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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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I just got back from seeing Shanghai Knights. I went in with the expectation that it wasn’t going to come close to Shanghai Noon in originality or quality. Right on the former, wrong on the latter. It retreads a lot of the same ground, but the chemistry between Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan works—unlike the forced pairing with Chris Tucker. The fight scenes are clever and mesmerizing; I can’t wait for the DVD so that I can watch them over and over and over (in fact, I’d say the fight choreography surpasses the original movie).

That said, there were a few things that really bothered me. Namely Charlie Chaplin, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sherlock Holmes. The writer tried to be clever—along the lines of naming a Chinese in a Western Chon Wang—but completely missed the comic line indicating where he should have stopped. It was in the first movie with the original joke. Not terribly subtle: even the children in the theater got it.