September 2, 2016 6:05:43 pm
Skiptrace movie cast: Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville, Bing Bing Fan
Skiptrace movie director: Renny Harlin
Skiptrace is the process of locating a missing person, especially a debtor, usually by an insurance firm. What is the word doing in a film about a Chinese policeman (in Hong Kong) looking for an American who may have stolen money from a casino in Macau (that other Chinese territory), which is run by a ganglord known as the ‘Matador’, is a moot question. As is, how do the cop and the American land in Siberia, amidst other Russian goons, and then trek their way all the back to China through Mongolia and the Gobi desert?
Usually, one shouldn’t bother with these questions in a Jackie Chan film, which are entertaining enough to be forgiven physical and geographical liberties. But then Chan can get old, and he is getting older. A point much belaboured here, with a goddaughter (Bing) calling him “Uncle Bennie”.
As Chan and an adequate Knoxville — who is just short of being too handsome for his ageing co-star — build towards a buddy partnership, the action is unimaginative, the laughs few, the sidekicks uninteresting, and the villainy ordinary. The suspense as to the true identity of the Matador ends up being too brief.
You do get a tour though of Chinese countryside that should delight Beijing’s pastoral heart, with halts at many highlights of its cultural calendar, and are bestowed a glimpse of a Siberian castle as well as spend an extended night in Mongolia with people in costume singing Adele’s Rolling In The Deep.
Oh yes, a hello from the other side. But just.
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