ (aka ‘CZ12’), with Jackie Chan, Oliver Platt. Directed by Chan, from a screenplay by Chan, Frankie Chan, Edward Tang and Stanley Tong. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13 for martial arts action, some violent content and brief nudity. Several theaters.
“Chinese Zodiac” supposedly is Jackie Chan’s last action movie. Certainly its epilogue — a compilation of some of his best stunts from the past 30 years while the end credits roll — would seem to be proof. It’s a breathtaking collection of the fearlessness that made Chan a star, first in Asia and later in Hollywood.
That makes it doubly sad then that “Chinese Zodiac,” directed and cowritten by Chan — and a sequel of sorts to the 1991 film “Armour of God 2: Operation Condor” — is such an unimpressive send-off.
Lackluster, slow and with only hints of the kineticism, kung fu and comedy that were part of Chan’s appeal in the first place, “Chinese Zodiac” doesn’t do justice to the actor’s filmic heritage.
Chan plays Asian Hawk, aka JC, part of a criminal team that steals and sells Chinese ancient treasures. He changes his mind when he realizes how much damage these guys are doing to China’s history and turns against his boss, played by Oliver Platt.
Aside from an opening chase — in which Chan, wearing a wheel-studded bodysuit that turns him into a human-size roller skate, careens down a mountainous highway with soldiers in pursuit — and some of the closing half-hour including a fight scene on a couch, “Chinese Zodiac” never takes off.