<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Jackie Chan. Starring Jackie Chan, Oliver Platt
I wasn’t going to attend the show but I saw the trailer and thought, ‘Hey, it’s Jackie Chan, so there will be lots of fun and some great action/stunts’, so I stayed on to watch it after the utterly depressing but wonderfully made The Impossible. But CZ12 was a whole lot more depressing in so many ways.
Someone in the audience said you should be drunk first and then go watch CZ12 (CZ stands for Chinese Zodiac and the 12 animals the represents it). I think you need to be passed out. There’s a weird plot about 12 bronze heads of the Chinese Zodiac animals: rat, dog, dragon etc and an international business of faking priceless artefacts and JC (Jackie Chan) and his friends have to retrieve them for the president of MP corporation (played by Oliver Platt) who will handsomely reward him. But then he also faces a moral dilemma due to Coco (Yao Xingtong) an activist who wants all the stolen bronze heads to be returned to China.
The first half of this movie is totally slapstick and lacks any logic whatsoever. The second half just gets lost in new plot points that are never established or even mentioned before like love affairs between JC’s colleagues.
In a day and age when CGI is creating characters that are closer and closer to looking real, it is a wonder then that CZ12 has such horrible special effects like it’s straight out of the 80s or something, and not in a good way. Since the film is dubbed there are lots of places where dialogue is just slapped on to fill in the gaps and is totally meaningless. The acting is so bad you feel like you’re watching some cheap, slapstick play that hasn’t been rehearsed very well. And most of the time you can’t even understand what they’re saying.
And Jackie Chan just seems too old and out of it now with the stunts being drab and downright stupid. It may have worked in the 90s but we’ve all seen too much now to be enchanted by the silly stunt drama he’s notorious for. He may have several credits in this film as producer and director of photography and more but that only serves to show us that he was wholly responsible for a very bad film. Not even the closing credit blooper shoots were funny.