tek's rating:

Shanghai Noon (PG-13)
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This came out in 2000, and I must have seen it sometime in the early 2000s. I watched it again to write a review in 2023, by which time I didn't remember any details about the movie. It was reasonably amusing and fun, but not really great. Just kinda good.

Jackie Chan plays Chon Wang, an Imperial Guard in China's Forbidden City, in 1881. When Princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu) is kidnapped and taken to America, the Emperor sends three other Imperial Guards to deliver a gold ransom. Chon wants to go with them, but is only allowed to accompany his uncle as a servant. In Nevada, the train the Imperial Guards are traveling on is hijacked by a gang of outlaws, led by Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson). The gang includes a new recruit named Wallace (Walton Goggins), who kills Chon's uncle, which is not at all in keeping with how Roy does things. (Roy is much more laid back, while Wallace is completely wild and trigger-happy.) Wallace takes over the gang and leaves Roy in the desert, buried up to his neck.

Pei Pei is being held by a former Imperial Guard named Lo Fong, who is in charge of a railroad being built by Chinese immigrants. He tells her if she tries to escape, he'll start killing the workers. Meanwhile, Roy and Chon team up to rescue Pei Pei, while the other three Imperial Guards continue on their journey to Carson City, to deliver the gold. Oh, and Chon rescues a Sioux boy from Crow warriors who were chasing the boy, and gets taken in by the Sioux tribe. He is unwittingly marred to a Sioux woman named Falling Leaves, who occasionally provides help to Chon and Roy when they get into trouble (which they do a lot). Roy and Chon have a very up-and-down sort of friendship. And... eventually they have to battle Lo Fong to rescue Pei Pei, but also fight the other Imperial Guards to prevent them from taking her back to China, since she has decided to stay in America. And that's all I want to say about the plot.

I wish I could think of more to say about the movie, but it's not really important. I doubt it really warrants any kind of deep analysis, it's all a very surface-level adventure/comedy. Oh yeah, I should mention that Chon gets dubbed the "Shanghai Kid" as an outlaw name, despite not being from Shanghai. I guess that's as close a justification as we're going to get for the movie's titular play on the phrase "High Noon".

Followed by "Shanghai Knights".

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