Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: David Chang
Stars: Jaycee Chan, Xia Yu, Jessica Cambensy, Shoka, Chang Fei, Chen Han-tien, Deng Jiajia, Lan Chun-tien, Vivian Dawson.
This moderately entertaining and formulaic buddy action-comedy from China is mainly notable for starring Jaycee Chan, eldest son of the legendary martial arts star Jackie Chan.
Jaycee plays Jay, an egotistical security guard at Taiwan’s National Museum who becomes embroiled in the daring daylight robbery of a priceless 400 year-old scroll. With the unwanted help of Ocean (Xia Yu, from In The Heat Of The Sun, etc), a bumbling security guard from Beijing who is on an organised bus tour, Jay sets out to track down the thieves. Mistakenly assumed to be involved in the heist, Jay must stick with Ocean and try to track down the valuable scroll. This involves a frantic chase though the streets of Taiwan, as well as encounters with a couple of beautiful, leather-clad but lethal cat burglars (model Jessica Cambensy and Shoka), international art thief Z (Vivian Dawson), and a self styled gangster (Chang Fei).
The antics of the bickering odd couple is reminiscent of the relationship between Chan senior and Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour movies, although Double Trouble falls far short of that film.
But the performances from the cast are largely overwrought and lack subtlety. The worst offender is Chen Han-tien, who plays the irritating and incompetent tour guide Idol. Deng Jiajia is given little to do as Jane, one of Ocean’s fellow tourists.
Young Chan seems to have inherited his father’s charisma and flair for lightweight comedy action films, as well as his love of slapstick humour and crazy stunts. There’s plenty of clever stunt work here, including a fight on top of a bus. It seems that Chan junior is game to do most of it himself, just like his father, although much of the stunt work here is augmented by clever wire-work.
Unfortunately, the film needed a tighter script from Zhang Hongyi and Yeh Sho-Heng, and stronger direction from first time feature director David Hsun-Wei Chang. Chang, who choreographed the action for Let The Bullets Fly, maintains a fast pace throughout, but his handling of the action scenes seems rather hamfisted and clumsy and the film seems to lack any sense of urgency or danger.
And as with his father’s films, there are a series of bloopers and outtakes played over the final credits that shows that Chan and company at least had fun while shooting the movie.