Jackie Chan Plays Chauffeur to a Lion (and Punches People) in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ Trailer
Think of the new action-comedy Kung Fu Yoga as an East Asian rework of Driving Miss Daisy, except with Jackie Chan instead of Morgan Freeman, and a real live lion instead of Jessica Tandy, and flurries of punches instead of soft commentary on the undercurrents of intolerance in the American South. Okay, they’re almost entirely different movies, but the takeaway here is that Jackie Chan drives off a cliff in what appears to be a police cruiser with the king of the savannah riding in the backseat. Jackie Chan, in case anyone had forgotten, is 62 years old.
That is but one of the bounty of pleasures offered in the chaotic, everything-all-of-the-time trailer for Kung Fu Yoga, due for release in China on January 28. Inveterate ass-kicker Chan plays an Indiana Jones-esque professor of archaeology who discovers a rare artifact known as the Shiva Eye. What the relic actually does, apart from grant its wielder the power to own the world, is unclear — but bandits purloin it anyway, leaving Chan and his partners Ashmita and Kyra to return it to its proper owner. The newly unveiled trailer shows a white-knuckle car chase between Chan and the criminals that tears through a crowded city, in addition to snippets of Chan gut-punching a guy with a pike, sliding frictionlessly through a luggage cart like a martial arts eel, and jumping over two CGI hyenas.
In-the-know parties will be interested to learn that this film constitutes Asian action stalwart Stanley Tong’s first feature effort since 2012’s Jackie Chan team-up Chinese Zodiac, as the acclaimed director has spent most of his recent years working in TV. At any rate, it’s kinda messed up that the “best film of 2017” conversation will be definitively resolved in the first weeks of the year. Even so, this looks like a loony good time.