CZ12

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Chinese Zodiac 12
ChineseZodiacHKposter.jpg
Official Hong Kong poster
Traditional 十二生肖
Simplified 十二生肖
Mandarin Shí Èr Shēng Xiāo
Cantonese Sap6 Ji6 Sang1 Ciu3
Directed by Jackie Chan
Produced by Jackie Chan
Stanley Tong
Barbie Tung
Written by Jackie Chan
Stanley Tong
Frankie Chan
Edward Tang
Screenplay by Jackie Chan
Starring Jackie Chan
Kwon Sang-woo
Liao Fan
Helen Yao
Zhang Lanxin
Laura Weissbecker
Music by Jackie Chan (singer)
Roc Chen
Nathan Wang
Cinematography Jackie Chan
Horace Wong
Ng Man-ching
Ben Knott
Yip Siu-ching
Ng Man-chuen
Edited by Yau Chi-wah
Production
company
JCE Movies Limited
Emperor Classic Films
Emperor Dragon Movies
Jackie & JJ Productions
Distributed by Emperor Motion Pictures
Jackie & JJ Productions (Worldwide)
Universal Pictures (U.S.)
Release date
  • 12 December 2012 (2012-12-12) (Gala premier)
  • 20 December 2012 (2012-12-20)
Running time
123 minutes[1]
Country Hong Kong
China
Language Cantonese
Mandarin[2]
English[3]
Spanish
French
Arabic
Telugu
Tamil
Malayalam
Hindi
Budget 160 million yuan (US$26,000,000)[4]
Box office 879 million yuan (US$145,000,000)

CZ12 (Chinese: 十二生肖), also known as Chinese Zodiac,[5] is a 2012 Hong Kong-Chinese action film co-produced, written, directed by, and starring Jackie Chan.[6] The film is a pseudo-reboot of a film franchise that began with Armour of God (1987) and its sequel, Armour of God II: Operation Condor.[6][7]

Released in December 2012, the film went on to gross over US$145 million at the Chinese box office.[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 Action Choreography at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards.[10]

Plot[edit]

The movie begins by Jackie Chan telling the story of the Old Summer Palace and its looting and destruction by British and French soldiers in the Second Opium War. Among the treasures stolen are twelve bronze heads of the animals of the Chinese zodiac.

In the present day, the bronze heads are auctioned for millions of euros each. The main company supplying the bronze heads and other stolen relics is MP Corporation. JC (Jackie Chan), is tasked by MP Corp to find the remaining lost bronze heads, with a promise of a 10 times bonus if he can recover all of them. JC visits a man named Professor Guan, who had created 12 identical replicas for study purposes with his team of researchers, under the pretense that he is a reporter named Martin from National Geographic. When left alone, JC scans the multiple bronze Zodiac 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 Professor Guan, for more information on the whereabouts of two bronze heads.

JC, along with his partners Simon (Kwon Sang-woo), David, and Bonnie, infiltrate a mansion to find two of the bronze heads. JC manages to decode the password to a top secret vault and finds two bronze heads, a painting called "The Roses", along with many other valuable national treasures thought to be lost inside. JC's cover is soon busted but he manages to evade capture with all the valuables. 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. However, the police is called in and they are all arrested. JC, Coco and Simon are cleared of any wrongdoing and are released.

Coco, JC and his team are invited to a castle owned by a lady named Catherine (Laura Weissbecker). Unknown to them, the guards from the mansion continue to tail 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 and taking away the treasures, is Catherine's great-great-grandfather. This upsets Coco, who confronts Catherine on the issue. JC and his team find many valuable 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. However, Coco and Catherine disobey JC's orders to look for Catherine's great-great-grandfather's corpse on their own. They get entangled among the vines and this forces JC to rescue them. The group accidentally discovers the remains of the Indestructible, several more bronze heads and a large quantity of gold (plus the remains of Catherine's great-great-grandfather.) As they prepare to leave with all the artifacts, they are confronted by the guards from the mansion. In turn, the island's local inhabitants, a group of pirates, appear and promptly capture all of them. JC and his team fight their way through to escape the island via a log set up with a pulley system, leaving the five guards with the pirates.

Back on the yacht, Coco accidentally discovers the real motive of JC's ventures and confronts him. Subsequently, 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 bronze head was already at the hands of MP Corp all along, thereby making it impossible to claim the large bonus. Meanwhile, Coco and her fellow students' protests over the sale of the national treasures escalated quickly and captured attention worldwide. As Coco's students try to find out more about MP Corp, three of them, including Coco's younger brother, are captured. Coco approaches JC for help but JC seems nonchalant.

JC contacts MP Corp on the availability of "The Roses" artifact 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 – the unscrupulous treasure hunter, Vulture, to a fight but it ends in a stalemate. JC bargains with MP Corp to sell "The Roses" painting at a reduced price and secure the release of the three hostages. When MP Corp refuses, JC fights his way to the chamber. During the ensuing fight, a furnace explodes due to a guard's baton rupturing one of the pipes. The explosion destroys most of the facility. JC later 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 in the auction but no one bids for it due to increasing pressure from activist groups. MP Corp, in a bid 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 12:00 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 and, in the ensuing airborne struggle, seemingly dies in order to save the relic from dropping into the volcano. 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 survives and is seen recovering in a hospital and on good terms with everyone, including Vulture. The movie ends with JC kissing his wife.

Cast[edit]

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

Production[edit]

From 18 April to 2 May 2012, Jackie Chan filmed several scenes in the Aerodium Latvia vertical wind tunnel in Jelgava, Latvia.[12] Filming also took place in France, China, Taiwan and Vanuatu.Chan has done 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.[13] This film was simultaneously made in IMAX 3D.[14]

Release[edit]

The gala premier of the film was held on 12 December 2012[15] and was later released across Asia on 20 December 2012 and in India on 28 December 2012.

U.S. release[edit]

It was originally announced that the film would be released 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.[16] This release date was pushed back to the fall; the re-edited version was released on 18 October 2013 for theatrical exhibit exclusively by AMC Theatres.

Reception[edit]

In competition with films from abroad CZ12 grossed HK$11.7 million (US$1.5 million).[17] as well as becoming the top-ranked Chinese film at the Taiwan box office.[18] 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.[19][20]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Criticism[edit]

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".[22] 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."[23]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CZ!2 Hong Kong Blu-ray backcover". 
  2. ^ "CZ12 (2012)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved November 4, 2014. 
  3. ^ "CZ12 (Video)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved November 4, 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. 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  9. ^ Young, Al (5 December 2012). "Jackie Chan Holds Guinness World Records for Most Credits in Chinese Zodiac". Twitch. Retrieved 2012-12-29. 
  10. ^ "32nd Hong Kong Film Awards 2013". HK Neo Reviews. Retrieved 2013-04-14. 
  11. ^ "Chinese Zodiac (2012)". Hkmdb. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Scenes from Jackie Chan's movie to be filmed at Jelgava wind tunnel". The Baltic Course. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  13. ^ "Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac Rollerblade Suit Trailer". Kal01.com. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-12-13. 
  14. ^ "CZ12: An IMAX 3D Experience". imax.com. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  15. ^ "Promo Video for Jackie Chan's Chinese Zodiac". beyondhollywood.com. 
  16. ^ "An Evening with Jackie Chan + Chinese Zodiac". filmlinc.com. 
  17. ^ "CZ12". HK Neo Reviews. 2013-03-04. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  18. ^ "【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. 
  19. ^ "《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 Dec 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  20. ^ "《十二生肖》破7亿 成史上第二卖座华语片". ent.qq.com. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  21. ^ "JACKIE CHAN AWARDED WITH TWO NEW GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS TITLES". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  22. ^ Lee, Edmund (19 December 2012). "CZ12". Time Out. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 
  23. ^ Andre (20 December 2012). "Film review: CZ12". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 26 December 2012. 

External links[edit]