Kung Fu Yoga
Director: Stanley Tong
Is there anything sadder than watching an ageing superstar’s desperate attempts to keep himself afloat? If you have grown up watching Jackie Chan movies and loved him more for his comic timing and endearing goofiness or his expert kung fu, Kung Fu Yoga will leave you with a feeling of sadness.
Chan plays an archaeologist, Jack, in this Sino-Indian co-production. When an Indian professor, Ashmita (Disha Patani), comes to him with a map of treasures from the Magadha Dynasty in India, Jack and his assistants decide to seek it out. Their adventure takes them from one exotic destination to another, pits them against wolves in Tibet, a lion in Dubai, hungry hyenas in Rajasthan -- and of course enemies of the human kind, equipped with blazing guns.
If only the film were equipped with anything resembling a coherent plot. There are no thrills, or spills. None of the joyous laughter we have come to expect from a Jackie Chan.
Instead you have Sonu Sood in another wasted opportunity, and a whole bunch of clichés about India that are frankly more tiresome than funny.
Apart from a vague mention of a breathing technique, the film has no connection whatsoever with yoga either.
Director Stanley Tong may also need a short history lesson. Shouldn’t a movie about treasures from the Magadha empire been shot somewhere near where the kingdom actually existed, like Patna?
But then how would one fit in the must-have rope tricks and snake charmers?
From dialogue to delivery and plot, it just all seems forced.
The side characters mostly save the day. Aarif Rahman who plays Jones Lee and Yixing Zhang who plays Xiaoguang, even Amyra Dastur’s Kyra, make the film a bit more tolerable. The scene where these three actors have a funny run-in with Hyenas was the most entertaining scene in the movie.
We also see a glimpse of the old Jackie Chan in a hair-raising car chase complete with a lion.
So, if you have an uncontrollable desire to watch Jackie Chan -- or, for some reason, Sonu Sood -- we’d still recommend Shanghai Noon or Dabangg, because this attempt to put the two together is just not worth 102 minutes of your life.