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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Movies -> 
CZ12
    2012-12-21  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Starring: Jackie Chan, Oliver Platt, Yao Xingtong, Laura Weissbecker, Kwon Sang-woo

    Director: Jackie Chan

    FOR his 101st movie, Jackie Chan resurrects his maverick treasure hunter from the “Armor of God” series to go in search of Chinese relics. Unfortunately his edge has been replaced by a sickening line in self-aggrandizing patriotism.

    1986’s “Armor of God” and its 1991 sequel “Armor of God II: Operation Condor” remain to this day two of Jackie Chan’s most successful and action-packed films. The combination of Indiana Jones-style antiquities-based heroics with Chan’s signature brand of slapstick comedy, coupled with a dizzying array of death-defying stunts, proved incredibly popular the world over. It is no surprise that Chan is keen to reprise the role.

    “Chinese Zodiac,” aka “CZ12,” opens with a brief historical prologue, narrated by Jiang Wen of “Let the Bullets Fly.” When British forces invaded China in 1860, they stole a number of prized Chinese antiquities, including the heads of 12 animal statues from Beijing’s Summer Palace. Representing the symbols of the Chinese zodiac (Dragon, Snake, Rooster, Monkey etc.), the bronze busts have long been thought lost, until they begin popping up in auction houses around the world and fetching millions of dollars each time.

    Wealthy businessman and antiques collector Lawrence Morgan (Oliver Platt) is desperate to get his hands on the last of the remaining heads, and agrees to hire renowned treasure hunter JC (Jackie Chan) for the job, at a price of US$1 million for each head retrieved. Posing as a National Geographic photographer, JC heads to Paris, together with his tech team (Kwon Sang-woo, Zhang Linxin, Liao Fan) to meet with Coco (Yao Xingtong), a Chinese mainland woman working to bring lost antiquities back to China. After successfully robbing a French stately home of two bronze heads, their path crosses that of Duchess Katherine (Laura Weissbecker), whose ancestors were involved in the raid of the Summer Palace and offers her help.

    So begins a series of misadventures as this unlikely collection of international art thieves, bumbling aristocrats and indignant Chinese heritage spokespersons travel to a remote island in search of the remaining heads. There they encounter pirates, hidden gold, and interminable in-fighting as the ultimate fate of the treasure remains in the balance.

    Sadly, audiences who came searching for epic stunts and comedic martial arts will be left rather disappointed. However, fans of lengthy multilingual bickering about national pride, the plight of displaced antiquities and assuming responsibility for the actions of our forefathers are in for a treat.

    One of the problems of the film is that almost every actor on screen is working in more than one language, and in some cases being overdubbed by a number of other performers. Pity poor Korean heartthrob Kwon Sang-woo, who is relegated here to just another face in JC’s Cantonese-speaking team, and has precious little to do. French television actress Laura Weissbecker is almost unbearable as a dotty young French duchess, who inexplicably comes along for the ride. Forced to speak in English, French and then suddenly Mandarin late on, she has an uphill struggle to be anything but a punch bag for the Chinese cast, and the execrable dialogue her character is given all but scuppers any possibility of her giving a decent performance.

    The same can be said for Yao, who is there to beat her breast and denounce anybody who doesn’t agree that China’s interests should come first, and is perfectly happy to demand foreigners take responsibility for deeds committed more than 150 years ago. Likewise, she spouts a combination of Mandarin, French and then insanely-dubbed English when the script demands it, while often contradicting earlier pleas (from her and other cast members) to please explain what is going on as everyone jabbers away in their native tongue.

    At the centre of all this is Jackie Chan, a man whose popularity has been steadily in decline over the past decade or so, despite his desperate efforts to be taken seriously.

    The movie is now being screened in Shenzhen. (SD-Agencies)

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