Chon Wang (Chan) is an Imperial Guard in China's Forbidden City, sent to America to carry the luggage for the warriors who are out to rescue the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei (Liu). But Chon gets separated from his party and has to go it alone, with the help of goofy outlaw Roy (Wilson). Along the way they meet helpful Indians, renegade cowboys, vicious lawmen and a particularly nasty Chinese slave trader.
Director Dey has a ball with this film, combining spectacular Wild West scenery with fast and furious action sequences. He's not afraid to speed up the camera for comic effect, or to steal liberally from John Woo (not to mention Butch and Sundance). And the result is energetic good fun, with droll dialog, completely superfluous (and not terribly effective) romantic subplots, and manic, heavily choreographed, mostly bloodless fight scenes. Chan is his usual self--entertaining, likeable, very physical and nicely matched by Wilson, who basically stretches a wacky scene-stealer turn into the leading man role. He's absolutely hilarious and keeps things bright and witty from start to finish, which is important since the plot is nothing special. But the outrageous action and the constant comedy make the film extremely entertaining, so I won't complain. With far fewer pretensions, this is everything Wild Wild West wanted to be, but wasn't.
[12--violence, language, innuendo] 13.Jun.00
US release 26.May.00; UK release 25.Aug.00
See also SHANGHAI KNIGHTS (2003)
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