Category: Movie review

Skiptrace: Watch it for Jackie, He’s still loaded


At the age of 62 when most film actors think for retirement or they get confined into homes due to ‘no-job’ situation, you can find Jackie Chan still full of energy, workaholic, playful, loaded and playing entertainingly with goons. And hey – he’s still at his best.

Skiptrace gives you the same Jackie we used to love, and he is still the same adorable actor whose rib-tickling slapstick we have been a fan of. You will find 62-year-old Jackie in this Hong Kong-Chinese-American action-comedy-movie escaping his arrest with his American partner, Johnny Knoxville, and helping his former partner, Yung’s daughter, Samantha (Fan Bingbing), as she was caught up with Victor Wong’s mischievous conspiracy and so, she seeks uncle Jackie’s help to find Johnny and get him back to Hong Kong to Wong so that she could escape being shit-canned.


At the start of the move, we see Jackie Chan (playing as Hong Kong detective, Bennie Chan) in hot pursuit of crime mogul, Metador, only to find his partner Yung at a high tower, his body strapped with time-bomb jacket. Detective Bennie tries to save Yung but he chooses release to his (imminent) death, and so, in the process before he jumps off the tower to his death, he gives Bennie a wrist watch, saying “protect my daughter”, a promise Bennie was sworn to fulfill on moral ground as well as for friendship’s sake.

Later detective Bennie is woken up to a hard knock at the door of his home and finds that it was his friend’s daughter, Samantha, who later shares with him her concern over Johnny Knoxville (playing as Connor Watts, a conman, and gambler). She begs Bennie to find Connor for the safety of her job. Bennie promises her after some gentle rebukes as to why she did let herself into trouble of that dangerous kind.

Bennie uses his resource to track down the hideout of conman Connor and is being informed of his location in Russia. As a matter of fact, Watts was kidnapped from Hong Kong by Russian goons and was brought to Russia to account for his involvement in impregnating the daughter of Russian crime leader. Bennie saves Watts from the Russian crime boss.

Now there follows a deadly yet hilarious and bumpy adventure of running away from the Russian and Chinese gangsters using different routes to avoid the gangsters as possibly as they can. We find the duo taking routes involving snow-capped mountains of Mongolia and many other places of spectacular beauty, including Gobi desert.

During the escapade, Watts many times tries to dodge Jackie to flee away from his grip, but he couldn’t manage to get very far, and ends up with his captor Bennie, grudgingly.

When the duo reaches China, Watts and Bennie, by the time, were good friends-cum-partners, and here at the Chinese border, Watts does something mischievous to draw attention of border police force. The plan succeeds and both finds being ferried in police van to Hong Kong for the trial of their crime. As the fortune has it, the van is ambushed by the Russian mobsters, but Bennie and Watts, during the fights, manage to escape from them.

However, Watts leaves Bennie leaving a note which reads about an important clue that might lead to the apprehension of Wong. Actually, the clue was a smartphone which was non-operational until fingerprint of its user is placed on the device’s screen. Both the fugitives conclude that if the phone is handed over to Hong Kong police and Wong is forced to press his finger to open the device (which allegedly contains the secrets to the arrest of Wong), he (Wong) will be proven guilty. Then and there!

Since Watts has left Bennie with the cellphone, alone detective Bennie manages to find Wong at an old ship. Surprisingly, he comes across Yung, his former partner whom Bennie saw jumping off the tower and getting killed in the explosion. At the ship, a heavy (but typical of Jackie’s acrobatic style of) fight starts, and we see Watts, after heart-change through wise-counseling of an old Chinese man, joining Bennie in the fighting with Chinese gangsters.

Meanwhile, Yung reveals himself to his daughter, but their reunion short-lives, as the ship starts to sink, thereby creating panic amongst the people onboard. Later, we see both Yung and Bennie trying to save Samantha who is drowning inside the water-filled cabin of the ship.

Samantha is saved, but Yung, and this time for real, chooses his death, for the reason not explicitly revealed in the movie.  I guess Yung felt remorseful when he found his old buddy, Bennie, still holding the wrist watch he gave to him when he faked his death.

At the end of the movie, we see detective Bennie being led by Samantha and Watts to a serene farm rearing Alpacas.  Bennie loves the place, and seeing alpacas he expresses joy as if he was over the moon. He meets there with partner, Leslie for whom Bennie developed a soft place in his heart.


Should you watch Skiptrace?

I believe Skiptrace is one of the finest comedy movies of Jackie Chan. Though somewhere I missed Owen Wilson and thought that if it were not Johnny Knoxville, then Owen would have been an efficient replacement for him, considering Owen was a terrific partner with Jackie in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights.

Likeable things:

Skiptrace has decent fight choreography, but if you are used to watching Jackie’s oldest formidable form, the one he displayed in Thunderbolt, Wheels on Meals and Legends of the Drunken Masters, then you will feel disappointed. Oh, common man! How can you compare today’s Jackie with his former version when he was young and full of adrenaline rush. That’s highly unlikely to happen, but I tell you, even in this movie, Jackie played around with bad guys really cool.

Additional info:

Name: Skiptrace

Lead casts: Jackie Chan, Fan Bingbing, Johnny Knoxville

Director: Renny Harlin

How did you like Skiptrace? You can share your views in the comment box below. Thanks for reading.