Loyal Imperial Guard Chon Wang (Jackie Chan) is one of the entourage of five that leaves Forbidden City, China for Carson City, Nevada in 1881 to rescue the kidnapped Princess Pei Pei (played by Lucy Liu of "Ally McBeal" fame) from the clutches of Lo Fong (played by Roger Yuan).
The train on which he's travelling in Nevada is attacked by a group of bandits, headed by swashbuckling, charming Roy O'Bannon (played by Owen Wilson, last seen in "The Haunting"). In the ensuing pursuit of the gold that's been brought along as ransom money for the release of the Princess, Chon Wang's uncle gets killed by one of Roy's gang.
That sets the enmity between Wang and O'Bannon going and the screen explodes whenever the two of them are on it together. The story follows them through some pretty hair-raising escapes and encounters on and off trains, horseback and main streets in little towns as well as in saloons and bars, all the way through to the area where Lo Fong has employed Princess Pei Pei in the capacity of labourer among several other similarly engaged Chinese immigrants, to build a railroad.
The fight sequences are as well choreographed as songs in Hindi movies - and are as numerous, too. Sharp, sleek, quick-as-lightning Chan and smooth talking, debonair Owen Wilson make a good team. The movie is generously sprinkled with humor in dialogue and situations.
One word to describe the flick would be "dhamaal". This entertainer will wake you up and shake you out, living up to the action and adventure it promises.
Take a good look at the scenes after the movie gets over - these are shots of the mistakes the crew made while shooting, and are a given in any flick starring Chan. They're hilarious and worth the wait.
Guaranteed to keep the bored Bombayite amused from beginning to end with its cinematography, action and costume detail, this movie is a must-watch for all ages, and especially for Jackie Chan fans. He's the best, right?This article was first published on 22 Aug 2000.