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Chinese Zodiac 12
Theatrical release poster
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese十二生肖
Simplified Chinese十二生肖
Directed byJackie Chan
Screenplay by
Produced by
  • Jackie Chan
  • Horace Wong
  • Ng Man-ching
  • Ben Knott
Edited byYau Chi-wai
Music by
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 12 December 2012 (2012-12-12) (Gala premier)
  • 20 December 2012 (2012-12-20)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
  • Hong Kong
  • China
BudgetUS$26 million[4]
Box officeUS$171,338,930

CZ12 (Armour Of God 3) (Chinese: 《十二生肖》; pinyin: Shí-èr Shēngxiāo), also known as Chinese Zodiac,[5] is a 2012 Hong Kong action-adventure comedy film co-written, co-produced and directed by Jackie Chan, who also starred as the main character in the film.[6] CZ12 is the third film of a franchise that began with Armour of God (1986) and its sequel, Armour of God II: Operation Condor (1991).[6][7] The film co-stars Kwon Sang-woo, Liao Fan, Zoe Zhang, Anna Yao and Laura Weissbecker.

Released in December 2012, the film went on to gross over US$145 million at the Chinese box office and US$171 million worldwide with mixed reviews from critics.[8] Chan also earned two Guinness World Records with the film for "Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor" and "Most Credits in One Movie".[9]

The film won Best Stunt Action Choreography for Chan at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards.[10]


The Old Summer Palace was looted and burnt by a combined Anglo-French expeditionary force during the Second Opium War. Among the artifacts stolen are twelve bronze heads of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.

In the present day, the bronze heads, supplied by MP Corporation are all auctioned. JC is tasked by MP to find the remaining lost bronze heads, with a promise of a 10× bonus if he can recover all of them. He visits Professor Guan, who had created 12 identical replicas for study purposes with his team of researchers, under the guise of a reporter named Martin from National Geographic.

JC scans the animal heads using special gloves so that his secret organisation can replicate an extremely realistic model of them. After scanning, he goes to Paris to find a woman named Coco, recommended by Guan, for more information on the whereabouts of two bronze heads. JC and his partners infiltrate a mansion to find two of the bronze heads. JC manages to decode the password to a top secret vault and finds the bronze heads, a painting called "The Roses", along with many other valuable national treasures thought to be lost inside and manages to evade capture with all the valuables despite being busted. However, he is spotted by Coco. Having no time to explain himself, he tells Coco to meet him at a boat house while fleeing from the mansion's security.

At the boat house, Martin tells Coco that he is working for a secret corporation that is trying to recover all the lost relics for China. The guards from the mansion storm the boat house and try to attack JC, but the police are called in and they are all arrested. JC, Coco and Simon are cleared of any wrongdoing and are released. JC and his team are invited to a castle owned by a lady named Catherine, unaware that the guards from the mansion are tailing them out of suspicion. It turns out that the captain of the "Indestructible", one of the ships involved in the destruction of the Old Summer Palace, is Catherine's great-great-grandfather. This upsets Coco, who confronts Catherine on it. JC and his team find many treasures in the castle, including the bronze head of the Rooster, and hatch a series of plans to ferry them out.

JC promises Catherine that he will help her locate her great-great-grandfather's remains. The next day, they venture out in search of the Indestructible's treasures, located on a seemingly uninhabited island. JC instructs Coco and Catherine to stay behind while his team explore the island. Coco and Catherine however disobey JC's orders to look for the remains on their own. They get entangled among the vines, forcing JC to rescue them. While exhuming the great-great grandfather's remains, the group accidentally discovers the remains of the Indestructible, several more bronze heads and a large quantity of gold. As they prepare to leave with all the artifacts, the guards from the mansion confront them. In turn, the island's local inhabitants, a group of pirates, appear and promptly capture everyone.

JC and his team fight their way through, escaping the island via a log set up with a pulley system, leaving the five guards with the pirates. On the yacht, Coco accidentally discovers the real motive of JC's ventures and confronts him. The log carrying approximately eight tonnes of gold sinks. Nevertheless, JC and his team still get rewarded for recovering some of the lost bronze heads. The group are enraged when they find out that the supposedly-missing Dragon head was already at the hands of MP Corp all along, thereby making it impossible to claim the large bonus. Coco and her fellow students' protests over the sale of the national treasures escalate quickly and capture worldwide attention. As Coco's students try to find out more about MP Corp, three of them, including Coco's younger brother, are captured.

After Coco asks JC for help, JC contacts MP Corp on the availability of "The Roses" painting and is allowed into the secret premises. Having toured the entire factory where almost exact duplicates of the relics are made to be sold as real relics in auctions, JC deduces the location of the captives. He challenges a long time rival who happens to be there as well — unscrupulous treasure hunter, Vulture, to a fight but it ends in a stalemate. JC bargains with MP Corp to sell "The Roses" at a discounted price and secure the release of the three hostages. When MP Corp refuses, JC fights his way to the chamber. A furnace explodes due to a guard's baton rupturing one of the pipes, destroying most of the facility. JC then settles for the release of the three hostages in exchange for the painting and not paying damages done to the premises.

Meanwhile, the Dragon bronze head is expected to fetch the highest price but no one bids for it due to increasing pressure from activist groups. MP Corp, to teach these groups a lesson, threatens to throw the relic into an active volcano, calling the mission "Let the Dragon Fly", if no bids are received by noon the next day. The deadline passes without a single bid and Vulture leads a group of three sky divers to throw the relic into the volcano. JC intervenes in order to save the relic from dropping into the volcano, and is severely injured in the ensuing airborne struggle. As a mark of respect, Vulture hands over the relic to a sprawled JC. MP Corp's owners are arrested on possession of "The Roses" painting. JC is seen recovering in a hospital and on good terms with everyone, including Vulture, and also reunites with his wife, who visits him in the hospital.


Jackie Chan with co-stars Zhang Lanxin and Helen Yao at a promotional event for CZ12.


Jackie Chan on the set at Jelgava, Latvia.

Principal photography began on 5 June 2011.[12] From 18 April to 2 May 2012, Jackie Chan filmed several scenes in the Aerodium Latvia vertical wind tunnel in Jelgava, Latvia.[13] Filming also took place in France, China, Taiwan and Vanuatu. Chan did most of the stunts and fight scenes himself with little support from his stunt team. Jean-Yves Blondeau, the inventor of the skate suit, trained Chan to use the suit for the film's body blading sequence.[14] This film was simultaneously made in IMAX 3D.[15] Filming officially wrapped up on 8 May the same year.[12][16]


The gala premier of the film was held on 12 December 2012[17] and was later released across Asia on 20 December and in India on 28 December.

U.S. release[edit]

CZ12 was originally scheduled for release in U.S. theaters sometime in the summer of 2013 with about 20 minutes edited out by Jackie Chan himself in order to optimize the pace and content for North American audiences.[18] This release date was pushed back to the fall; the re-edited version was released on 18 October for theatrical exhibit exclusively by AMC Theatres.


In competition with films from abroad CZ12 grossed HK$11.7 million (US$1.5 million),[19] as well as becoming the top-ranked Chinese film at the Taiwan box office.[20] The film debuted second in mainland China (after Lost in Thailand), going on to gross over US$145 million at the box office and emerging to be one of the highest grossing domestic films in China.[21][22]

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards
    • Won: Best Action Choreography (Jackie Chan, He Jun)
    • Nominated: Best New Performer (Zhang Lanxin)
    • Nominated: Best Film Editing (Yau Chi-wai)
    • Nominated: Best Visual Effects (Han Young-woo, Victor Wong, Patrick Chui, Seong Ho-jang)
  • Guinness World Records[23]
    • Won: Most credits in one movie (Jackie Chan)
    • Won: Most Stunts by a Living Actor (Jackie Chan)
  • 9th Huading Awards


Time Out Hong Kong gave the film two stars out of five referring to the film as "a pedestrian film by any measure aside from its action design".[24] The South China Morning Post gave the film one and a half stars out of five, noting that "CZ12 lumbers like a cheap DVD knock-off of one of [Jackie Chan's] old classics" and "CZ12 is like watching a former star athlete struggle in a meaningless game".[25]

The Hollywood Reporter also gave a negative review, noting the film's length and the lack of martial arts and stunts that star Chan is known for.[7] Variety gave the film a negative review as well, stating "Jackie Chan emerges a Jackie-of-all-trades and master of none in [CZ12]".[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CZ!2 Hong Kong Blu-ray backcover". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  2. ^ "CZ12 (2012)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ "CZ12 (Video)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  4. ^ "《十二生肖》明日上映 成龙:我是世界和平使者". qq.com. Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  5. ^ "CZ12". jackiechan.com. Archived from the original on 21 December 2012.
  6. ^ a b c Lee, Maggie (19 December 2012). "CZ12". Variety. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  7. ^ a b Kerr, Elizabeth (20 December 2012). "CZ12 Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Valentine's Day Treats Chinese Exhibitors with Love; "Journey" Obliterates Single-Day Record". Chinafilmbiz.com. 16 February 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  9. ^ Young, Al (5 December 2012). "Jackie Chan Holds Guinness World Records for Most Credits in Chinese Zodiac". Twitch. Archived from the original on 9 January 2013. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  10. ^ "32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013". HK Neo Reviews. Retrieved 14 April 2013.
  11. ^ "Chinese Zodiac (2012)". Hkmdb. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  12. ^ a b "CZ12 - IMDb". IMDb. Retrieved 8 November 2022.
  13. ^ "Scenes from Jackie Chan's movie to be filmed at Jelgava wind tunnel". The Baltic Course. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  14. ^ "Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac Rollerblade Suit Trailer". Kal01.com. 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  15. ^ "CZ12: An IMAX 3D Experience". imax.com. Retrieved 17 April 2014.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "《十二生肖》5月杀青 成龙:4分钟戏份拍2个月". 腾讯网. 10 March 2012. Archived from the original on 12 August 2020. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Promo Video for Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac". beyondhollywood.com. Archived from the original on 2 March 2012.
  18. ^ "An Evening with Jackie Chan + Chinese Zodiac". filmlinc.com.
  19. ^ "CZ12". HK Neo Reviews. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  20. ^ "【十二生肖】世界級一流武技高手群聚一堂大展絕妙身手,過癮快感十足!". tw.movie.yahoo.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  21. ^ "《哈比人不思議之旅》聖誕最賣座 《少年Pi的奇幻漂流》逼近4000萬". ol.mingpao.com. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  22. ^ "《十二生肖》破7亿 成史上第二卖座华语片". ent.qq.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  23. ^ "JACKIE CHAN AWARDED WITH TWO NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS TITLES". 5 December 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  24. ^ Lee, Edmund (19 December 2012). "CZ12". Time Out. Archived from the original on 19 December 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  25. ^ Andre (20 December 2012). "Film review: CZ12". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 26 December 2012.

External links[edit]