Kung Fu Yoga
Director: Stanley Tong
Cast: Jackie Chan, Aarif Rehman, Sonu Sood, Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur
At one point in the film, Sonu Sood’s character asks: “Are you guys having fun?” At which you shake yourself awake to respond with a resounding “no”.
And that’s such a pity because Jackie Chan is an experienced jokester, and this film, which seeks to meld kung fu and yoga, two great civilisations, two great traditions, Hindi-Chini-bhai-bhai, yada yada, should rightly have been a barrel of laughs. But Kung Fu Yoga, which is a cheat title, because it has barely any yoga and a lot of jaded kung fu moves, does nothing but put you to sleep.
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Chan plays a great Chinese archeologist in search of lost treasure . A mo cap ( motion capture) flashback tells a convoluted tale of Indian royals wandering about icy mountain caves in Tibet, with Chan showing the way.
The contemporary Chan called, what else, Jack does the same. Accompanying him are a bunch of youngsters calling themselves professors and teaching assistants, but who have basically been hired to look admiringly at Chan doing his stuff.
The Indian contingent is made up of Sonu Sood playing a baddie with an eye on the treasure. And Dastur and Patani as the pretties who dress up in furs or ornate ghagras, depending upon whether they are in Tibet or in exotic Rajasthan, with old guys doing rope tricks and sadhus levitating. This, in 2017. I kid you not. A bit of the film is set in Dubai only to give us a car chase which features an unexpected back seat guest for Chan. Roars and crashes ensue, but it’s all a big yawn.
The only time this oriental Indiana Jones flickers to life is in an item song with the entire cast and lots of extras. It proves two things: that the clearly ageing Chan can shake a leg. And that song and dance, especially if it is a Farah Khan special, still rules.