It's a Jackie Chan movie. It's a western. It's a comedy. In other words,
there's a little something here for everybody. And if you don't mind all
the recycled clichés, it's a lot of fun.
All Jackie Chan movies are basically the same, right? Jackie is the good
guy who's on the run from, or in pursuit of, a truly evil bad guy. In
this one, Jackie plays an Imperial Chinese guard, sent to the American
west during the 1800s to rescue a kidnapped princess (Lucy Liu). He
buddies up with a bumbling outlaw (Owen Wilson) and, as you might guess,
action and laughs follow.
One reason for Chan's phenomenal success of recent years is that he
seems to realize his own strengths and weaknesses as an actor, and plays
up to them. As he did with Chris Tucker in "Rush Hour," Chan plays the
straight guy while Wilson (doing a more slapstick type of comedy than in
"Bottle Rocket" and other films) acts the goof.
Well, there's some nice scenery of the Sierra Nevadas and the old west
(where this stuff was actually filmed, I have no idea, but it looks
great), but other than that, this film is a showcase for the actors. For
the most part, director Tom Dey doesn't deviate from the tried-and-true
elements of a Hollywood western: Gunfights, Indians, brothels, bounty
hunters, barroom brawls, hangings, damsels in distress and so on. The
final fight between the good guys and bad guys is a lot of fun, mixing
up swordplay, gunplay, martial arts and fighting sticks.
What, you were expecting a remake of "High Noon"? Hey, it's a Jackie
Chan movie. 'Nuff said.