Wednesday, June 14, 2000

Movie Review: Shanghai Noon

This happens to a lot of movies. A decent, entertaining film gets a bad, bad trailer that makes it look not-so-decent and fairly stupid. It happened with The Iron Giant and now it has happened to Shanghai Noon.

Jackie Chan plays Chan Wang, an imperial guard who goes to the American old west to rescue a kidnapped princess (the incredibly hot Lucy Liu). On his way, he teams up with bumbling outlaw Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson), a sort-of cowboy/surfer hybrid. On their way, they battle Roy's former gang of idiots, a corrupt marshall, and a former Chinese imperial guard who now enslaves Chinese immigrants to work on the railroad.

First off, Owen Wilson gives one of the funniest performances I have ever seen. His whole low-key, self-referential approach to being a cowboy had me in stitches, and is the perfect foil for Jackie Chan's wound-up high energy persona. The writing is clever and the dialogue quotable. Perhaps the story is a bit predictable, and gets a little too serious whenever the princess plot is addressed, but it doesn't matter. The ride itself is well-worth it. The fight scenes are fast, funny, and entertaining, unlike, say, Mission: Impossible 2's.

I've seen it three times, believe it or not, and I recommend it to anyone looking for something fun and light-hearted and just plain good to see.

Movie Review: Mission: Impossible 2

"Hi, I'm super-cool Tom Cruise. I'm gonna do a slow motion backflip kick that is going to last for approximately 27 minutes. Look! Look how cool this move is! Are you watching? It's really cool, huh? Are you watching? I'm flipping over backwards while kicking him in the face. Check it out! Did you see it? Wow, man. Oh, it's a good thing I brought along these rubber masks - one of my face and one of the bad guy's lieutenant's face, because I knew I would run into him and I would beat him up. I'm also glad I brought this masking tape for his mouth, whew, that was a lucky call. Oh, and I'm sorry that the first half of the movie was slow, slow, slow, and spent on establishing a tremendously shallow relationship with the thief girl - a relationship that the rest of my movie completely hinges upon for believability. Hmmm... wasn't it odd for a professional international thief not to know the difference between left breast pocket and right breast pocket?"

"I'm Thandie Newton, the actress who played the thief. I'm going to stand on the edge of this cliff and make everyone think I'm going to kill myself. I'm going to stand here for 45 minutes. Okay... okay... I'm going to jump! Wait. Okay... I'm going to jump now. Wait. Okay, now I'm really going to do it. Hold on. Alright, now I'm going to--hey, it's a helicopter! Oh, I'm saved. Good thing I didn't jump when I had the chance."

"I'm John Woo, bird lover and director of Mission Impossible 2. This movie would be 12 minutes long if not for the technique of slow motion. I like pretty white doves. They symbolize goodness. I will show you how much goodness they symbolize in this 92 minute slow motion shot of Tom Cruise, the good guy, and a white dove. Look. Look! See?"

"I'm TL, movie-goer. I am grateful that I still have my old student ID so I didn't have to pay $9 for this steaming pile of slow motion shit."