Shanghai Noon

The Classic Western Gets A Kick In The Pants.

HHHaaaaaiiiiiiiiyyuuuuaiiiiiiiii ho silver! Its East meets West, fists meet pistols at dawn, mexican-style beans meet bubble bath. Hong Kong supremo Jackie Chan revives the western license with an oriental twist, long since left in the dust (and should have been for Wild Wild West).

At its release, this film wasn't huge, I didn't notice much in the way of publicity, so this may be your first outing to this film – and well worth the trip! This is really a Chan vehicle (so fans of the genre will be well satisfied), but with some excellent humour made out of the Wild West style which should bring a smile to even the most ardent bandido. Chan's pet project maintains tongue firmly in cheek, from Chan's character "Chon Wang" (say it with a western drawl), to Lucy Liu as "Princess Pei Pei". Chan, as ever, is impressive in his physical skill and flexibility, especially his use of horn (!? – editor). No Matrix slo-mos here, just pure butt-kicking kung-fu style. You also get to see a high-kickin' Lucy Liu before Charlie's Angels, and boy is she feisty (sorry equal ops!).

For the West's part there is "Roy O'Bannon" (Owen Wilson), a failed train-robber with a heart of gold (or, at least, a stolen one). He teams up with Chan to rescue the abducted Chinese Princess, introducing Chan to the pleasures of gun-slinging, horses and getting smashed on the South's finest sipping-liqueur. Indeed, the horseplay is one of the most amusing parts of the film (Mr. Ed would be proud).

Just for cultural balance there's a few American Indians – think mohicans, a nasty British tutor (well there always is) and Chinese slaves. The film also follows the tradition of ignoring African Americans (too busy in the plantations I guess – sorry again equal ops).

So bring along your favourite bottle of fish sauce, sit down by the campfire and enjoy a laugh at this week's Friday Night Movie (and stick around for the out-takes!).

Rotten Tomatoes Score:



Action, Adventure, Comedy, Western


Miles Millar, Alfred Gough


Tom Dey


Owen Wilson, Lucy Liu, Jackie Chan


Randy Edelman


110 minutes






English, Mandarin, Sioux


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