Mon February 3, 2003
It's been a while since I laughed so many times in a movie, so, audience, leave your film-criticism minds at home, and travel to merry old England to have a jolly time with two loveable rogues.
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
I laughed aloud at Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson as a couple of ersatz heroes from the Wild West of America's frontier transported to London to avenge the murder of Chan's father in the "Shanghai Noon" sequel, "Shanghai Knights." There's a satirical innocence even in the name of Chan's character, Chon Wang. Wilson's alter ego, glorified in pulp fiction of the day, is a boyish Roy O'Bannon, whose barrage of insults about the British is sweet enough to make Tony Blair wink. Wilson's comic timing gets better each film while Chan's persona moves away from intricate martial fighting to adorable comic riffs.
The 2 are an odd-couple Butch and Sundance. Their adventures around London have them ducking the new invention, a machine gun, and hanging like Harold Lloyd from Big Ben. Chan's sister, played by Fann Wong in a cute "Crouching Tiger" take off, kicks Jack the Ripper's butt right over a London bridge, and Wilson's dream sequence in a bordello, where he gets licked to perfection by the "Kama Sutra," is sexy and funny.
They are rubes all right, but like their fellow traveling Americans for the next century, they are fun to watch on the road. It's been a while since I laughed so many times in a movie, so, audience, leave your film-criticism minds at home, and travel to merry old England to have a jolly time with two loveable rogues.
John DeSando vice-chairs the board of The Film Council of Greater Columbus and co-hosts WCBE's "It's Movie Time," which can be heard streaming at www.wcbe.org on Thursdays at 8:01 pm and Fridays at 3:01 pm.