Skiptrace

Dir: Renny Harlin, 2016

6/10

skiptrace_american_poster

Jackie Chan is back doing another buddy film.

Unfortunately, this one isn’t the fun filled 90 minutes that you hope for.

Chan is, you guessed it, a Hong Kong police detective on the trail of a criminal called The Matador.

When the daughter of his dead partner gets into trouble, Chan (that’s the character’s name) seeks out American gambler, Connor Watts (Johnny Knoxville).

Watts has been kidnapped and taken to Russia for getting the daughter of a Russian kingpin pregnant.

The gambler witnessed a murder in Hong Kong and won’t go back there, willingly.

Chan and Watts are forced to travel from Russia to Hong Kong with Russian mobsters and Chinese ganglords chasing them.

It’s another rehashed story.

Generally, I wouldn’t mind. Chan is a very likeable action star. His stunts are exciting and how he is able to pull off such gymnastics is baffling.

Johnny Knoxville can be irritating and, as an actor, is passable at best.

He’s okay in a comic role but nothing more.

Luckily, he isn’t given much to do but to look goofily at the screen.

The problem is the pace.

It starts off brilliant. There’s jokes and fighting and it all works fantastically.

BUT, then it just tails off and becomes boring.

The usual happens. Buddy does a runner, so other has to find them and then they realise that, they don’t really have anyone except each other and wind up becoming best friends.

There was such high hopes for Harlin.

He did a great job on A Nightmare On Elm Street part 4 and Die Hard 2. The Long Kiss Goodnight was another great actioner.

Then, what happened?

Was it Cutthroat Island? Did the universal drubbing he got for that film knock all sense of interest out of him? Was it Geena Davis, the girl he was married to?

Well, whatever it was, it knocked him for six and he’s been clawing around the straight to video/DVD bin for the past couple of years.

He seems to have lost the ability to know what a good script is.

I think he ought to take a break for a while and reassess himself and choosing scripts more carefully.

There’s a lot of talent, there. He just needs to tap back into it.

As is the norm for a Jackie Chan film, outtakes from the making of the film are screened during the end credits, a practice he picked up from Hal Needham after starring in The Cannonball Run films.

A midly amusing attempt at an action comedy that is only moderately successful.

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