Kung Fu Yoga – ★ ★ ★ ½ DVD Review
China meets India in the latest action/comedy/adventure film from Jackie Chan. I enjoyed Kung Fu Yoga a lot more than I did the last Chan film I watched, Railroad Tigers. This time out, Jackie is a famous Chinese archaeologist (call him Jack) who has been contracted by a university in India to discover the resting place of an ancient treasure that was lost after a battle where a Chinese general and his army assisted the true rulers of India in an war against a hostile Indian general. The treasure is naturally being sought after by two sides; the bad guy is Randall (Sonu Sood) whose character is a descendant of the bad guy from the battle thousands of years ago, the good guys are Jack, two of his TAs, Nuomin (Miya Muqi) and Xiaoguang (Yixing Zhang), a treasure hunter/tomb raider named Jones (Aarif Rahman) and the beautiful Indian archaeology professor Ashmita (Disha Patani) and her assistant Kyra (Amyra Dastur). They travel from the ice caves of Tibet to the streets of Dubai to a mountain temple in India in search of even greater treasures. Randall seeks the treasure to claim power for himself, Ashmita seeks it to give to the Indian people, and Jack seeks it for its archaeological importance.
Jackie Chan’s films are interesting to say the least. There are are several different types now, in the past he did the classic kung fu, hardcore action films (New Fists of Fury, Police Story) , then he moved on and started doing family friendly action films and action comedies (Rumble in the Bronx, Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon) and recently he has done historical dramas (1911, Dragon Blade, Railroad Tigers) this was definitely in the realm of the family friendly action films, but not quite an action comedy. Sure, the CGI lion in the back seat of the car he steals for a car chase was pretty funny, and there was a lot of comic relief in the film, but there was more action to it. The hunt for the treasure leads to a big fight scene in the ice cave, and the discovery of the the first treasure. There was some double crossing as Jones steals the treasure to sell it to the highest bidder, leading to a big chase scene. The car chases were full of exotic cars and exotic scenery… and the CGI lion of course. Randall kidnaps Kyra and Nuomin, holding them hostage for the treasure, which leads to them being rescued by a reformed Jones and Xiaoguang, but the bad guys get the upper hand again and have Jack and Ashmita (who is not really a professor, but the heiress of the ruling Indian army who had the treasure originally) lead them to an even bigger treasure which leads to an even bigger fight and showdown at a golden temple. When the treasure promised by ancient prophecy turns out to be scrolls of scientific knowledge, the bad guys accept it and everyone dances! Bollywood style!
Now, I haven’t seen a lot of Bollywood movies, but do they all just end with people resolving the conflict and dancing? I guess if they do, writing the ending is a bit easier, but it seemed rather sudden. I thought quite a few things in this movie happened a bit to quickly as well. The team discovered the whereabouts of the ice cave on their first attempt, the bad guys hideout was easy to find, solving the puzzles to get to the right temple was pretty quick and easy, and then the final resolution that led to the dancing happened pretty quickly as I said. The film was clearly pulling a lot of things from the Indiana Jones stories, but even Indy didn’t get it right the first time, every time.
Chan himself was enjoyable, and while he was involved in most of the action he was involved in fewer of the fight scenes. He makes these films fun though, and that’s what I’m watching for. The rest of the cast weren’t as capable as Jackie, especially the Indian actresses. They were fine in the action scenes, but their acting wasn’t the best. The villain of the piece was rather one dimensional, but he did deliver a better performance, even though the script didn’t give him a lot to work with. And for a film titled Kung Fu Yoga there wasn’t a whole lot of yoga, even with Muqi Miya who is known as China’s most famous yoga instructor; she did deliver a good performance though. The script still was the weakest thing in the film, but I could get by that for the most part to simply enjoy it.
Bottom Line: I saw a trailer recently for The Foreigner with Jackie Chan, and it looks really good!
Posted on 17-08-22, in 3.5 Star, Movie Reviews and tagged Aarif Rahman, Amyra Dastur, Disha Patani, Jackie Chan, Kung Fu, Kung Fu Yoga, Miya Muqi, Sonu Sood, Yixing Zhang, Yoga. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.