Skiptrace (2016)

I really am a sucker for the action comedy. I couldn’t resist treading into what really looked to be garbage to find a diamond in the rough. Instead I found a Cubic Zirconia and under the untrained eye, it works just as well.

Pairing Jackie Chan with Johnny Knoxville might not be everyone’s idea of a great time as Johnny Knoxville has that reputation that he will never shake. Yet those who migrate to his movies will lap this kind of stuff up. Interestingly, this was to be Jackie Chan and Sean William Scott initially and Scott dropped out for whatever reason. Knoxville works here and whilst he can never be considered an action star he holds his own and I would imagine he, like Chan, would do most of his own stunts, something that helps a movie like this to no end.

Directed by a man who has no particular flair or style, Renny Harlin, actually seems to help the film as the stars have an abundance of screen-time to impress the audience as the audience’s attention is fully on them. Supporting roles also have a great deal of focus with several standouts such as Bingbing Fan, Eve Torres and Jeong-hun Yeon providing a lot of impressive physical routines to keep the audience happy.

Reflecting on this movie, there are a number of memorable action sequences, in particular the Russian Doll fight. Much like a lot of Chan’s fight sequences, this is choreographed like a dance number and should easily be dropped into his great moments list that is becoming somewhat crowded.

Another impressive aspect are the locations. Refreshingly filmed in China, Mongolia and Hong Kong there are some really beautiful vistas on display here and Harlin really had an easy time making the film look beautiful, the cinematographer must have had a field day.

There is a plot, a story-line about Knoxville’s character being chased by kingpins, authorities and Chan’s character needing to keep him alive to prove a conspiracy. It’s been done before and all very much like Midnight Run, but Chan and Knoxville are an unlikely winning duo who keep the movie from slipping into Dullsville.

This is on Netflix and if you are looking for a big load of silly to liven up a dull night, you could do worse. It’s no Midnight Run, no Lethal Weapon but it easily bests those Rush Hourmovies.