Chinese Zodiac (2012) Jackie Chan, Oliver Platt, Qi Shu, Daniel Wu, Wen Jiang, Caitlin Dechelle, Laura Weissbecker, Peng Lin Movie Review

Chinese Zodiac (2012)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jackie Chan in Chinese Zodiac (2012)

Twelve Heads is Not Better than One

Ever since the 1800s, when several artefacts from the Old Summer Palace were stolen by foreigners, the Chinese authorities have wanted them back especially the bronze heads of the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals. It is why Asian Hawk (Jackie Chan) and his team of highly skilled mercenaries, accompanied by a Chinese student and a Parisian lady, find themselves in plenty of danger as they try and bring them back.

At the end of most Jackie Chan movies, which I have watched, there tends to be a few entertaining blooper scenes where either lines are messed up or stunts going wrong with Jackie Chan often the one who manages to get up from a fall to miraculously go again. I only remember seeing one at the end of "Chinese Zodiac" and it certainly didn't entertain with Jackie Chan falling on to a hard picture frame and clearly ending up in a lot of pain. And it made me think that when he can no longer put his body through this sort of painful stunt work what will Jackie Chan do as whilst he has great comic timing the action is such a big part of what he brings to a movie.

And it is the action and comedy which makes "Chinese Zodiac" entertaining as to be honest the storyline surrounding these missing bronze zodiac signs is little more than a vehicle for the action. Yes it features a role for Oliver Platt and has a few twists, turns and even a couple of subplots but none of that would entertain on its own. As such what you get is one comically over the top but beautifully choreographed action scene after another which basically highlights all of Jackie Chan's talents by the time the movie is over. As such we have the Chaplin-esque facial expressions, the leaps and bounds over obstacles and the blocking style martial arts which make for snappy entertainment. And when you put them all together you have wonderful scenes such as one where the guy Chan is fighting can't leave a couch.

What this all boils down to is that of course "Chinese Zodiac" is all about the action and comedy and on that level it doesn't disappoint with some truly memorable action sequences. Yet at the same time if you wanted some thing more such as a more story driven movie you are going to end up bored at times.