Shanghai Knights

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Shanghai Knights Movie Poster Image
Martial arts buddy sequel is exactly what you expect.
  • PG-13
  • 2003
  • 114 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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.


Occasional profanity and sexual language. The main antagonist, Rathbone, is nicknamed "Rathboner" by one of the lead characters.

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008

Very Odd

This is a good action movie. Don't expect much of a plot, but minorly entertaining if you like Jackie Chan.
Written byAnonymous October 30, 2018

The butt review

This movie sequel has violence action and sex implied stuff. There is a little cussing.
Teen, 14 years old Written byarman kalantari March 3, 2012

watch it.

just good for kids not all kids good for 13 and up will be fine awesome movie you should watch and i watched iit and it was not bad like bad scenes like no nuti...
Teen, 17 years old Written bycalfan April 9, 2008

What's the story?

Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson reprise their roles as serious Chinese Imperial Guard turned sheriff Chon Wang and amiable bandit turned waiter/gigolo Roy O'Bannon. In the first film, the princess and the treasure the heroes won at the happy end are swiftly dispatched and Roy and Chon are off to London to avenge the murder of Chon's father and retrieve the great seal stolen from the emperor of China. They arrive just as the celebration of Queen Victoria's 50 years on the throne is about to begin. Chon's sister Lin (Fann Wong) is in jail for attempting to kill Rathbone (Aiden Gillen), the Queen's cousin. Our heroes have to get Lin out of jail, get back the seal, and stop the plots to kill off the nine people between Rathbone and the crown and usurp the emperor of China. Their adventures include comedic encounters with policemen, prostitutes, Jack the Ripper, a street urchin/pickpocket, a newfangled contraption called the automobile, and Stonehenge.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the puzzle box Wang's father sent him, and why it was important to show patience before receiving the message. Why was that particular message so important to him?

  • Look up information about Charlie Chaplin, Jack the Ripper, Queen Victoria, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous creations, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.

  • What kinds of stereotypes can you spot in this movie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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