Chinese Zodiac’s main marketing push is that this is Jackie Chan’s final action movie and if this is indeed true, Chan’s action career will go out on a high note. Chinese Zodiac’s story lacks focus but does it really matter when Chan’s astonishing stunt work is more than enough to keep the viewer interested?
Treasure hunter JC (Jackie Chan) and his team of thieves travel the world to hunt down and recover the twelve bronze heads of the Chinese Zodiac but they soon meet a group of activists fighting for preservation of Chinese cultural relics which complicates their mission.
The movie is dubbed in English and in some areas it was a little jarring due to off synch dialogue and mismatched voices. The story is pretty much your standard adventure flick although it tries to tackle a broader topic with a deeper message but didn’t hit it off flawlessly because of its tendency to be preachy. There’s also a bunch of story threads thrown together and a plethora of unnecessary characters, which makes the movie a little confusing at times. I also felt that the threat was not fully established so even if the stake is high it just doesn’t’ feel like there’s imminent danger.
But just like most Jackie Chan action flicks, it’s really all about the amazing set pieces and jaw dropping stunt work. And as always, Jackie Chan delivers. Chan is truly a legend and the way he pulls off all those stunts is simply impressive. The highlights are the sofa showdown and the skydiving scramble. Chan is just a lovable star as he can make some of the silly jokes and antics still endearing. The supporting cast is okay and while the movie tries to give most of them a moment to shine, it’s just a tall order to stand out if you have someone as charismatic as Chan anchoring the movie.
If there’s one thing that Chinese Zodiac proves, it is that there’s a strong reason Jackie Chan is so popular and why many considers him as a pop culture icon. In this movie, he showcases why he won the hearts of many people worldwide. If this is indeed his final action movie, his presence in the big screen will surely be missed. Do I wish that his final action movie had a stronger storyline? Definitely but Chinese Zodiac was still a good reminder why Jackie Chan will always be one of the most treasured stars of all time. 7 / 10