Shanghai Noon (2000)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Fun buddy action comedy

The story is ok but lacking at points

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Shanghai Noon

Studio:  Spyglass Entertainment

Genre(s):  Martial Arts/Action/Adventure/Comedy/Western

Release Date(s):  May 26, 2000

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson versus the bottle!!!

Princess Pei-Pei (Lucy Liu) has been kidnapped from the Forbidden City, and men have been sent to Carson City, Nevada to deliver the ransom.  The delivery is interrupted by an unplanned train robbery by Roy O’Bannon (Owen Wilson), and Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) is separated from the group.  Chon Wang must fight his way across the West, face Native Americans, and discovers he’s become an outlaw through an unlikely team-up with O’Bannon.  O’Bannon and Wang discover that a traitor named Lo Fong (Roger Yuan) is behind the kidnapping of Princess Pei-Pei and getting her back might be harder than originally thought.

Directed by Tom Dey, Shanghai Noon is a Western buddy action comedy.  The film was well received by critics and was a box office smash.


Jackie Chan faces the horse he road in on!

The buddy movie is a long standing action-comedy style.  Usually paring a no-nonsense guy with a joker…here you almost get two jokers though Jackie Chan is “the straight man” due his cultural misunderstandings.  The team-up is great and the movie really works.

The story is rather incidental though the script is smartly written.  The basic plot is so-so, but the script does a great job mixing pop culture with Western tropes.  Both character’s word play really works for the script and something that could easily have been a cheesy wink-and-nod dialogue comes off as genuine.

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson are a great team.  Wilson’s almost sleepy style is a direct contradiction to Chan’s overactive style.  The movie works only because of these two and all the other actors are rather fillers.  Lucy Liu is featured in one of her early roles coming off of Ally McBeal, but doesn’t really get enough screentime as Princess Pei-Pei.


Butch Cassidy and Sundance eat your hearts out!

The action of the movie like many Jackie Chan movies is part of the fun.  Opposed to many of Chan’s early films, Chan is slowing down a bit so instead of just crazy stunt after stunt, the stunts feel more thought out and important to the plot instead of just visuals…but they still are fun!

Shanghai Noon is one of the better and more accessible “martial arts” films for those who aren’t fans of martial arts.  The comedy and buddy aspect of the film often outweighs the actions but fans of action can still enjoy.  Shanghai Noon was followed by Shanghai Knights in 2003.

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Related Links:

Shanghai Knights (2003)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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