The Knight of Shadows           review by Bobby Blakey

Jackie Chan is one of those martial arts actors that is not only known for doing all his own stunts, but also for the wide variety of roles he takes on. His latest film The Knight of Shadows looks to be taking a more fantasy comedic approach, but could it still bring the usual action fun or will it be a legend not worth telling?

The Knight of Shadows follows Pu Songling, a legendary demon hunter who is asked to investigate the mysterious disappearances of young girls from a small village. When he discovers evil forces are kidnapping the girls to feast on their souls, he sets out to save humanity from the inhuman invasion journeying through hidden worlds and colorful dimensions in this fantastical martial arts action-comedy.

I knew nothing about this movie going in, but love all things Jackie Chan so was pretty excited to check it out. The film itself reminds me of the Monkey King film franchise and that isn’t always a good thing. Going into this film you have to know that this is more of a fantasy comedy action film than anything else. The effects were very video game like at times and not all that great at blending with the real world it is inhabiting. When you get past that it is brought together by fun little story that gives Chan a fun character to take on.

The story is just complicated enough to keep the fantasy elements involved and make sense, but plays up more of a family film style and that made it lose something. I found it coming off more silly a lot of times that works for the comedy aspect, but there is a serious element to some of the story and it gets lost in the silliness. There are some fun creatures and characters here that are fun to watch and those that have seen films like The Monkey King might recognize some similarities.

There is a ton of action here, but plays up more of the wire work and CGI than any really great martial arts. There is one smaller sequence with Chan using benches and chairs in his vintage style that is fun, but sadly not much else. This is a film that will more likely work for the younger audiences thanks to the fantasy elements and characters. If you are looking for old school Chan then this is not the film for you, but there is no doubt he still looks to be having fun.

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