I'm a long time fan of Jackie films and I thought his stunts were still very imaginative. There was some unnecessary CGI bits at the end and there were some cheesy bits but thats just Chinese humor. The fight sequences were well done, which is the main thing I look for watching a Jackie film. The story I thought was fun too. Its a good ride : )
It is such a mess I don't really know where to start.
Scenario is really poor. The plot only goes forwards thanks to chance and luck. The movie breaks down basic laws of physics just to make the characters' life easier. The begenning lays simple and clean foundations but the rest of the movie blurs characters' objectives and efforts. It becomes impossible to identify what is important to them and what isn't.
Characters' identity is based on meaningless stereotypes. The few good ones are quickly eclipsed from the plot. Switches of languages (french - english - chinese) make every dialogue really hard to understand and to follow. Only a few jokes are funny but the thousand other ones are dull and/or predictable. The french character is especially unfunny and useless all along.
The movie simply can't make some scenes emotionnal or seem important. Every time a protagonist tries to speak from the heart it ends up being really awkward and/or unintentionally funny.
Environments are huge and made me confused. Take the jungle part: it is huge, there is way too much useless scenery (like creepers). Same flaw for the industry part.
The acting is simply bad. It is impossible to have any empathy for any of the characters. Everything happening to them is uninteresting.
Romance scenes are effortless yet missed.
Music is almost always inadequate and anecdotal.
This is poorly filmed. Angles are a mess, the whole movie is over-cut, everything looks jerky.
Ending in overall and ending scenes are messier than the rest of the movie. It is inconsistent, non-fluid, absurd and unimportant.
Good points (because yes, there are few and I want to end it on these) are that Chan is always imaginative (as in the roller scenes) and his fight scenes are amazingly choregraphied.
The character of Asian Hawk in Armour Of God is, in my opinion, Jackie's finest on-screen creation. That film was an excellent blend of Indiana Jones-style exploration and ancient artifacts, combined with high octane action. It was let down mainly by the stupid sidekick character (played solely for laughs by Canto-pop star Alan Tam), and the end fight, where Jackie faces off against a group of four black female martial artists. The fight being a let down because it lacked any sense of urgency, dread or peril.
The sequel was even better, being filmed on a budget nearly 10 times greater than ANY film made by a Hong Kong studio up to that point. Jackie (now called Asian Condor) has to track down a cache of stolen **** gold hidden in a secret base somewhere in the North African desert. Featuring more intense fighting, more insane stuntwork, and an ending that is as inventive as it is satisfying. Let down only by its excessive run-time, and the terrible 'karaoke-style' soundtrack.
And then we get to this abomination.... CZ12, or Chinese Zodiac, or Armour of God 3.....
There's no point discussing the plot, it's nonsensical. Suffice to say the narrative exists solely for Jackie to get from one situation to the next, and as such there's no real sense of structure to it. I watched the film twice, over a weekend, the second viewing just to find out if the things I remembered seeing did actually happen. I'd convinced myself it really couldn't have been as bad as my memory was screaming at me!
Everything about the film is terrible. One of the big problems, from my point of view, is that the character Jackie plays is effectively 26 years older than in the first movie, and Jackie was 31 when he filmed that. And it just made me feel very sad, not because Jackie can't still throw a punch, or put together a few backflips and handstands.... No, it's because everything he does in this film, he's done so much better in the past. The lack of originality is astonishing.
Throw in a huge amount of piss-poor CGI that does nothing to make for a better film, it just adds to the fact that the physicality is now second fiddle to visual effects and clever post-production techniques.
The direction is uninspired, as is the cinematography... I mean, there are some good ideas being put up in front of our eyes, but they aren't fleshed out.
And we've not even got to the worst part yet!
For some reason, probably to increase the run-time, there's a huge number of co-stars in the film. The final 'Island' sequence has about twenty people milling about pointlessly, before the big melee ensues. Just cutting back and forth between Jackie and his little group, and some bad guy and his somewhat larger group. It goes on needlessly for what seems like an eternity, before they all end up in the same place, after Jackie (and group) discover what everyone is looking for.
You could chop 30 minutes (and about 20 unnecessary characters) out of this movie, and it would still feel like they were stretching it out!
It's a film so bad, it's only worth watching if you're an ardent Chan fan and haven't seen it. However, if you are (and you do) you WILL be disappointed!
If you're just a casual action movie fan, and have no predilection about the name of the main 'Star' whose name sits at the start of the opening titles.....Stay away.... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!
I too have seen this movie recently and I can confirm it is one of Jackie Chan's worst films I've ever seen. I know he's gotten older and that we cant keep expecting the next Rush Hour or something but its still a bad movie regardless.
One of the most disappointing films I've ever seen. I am a fan of the original two Armour of Gods but this one is just terrible. Jackie Chan has gotten bad lately, many of his films have **** but I had hope in this one being a return to form to all of his great Cantonese and Mandarin films of the 80s and 90s. But CZ turned out to be worse than any of the movies he did in Hollywood. Terrible dialogue, terrible acting, unimpressive and fake looking stunts, a boring and tedious story that's over 2 hours long yet feels like it's 4 hours. You will mostly be concerned with your watch while seeing this film as you're desperately waiting for it to end.
Once hailed as the new face of action comedy Martial **** now a wrinkled old fart who clearly doesnt realize what it is that his fans want to see....WHICH IS CHAN **** RUNNING...Bring on Drunken Master 3 and dont waste your time with **** has one 7 minute fight scene at the end...Like Armour of God part 1...however no where near as **** main focus is on a one on one with two Chicks fighting rather then on Chan kicking ass himself...That being said..Stunts are Meh...Some good ideas executed poorly through dreadful story telling...I honestly enjoyed "Little Tiger in Canton" aka "Master with the cracked fingers" More then **** that was Chan in his "B movie" Era..Terrible film...Avoid at all costs.
Golden Harvest Company,
Beijing Dragon Garden Culture & Art,
Emperor Film Production,
Huayi Brothers Media,
Jackie & JJ Productions,
One House Productions,
Shanghai Film Group,
Sparkle Roll Media,
Talent International Film Company Limited