• Guy Jeffries

Skiptrace Review


Director: Renny Harlin.

Starring: Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville, Bingbing Fan, Eric Tsang, Michael Wong, Richard Ng, Eve Torres.

I have to say, I was shocked to see Renny Harlin's name pop up in the credits, who's best film was, in my opinion, Cliffhanger but is also know for Die Hard 2, Long Kiss Goodnight and Deep Blue Sea. He didn't quit after those, but slowly slipped off the big name notice board in recent years, hence my shock seeing him directing Chan the Man.

I can't help but think Harlin received a lot of creative input from Jackie Chan and co, having a strong, distinct Hong Kong cinema feel. However the opening credits is something Guy Ritchie would do, thinking it's more of a show-off instead of suiting the film. I found that a lot with Harlin's films.

I grew up watching Jackie Chan films and I absolutely idolise the man, but, I hate to say it, Jackie appears to lose some of his magic in Rush Hour 3 back in 2007, though Forbidden Kingdom and the rebooted Karate Kid restored my faith, and I have yet to see Police Story 2013. He's not as fast as he once was, he's 62 now, but even though a lot of the action sequences here are copies from a lot of his previous movies, he's still Jackie Chan and delivers the goods.

It's a clichéd storyline of struck-off cop Chan hooking up with gambler low-life, Johnny Knoxville in order to catch the bad guy. Knoxville, another man who's not afraid to perform his own stunts. He's come a long way since performing daring pranks in Jackass to now sharing the screen with greats like Dwayne Johnson, Schwarzenegger and now Jackie. I wonder if he looks back thinking "wow" there I was drinking Preston's sweat and boom!

The action isn't always consistent going from being quite impressive to being mediocre and poor, again, a trait I associate with Harlin. The fight sequences mimic a lot of Jackie's slapstick fighting style. But the acting overall is quite terrible, Knoxville being the only believable character here. His wit is actually quite funny and refreshing.

There's some nice touches and funny scenes like the bowling alley and Jackie singing Adele! But a lot of it is silly and totally out of sync, rushing around faster than Jackie's stunt team. however looked like a lot of fun. It even includes Jackie's trademark outtakes at the end credits.

Unfortunately, Harlin doesn't let me down and does what is expected, a film with some great ideas and potential that fails to impress. Not even Jackie Chan's masterful Kung Fu and Knoxville's quick-fire sarcasm can save this film. Still, it's entertaining, brainless fun but certainly not one of Jackie's best, ever.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 6

Performance: 4

Direction: 5

Story: 5

Script: 5

Creativity: 6

Soundtrack: 5

Job Description: 4

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

Would I buy the Blu-ray?: No.

46% 5/10

#RennyHarlin #JackieChan #JohnnyKnoxville #BingbingFan #EricTsang #MichaelWong #RichardNg #EveTorres #KwongWingChan