Jackie Woe’s Fighting Unfit!
Direction: Jackie Chan
Actors: Jackie Chan, Laura Weissbecker
This silly action-adventure marks a career low-point for Jackie Chan. At 58, the finest kung fu-teer of his generation is clearly past his prime.
The redeeming feature of his films has always been the intricate stunts, but in CZ 12 (aka Chinese Zodiac), the accent is on a dull story with very little action or humour.
This time, the Hong Kong honcho, who also wrote, directed and edited the picture, portrays a mercenary tasked with retrieving stolen statues representing the Chinese Zodiac animals. Pillaged by invading Anglo-French forces in the late 19th century, these imperial relics are coveted by antique dealers.
Teaming up with a Chinese student-activist and a Frenchwoman (Weissbecker), Chan and his side-chicks strive to keep us engrossed. Expectedly, the screenplay ensures Chan has a change of heart. The occasional comic touches elicit more groans. As for the patriotic message, it is conveyed heavy-handedly.
It’s only a couple of skirmishes towards the finale which demonstrate the Chan sparkle. If CZ 12 is Chan’s swansong, the four-decade long career of a peerless entertainer ends with a whimper. Sad.