One of my favorite actors is Jackie Chan, and even though I haven’t seen a lot of his films coming out of China, I have seen quite a bit of his American films, and I’ve loved each and every one of them for different reasons. Those movies where he teams up with a somewhat well-known American actor are really special, and there is a lot more out there than the Rush Hour and Shanghai Knights movies. I’ve loved all of those films, and I never thought I’d be disappointed in a Jackie Chan movie until today. Skiptrace is a joke and honestly, has me worried about his career in the future. Let’s get into it.
Skiptrace stars Jackie Chan as Bennie Chan, a Chinese detective that is after a master criminal by the name of Matador – and the only person that can help him, apparently, is Johnny Knoxville’s character, Connor – who is a gambling con man. Anything more than that storywise, even I’d have a tough time explaining, because the narrative is all over the place in this film.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Jackie Chan is an incredible actor most of the time. I haven’t seen many of his roles that have disappointed me because he’s such a lovable and likable action star that he works well with everyone. Something was off when it came to Skiptrace, though. This didn’t have a lot going for it before it began, and it never really took off. Jackie has always been an impressive fighter that uses those items around him as his weapons, but his fighting in this film was subpar and far and few between. His chemistry with Knoxville was okay but distant. Finally, the story that should have been simple was incredibly hard to follow. Whoever was behind the scenes didn’t know how to edit together an action film. Because it takes more than scenes, it takes transitions – which this film seems to be lacking. It should also be noted that the comedy in this movie was bland as well…it seems everything that could have gone wrong, did.
The strangest thing that I find this film underestimated was Johnny Knoxville’s potential. Having been a part of Jackass for so long, we know he does his own stunts. Jackie Chan has been known for decades to do his own stunts, breaking hundred of bones throughout the years – so using Knoxville to their potential seemed like an obvious and smart choice…but as far as I could tell, Knoxville probably had stunt doubles, there were just too many shots cut away from him during critical moments.
I’ll put it as simply as I can. This movie felt as though Jackie Chan has had numerous film ideas in the past consisting of himself and an undecided American actor. He’s done most of them already, and so Skiptrace is basically the leftover ideas he has never gotten around to. There are a couple of interesting scenes while the rest of the movie is completely disposable. I hope this is the case, actually. Because if you could contribute this to Jackie Chan’s ripe age of 62, then there is no hope for the upcoming sequels Rush Hour 4 and Shangai Dawn. I continue to hold onto hope, though. Because he’s never served me wrong before. We’ll call this movie a fluke and wait for his next big hit!