Review by Levi White
If you were a shrimpy loner kid like me, you probably liked Jackie Chan. He made martial arts funny and look easy. I don’t know how many times I attempted to do some Jackie Chan moves on my siblings. The moves never worked, but they did always end with me crying. So, job well done.
Unfortunately, like most action stars, Jackie Chan’s stardom cooled off due to a few poor performances at the box office. So, here we are in 2017 and Chan has a film premiering in January, a month reserved for film studios’ sewage. Apparently, this rule goes for foreign studios as well. Kung Fu Yoga is an empty shell of the classic films it attempts to honor, and the writing for the film is lazy. Putting it simply.
The film stars Jackie Chan as Jack. Jack along with a number of lackadaisical characters team up to find a lost Indian treasure. The story jerkily twists and turns until it finally makes its point: the “One Belt, One Road Initiative” is beneficial to all involved *cough* propaganda *cough*, OR it’s that treasures are more than just jewels and gold.
So why does this movie suck? A lot of reasons, but most importantly, it’s boring. As with all films other than porn, if the characters suck, everything sucks…well maybe that goes for porn too. Bad example. Kung Fu Yoga puts all the weight on Chan to be the life of the movie, and ultimately, he fails. But, it’s not entirely his fault. The writing for this movie is as hollow as our president’s promises. One dimensional vessels fill in as characters and are only used to further the plot, nothing interesting going on here.
But, this is a Jackie Chan movie, so how’s the action? Boring. Chan is known for his death defying stunts that made us clench our cheeks in suspense. Well, he’s old now. Still fit. But, old. I don’t expect him to fall from a clock tower anytime soon. Call me greedy, but even with an aged Jackie I’m going to expect some great action. Instead, Kung Fu Yoga offers cheaply edited, wired up action that is “enhanced” with even cheaper CGI. The best example of this is the boring never ending car chase that features Jackie Chan and a terrible looking CGI lion. Why have a CGI lion in your movie if you know it’s going to look like shit? Write in a different animal, or maybe a human, you’re allowed to harm those.
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