Chinese Zodiac

Chinese Zodiac

Rating: ******

Certain Action Sequences: ******

Directed by Jackie Chan
Starring Jackie Chan

This is not an official sequel
To Operation Condor,
But there are some similarities
And similar treats in store.

This was a passion project,
Made of love and sweat,
Showing that 58-year-old Jackie Chan
Wasn’t finished yet.

Though his body’s bruised and battered
From a lifetime of abuse,
He still moves like he’s twenty-three,
As if he’s still a youth.

He plays a similar character
To those he played before.
He’s a treasure-hunting man of fortune
With experience galore.

Now Jackie said that this would be
His last big action movie.
He wanted to pull out all the stops
And flabbergast the newbies.

So he begins in a roller suit
—that’s a suit covered in wheels—
In which he rolls down a steep paved hill
Towards oncoming vehicles.

He sets off an alarm
So the baddies try to catch him,
But he eludes every one
Because none of them can match him.

He slides right under trucks
And takes out motorcyclists.
He balances on a guardrail,
But his enemies aren’t the nicest.

They set up a nasty trap for him
With lots of spikes and wires.
He escapes through a nearby culvert,
Leaving his enemies tired.

This really awesome sequence
Was just tacked onto this film.
It doesn’t really have a place,
But it’s what Jackie wished to film.

You’ll find other sequences like this,
That may or may not
Go on to contribute anything
That will move along the plot.

As for the plot, it’s more a message
About the antique trade.
It’s really all about money,
And ending up well paid.

Jackie has some cool fights
Like one on an unusual couch,
During which the loser is
The one who first leaves the couch.

Later on he has a fight
With dozens of Chinese baddies,
Whom he caught counterfeiting antiques
In a well-stocked, prop-filled factory.

He puts his all into this fight,
Which he expertly choreographed.
It holds up to some of his better ones
From his glory days long past.

There’s one long scene that doesn’t work
That takes place in the jungle.
A lot of cash and work went down
But the sequence is rather a bungle.

Part of it involves an airplane
And a giant swinging log,
In addition to evil killers
And a dank and musky bog.

Though this scene doesn’t work, he makes up for it
Thousands of feet above the sea
In a well choreographed aerial display
That the world has never seen.

People jump out of a plane
And Jackie fights them all in mid air,
Something very difficult
To act and film with care,

But Jackie manages to pull it off,
Though that might be misleading.
Some tricks were so costly or dangerous
That he might have done a little cheating.

On his outtakes afterwards you see
An air compressor giant
Lifting the actors into the air
Before a green screen compliant.

Jackie Chan is listed twice
In the Guinness Book of Records,
One for the most stunts by a living actor,
And once for the most credits in a film on record.

The movie itself is a series of parts,
Much like the third Raiders outing.
Though several sequences will blow you away,
The rest’s a thick mixture like pudding.

Some parts work and some do not,
But it doesn’t really matter.
The purpose is not to tell a story;
So let’s do away with this chatter.

The only reason this film was made
Is because Jackie had something to prove,
First to himself and then to the world.
Firstly, that he could still move.

Secondly, that he could still direct,
Thirdly, that he could still do jaw-dropping stunts.
Fourthly, that despite his long years
He can still overtop all of the runts.

This film says, “Hi, my name is Jackie Chan
And I’ve still got what it takes.
I can do all this and cater as well,
No matter the dangerous stakes.

“I’m getting old, though, and so this will be
My last very big action movie.
It’s tiring, but I’m far from done yet.
I’ll simply make smaller movies.

“In my prime I was the number one star
In the entire continent of Asia.
I broke into Hollywood much later on
And I tried very hard to amaze ya.”

The movie itself I’ll give two of five stars,
For it’s greatly lacking in cohesion,
But for some of the parts five out of five stars,
And I’ll recommend it for that reason.

Yes, he’s falling headfirst towards an active volcano.

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