A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The value of friendship, even across cultural and personality barriers, is expressed. Violence is the primary method for solving problems. Some iffy messages about prostitution and revenge.
Positive Role Models
As friends, Chon and Roy do their best to look out for each other, in spite of their occasional differences. Roy is a quasi-reformed prostitute.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent martial arts violence. Two guards are hung and killed, and two more guards are killed with arrows. A machine gun is used on the lead character and on royalty, and a pistol is fired at the lead characters. Slapstick pratfalls. A character falls to his death from a high altitude.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Roy is a former prostitute and discusses having sex with women for money. After finding a copy of the Kama Sutra, one of the lead characters becomes engrossed in the book; he later has a dream in which he's surrounded by scantily-clad women as his love interest passionately licks his face. Topless statues on either side of a mantle are used as comedy props; characters push their breasts to move the mantle into a secret room. After a pillow fight with scantily-clad women, the two lead characters are found naked except for a pillow covering their private parts. Much humor is made of the English dish "Spotted Dick," with one character thinking it has something to do with "the clap." One of the main characters tells his sister that his best friend "shoots blanks," as an attempt to have her lose interest in his friend.
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Occasional profanity and sexual language. The main antagonist, Rathbone, is nicknamed "Rathboner" by one of the lead characters.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Early in the film, characters drink champagne. Roy smokes a cigar and drinks wine. Later, he is at a bar drinking shots of liquor and acts intoxicated.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shanghai Knights is the sequel to Shanghai Noon and involves the same kind of martial arts violence that appeared in the first movie. Characters are hung, killed with arrows, and stabbed with daggers and martial arts pratfalls and sight gags appear in abundance. Owen Wilson's character starts out as a prostitute, and frequently makes off-color jokes about sex and frequent stereotypical jokes about the differences between American, Chinese, and British culture. He also smokes a cigar in one scene, and appears drunk after downing several shots of liquor. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are no surprises in SHANGHAI KNIGHTS, but that's only because it delivers exactly what we expect: a cheerfully anachronistic buddy/action/comedy movie starring Chan and Wilson. Every few minutes it throws in either a classic pop standard, an impossibly agile fight scene, some offbeat surfer cowboy comments, some fish out of water humor, or some combination of all of them. In other words, it's pretty much just like the first movie, except that it's set in London.
The action scenes are ably staged, especially a marvelous battle with Keystone Cops-style policemen in a revolving door, a fight in a fruit market, and some masterful acrobatics with that most British of props, the umbrella. The comedy is more uneven, though Wilson's way with a line is always deliciously offbeat. Wong has a dazzling smile and a lethal kick, always a good combination to have on hand.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.