Skiptrace(film), a typical Jackie Chan film

People expected too much from Skiptrace.

In recent years, Jackie Chan is not prolific, almost one film a year. Sufficient attention from the public was paid to Skiptrace this time, and road shows came one after another, which made the film popular before on the sreen. That the first week with 408 million box office income showed the Jackie Chan influence. Skiptrace is a 2016 Hong Kong-Chinese-American action comedy film directed by Renny Harlin, produced and based on a story by Jackie Chan, starring Fan Bingbing Johnny Knoxville. Hong Kong detective Bennie Chan has been tracking notorious crime boss “Matador” – whom he believes to be businessman Victor Wong – for over a decade after the death of Bennie’s partner Yung. When Yung’s daughter Samantha gets into trouble with Wong’s crime syndicate, Bennie must track down an American conman, Connor Watts, who gambles his way through Chinese Macau casino. However, before Bennie can find him, Connor is kidnapped by a Russian kingpin to Russia to answer for leaving his daughter pregnant. Bennie rescues Connor, and together they set foot on the escape route from Russia to Hong Kong.

Lately, pushed by embarrassing plots and old-style stories, Jackie Chan films only have one style that date back to the 1990s of last century, no matter Which director directs the film, because the director has to make the film in Jackie Chan’s way. The film has only one advantage that there are famous actors. And as the story progresses, more and more unique Jackie Chan styles are observed. There is one fight scene after another which is set as comic acts. Heroic confrontation and adventure for justice and loyalty is nervous and funny. That the police killed the bad, and the police honor is purified, and justice in the world is maintained is the fixed story pattern. The bad guys are characterized not sadistic but a little lovely, as the Jackie Chan films always do.

Skiptrace, a typical Jackie Chan film

The wrong getaway routes.

In the film, Connor is kidnapped by a Russian kingpin to Russia, and Bennie goes to Russia to rescue him, and together they go back to Hong Kong on foot. Along the way, many famous Chinese scenic spots and unique native customs are shown to give people a cultural feast. This plot gives the story the chance to launch the following dramatic plot, and it is also the several nonsensical parts.

First, the way from Russia to Hong Kong is really very much distant. It is impossible to finish the journey on foot. The well-known long march of twenty-five thousand kilometers finished by the Red Army took 2 years. The distance from Russia to Hong Kong maybe is 10 times the long march. And how much time will it take to finish the journey?

Second, the communication with the natives of many places is a big problem. How can they communicate with so many people in English in so many places with different development levels? In Hong Kong, Bennie speaks Chinese fluently. But in China mainland, Bennie speaks English all the way. Even in the border between China and Mongolia, the two guys are arrested by the Chinese frontier army, and Bennie seems to forget to speak Chinese anyway.

Third, the film is lack of knowledge of Chinese river systems. In the film, the two guys get free from the Chinese frontier army and sail downward with the current in the clear river. The nearest river from the border is the Yellow River, and it is hundreds of miles away, and it is not a clear river.

Forth, the film is lack of knowledge of Chinese geography. In the film, the two guys come from Inner Mongolia to Guangxi Province by boat. Theoretically, it is possible, but in fact, it is impossible. Theoretically, they can sail downward the Yellow River, and come to Hangzhou along the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal, and then they can sail upstream the Changjiang River and into the Xiangjiang River. And they can go to the Lijiang River by way of Linqu canal, where they can arrive in Guangxi. But in fact, the distance may be thousands of miles, and the Beijing-Hangzhou Canal is blocked.

There is a plot much similar to The Myth.

Waves of Déjà vu can be felt with many plots in the movie. Jackie Chan keeps telling people that he can continue fighting, but the effects are not good enough. But, it may be a great joy to recollect the plot that he used in former movies. He is always respectable, as a dedicated actor.

There a plot much similar to The Myth (2005 film) 10 years ago. You can see the similar moving transmission belt, the similar action, the similar danger at the end of the belt. Look at the picture bellow.

Skiptrace, a typical Jackie Chan film, contrast

Jackie Chan is old now.

We can see in the film that Jackie Chan movies slower, jump lower and responses duller than before. It makes our hearts ache to see Jackie Chan keeping making so many good films after struggling in the front line in the movie world. He still wants to give us laughter and good action shows, but there is limited space for his age. He can change his action style, unnecessary to make the movie with the danger of life. In retrospect of these years, films like Dragon Blade and Skiptrace that are action styles are not fit such an old man. He is really old now. Jackie Chan has given us so many wonderful works, and he can slow down to help the young actors, or go behind the scenes to do other things, and leave the identity as an actor alone.