September 8, 2016

Skiptrace (2016)

Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville



Rush Hour, this is not. Shanghai Knights, this is not. Even The Medallion, this is not. Jackie Chan may be playing the same "play by the rules" Chinese guy set against a kooky American counterpart, but somehow, it's so much worse this time. Worse than The Tuxedo.

It's not Jackie's fault, of course. The man can only do so much. He's busy doing every stunt imaginable (even at 62!) and spouting an entire script's worth of English dialogue he can't possibly be responsible to teaching Johnny Knoxville how to act.

In case you are fortunate enough to have never seen a single episode of Jackass, Johnny Knoxville can most recently be described as "that guy who wrote Bad Grandpa."

So the standard "trying to expose the bad guys and save the girl" script is instead transformed into an interminable action movie that leaves you wracking your brain for better casting alternatives to Knoxville. Lucas Black, aka Paul Walker's replacement in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, who doesn't sound like he's faking his Southern accent? The guy who played Stifler in the American Pie movies, who seems like a comedic genius in comparison? Zac Efron, who is in every other terrible movie except, as it seems, this one? A brown paper bag with a smiley face drawn on it? 

All of these would have been better options.

P.S. The fedora is a dead giveaway
you're well past middle age
I hate to be so harsh on a Jackie Chan movie, especially on the heels of the news that he'll receive an honorary Oscar later this year, but his awesome stunt work is not enough to save an otherwise abysmal movie. I would have preferred he simply make a Youtube video of the stunts he would have performed and I could have paid him $6 directly to watch it since those were the only worthwhile parts of the movie. And as an added bonus, it would have allowed me to skip over a completely inappropriate romantic paring between Chan and a woman who looked to be no older than 30. Just to refresh your memory: he's 62. And not like an "Asian" 62. You can tell he's 62.

But to end on a positive note (because yes, I did find one), this is literally the most Asian people I've ever seen cast in an English-speaking movie. Almost every single person (aside from Knoxville and a small group of Russians) was Asian. It was glorious. I only wish it had been in a real movie. You know, something people would actually want to see.

Final word: However bad you think this would be: it's worse than that.

P.S. IMDB shows this movie was released in the US on September 2nd (as in 6 days ago), yet I was able to watch it OnDemand from Comcast. Whatever you think of my opinion above, that fact alone should tell you all you need know.

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