Shanghai Noon

Rated 3.0 The summer’s first big surprise is a Western comedy that casts Jackie Chan as a Chinese imperial guard on a mission to Carson City in the 1880s to rescue a kidnapped princess (Lucy Liu). The first half of this film is great entertainment, and then it starts to unravel, but not before Chan establishes himself as a dynamic comedian. The film is further boosted by the presence of Owen Wilson as his eventual gunslinging partner. Wilson brings a little bit of Dignant, his offbeat character from Bottle Rocket, back to the Old West, and it’s a funny fit. The ending sucks, but enough laughs and excellent action are delivered before movie nearly implodes. Chan’s use of pine trees during high-kick fights is classic. I thought this would blow, and I was wrong.