Directed by David Dobkin, starring Jackie Chan, Owen Wilson, Fann Wong, Aidan Gillen, Tom Fisher, Donnie Yen, Aaron Johnson, Gemma Jones.
'Shanghai Knights' is the follow-up to 2000's successful nineteenth century western 'Shanghai Noon'. Mismatched buddies Chong Wang (Jackie Chan) and his incompetent sidekick Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson) team up once again for more gags and high kicking action. Unfortunately, the film is little more than a series of set pieces, strung together with little regard for plot or logic.
Set several years after the original, the opening of 'Shanghai Knights' sees Chong Wang (pronounced John Wayne) working as a sheriff in the wild, wild west of Carson City while former bank robber Roy scams and works as a waiter at the Ritz in New York. When Chong's father is killed and the Chinese imperial seal stolen, the odd couple reunite and travel to London to track down the seal and kick the bad guys' communal ass.
Joined by Chong's beautiful sister Lin (an impressive Wong), they discover that evil member of the British aristocracy Lord Rathbone (Gillen) is trying to shorten his route of succession to the English throne and there's some convoluted reason for him wanting the imperial seal. Confusing? Yes. Fun? Occasionally - but scriptwriters Alfred Gough and Miles Millar ('Shanghai Noon', 'Lethal Weapon 4') rely too heavily on obvious colonials-in-London jokes and dragging in cameos from the likes of Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle to a young Artful Dodger-like Charlie Chaplin (two years before his birth - but who's checking for accuracy?).
Chan pays homage to old-school film heroes such as the Keystone Cops in a revolving hotel door scene and there's a spectacular sequence where he despatches villains with an umbrella, a few dance steps and great aplomb to 'Singing In the Rain' á la Gene Kelly. With a fight scene approximately every ten minutes and Fann Wong showcasing some nifty moves 'Shanghai Knights' has its moments - it's just a pity that they couldn't have set those moments in a half-decent plot.