Shanghai Knights

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Shanghai Knights
Shanghai knights.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid Dobkin
Produced byRoger Birnbaum
Gary Barber
Jonathan Glickman
Written byAlfred Gough
Miles Millar
Based onCharacters
by Alfred Gough
Miles Millar
StarringJackie Chan
Owen Wilson
Donnie Yen
Aidan Gillen
Fann Wong
Tom Fisher
Kim Chan
Music byRandy Edelman
CinematographyAdrian Biddle
Edited byMalcolm Campbell
Touchstone Pictures
Spyglass Entertainment
Birnbaum / Barber Productions
Jackie Chan Films Limited
All Knight Productions
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • February 7, 2003 (2003-02-07)
Running time
114 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Hong Kong
Budget$50 million
Box office$88.3 million

Shanghai Knights is a 2003 American-Hong Kong martial arts action comedy film. It is the sequel to Shanghai Noon. Directed by David Dobkin and written by Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, it stars Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson.


In 1887, Chon Lin (Fann Wong) tells her father (Kim Chan), the Keeper of the Imperial Seal of China in the Forbidden City, that her brother, Chon Wang (Jackie Chan), is doing well as a sheriff in Carson City, Nevada, but her father replies that her brother is dead to him. At that moment, Lord Nelson Rathbone (Aidan Gillen), leads a band of Boxers into the city, who attack the Keeper. Despite Lin's efforts, her father is killed and the seal is stolen. With his last breath, he gives Lin a box and tells her to give it to her brother.

Meanwhile in Carson City, Chon Wang is doing well as sheriff, having captured an impressive array of fugitives. His deputy (Matt Hill) is relaxing with a book called "Roy O'Bannon Vs. The Mummy", a highly fictionalized account of the events of the first film that now portrays Wang's "Shanghai Kid" as a cowardly sidekick, which dismays Wang. Wang receives a parcel containing a puzzle box and a letter from Lin telling him that their father is dead and that she has tracked the murderer to London.

Chon Wang travels to New York City to find his old partner Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson). and uses his share of the first film's gold to buy a ticket to London. Chon finds that Roy has left his brief stint in law enforcement, broken off his romance with Falling Leaves, spent most of the gold investing in the Zeppelin, and is now a hotel waiter and part-time gigolo. (Later Roy reveals that he has lost all of the gold on publishing his novels). After they attempt prostitution to pay for a trip to the United Kingdom, the Mayor of New York arrives in search of his daughters who are Roy's latest clients. The pair escapes and ship themselves to London in a crate.

In London, Wang and O'Bannon have their duster and watch stolen, respectively, by a number of street thugs including a young boy named Charlie (Aaron Johnson). After an extensive battle to reclaim these items, they are arrested by the police. In Scotland Yard, Inspector Artie Doyle (Thomas Fisher) thanks the two for defeating the Fleet Street gang. He tells Wang that Lin is also in Scotland Yard, having attempted to kill Lord Rathbone. Meanwhile, Rathbone finds he is not alone in his carriage as Wu Chow (Donnie Yen) has sneaked his way on; Rathbone slips him the dagger that killed the Keeper of the Imperial Seal. Sometime later, Roy and Wang wander through London and see Buckingham Palace. They encounter Charlie, who lets them into the empty house of a nobleman and finds an invitation to a gala at the castle.

Roy and Wang arrive that night at the gala, wearing disguises: Roy masquerades as Major General "Sherlock Holmes" (a name he derives from the face of a clock), and Wang is the "Maharaja of Nevada". Wang and Roy follow Lord Rathbone to a private library, but Rathbone slips quickly through a secret passage before they can reach him. As Roy occupies himself with a copy of the Kama Sutra, Wang looks for the secret passage and discovers it in the fireplace. Wang enters the secret room, which contains treasures from throughout the British Empire and asks for Roy's help which Roy repeatedly ignores, as he thinks it is something minor, and continues to read his book. Rathbone's guards then attack Roy, but he is rescued by Lin, who has escaped from Scotland Yard. The three see Rathbone hand the Imperial Seal to Wu Chow, the illegitimate brother of the Emperor of China, which is then stolen by Charlie who leaves his hat. Rathbone spots the three, and after a brief battle, he sets the barn on fire and escapes, and then the three also manage to escape.

They find Artie drunk after being sacked at his home. Artie deduces that Charlie is in Madame Tussauds by inspecting Charlie's hat. They arrive just in time to save Charlie from the Boxers at the expense of losing the seal again and being captured outside by police. Taken away in a police buggy, they are rescued in turn by Charlie, who later reveals his full name to be Charlie Chaplin. After an interlude in a brothel where Wang tries to convince Lin that Roy is unsuitable, Roy has overheard this and is upset with Wang, but forgives him when Roy arranges a pillow fight with the ladies of the night. When Lin sees this she runs into the night followed by Roy and Wang. They are all captured by Rathbone, who tells them that he is going to kill the royal family and frame "Loony" Lin. They escape and manage to stop Wu Chow from killing the royal family. Just as Wu Chow is about to kill Wang, Lin blasts and kills him with a rocket. The three then follow Rathbone to the top of Big Ben. He throws Roy out of the tower, but he survives when he grabs a hand of the clock. Thinking Roy is dead, Wang fights with Rathbone, and the pair is both thrown outside. Roy saves Wang as Rathbone falls to his death.

Roy and Wang are knighted, as is Artie, whose full name is now revealed to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Artie decides to become a writer of detective stories revolving around his deductive reasoning technique, and asks Roy if he can use the "Sherlock Holmes" name. Roy proposes that he and Wang go to Hollywood to get in on the ground floor with motion pictures. They roll off in a buggy, with Charlie (wearing a fake mustache) stowed away. Wang also manages to open the box his father sent him, finding a message inside reminding him of the importance of family.


Jackie Chan Stunt Team[edit]

  • Brad Allan as Street thug / Library thug (uncredited)
  • Paul Andreovski as Library thug with sword (double) / English policeman (uncredited)
  • Nicky Li
  • Ken Lo
  • Mars
  • Ng Kong
  • Park Hyun Jin
  • Lee In Seob
  • Han Kwan Hua


Director David Dobkin was personally chosen by Jackie Chan. Director David Dobkin had a difficult time choosing a suitable Asian actress who could do movement work, emote well and speak excellent English. He then saw clips of Fann Wong's videos "Wo lai ye" (2001) and "Qing she yu bai she" (2001) and requested to audition her in London, which she did attend. She subsequently got the role and her number of scenes was increased by thirty percent.

Aside from establishing shots of iconic landmarks, the scenes in London were largely filmed in Prague, Czech Republic.[2][3]


The film has received mixed to positive reviews from critics, and holds a fresh score of 66% at Rotten Tomatoes.[4] It holds a Metacritic score of 58 out of 100.[5]


A third film was meant to be produced under the title Shanghai Dawn. Plans for the film were posted on Jackie Chan's website, but after some news of casting and production plans, no film has been produced.[citation needed] While unconfirmed, it is speculated that the project has been halted indefinitely as there is no news nor a release date.[citation needed] In a February 7, 2003, interview, Owen Wilson said: "We're talking about it maybe starting in Hollywood and then going from there to Africa or the Pyramids ... I feel like we have the freedom to take them anywhere in time we want."[citation needed]

On May 14, 2015, MGM announced that they are moving forward with Shanghai Dawn. Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu and Owen Wilson are expected to reprise their roles as Chon Wang, Princess Pei-Pei and Roy O'Bannon respectively.[6] In September 2016, Jared Hess signed on as director for the film while both Millar and Gough will develop a screen story with Theodore Riley and Aaron Buchsbaum writing the script for the film.[7][8]

In November 2016, Gough said the third film will be set in China because Chan "wants to showcase China in the way that the first film showcased the old West." Gough added that Chan and Wilson also have a hand in the creative process, saying "With those films, the collaboration of Jackie and Owen comes out on screen as they get along very well. With that in mind, you want to get their input in the story phase, so that when we got to script, it's based into the DNA of the story."[9]


  1. ^ "SHANGHAI KNIGHTS | British Board of Film Classification". Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  2. ^ "'Shanghai' wraps". Variety. June 26, 2002.
  4. ^ "Shanghai Knights". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  5. ^ "Critic Reviews for Shanghai Knights". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-07-19.
  6. ^ Perry, Spencer (2015-05-14). "MGM Moving Forward with Shanghai Dawn, Starring Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson". Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  7. ^ "Shanghai Dawn | News | Movies - Empire". gb: 2003-02-20. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (September 6, 2016). "'Napoleon Dynamite' Director Jared Hess Tackling 'Shanghai Noon' Sequel (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ Swinson, Brock (November 23, 2016). "Into the Badlands: Blood-splattered Heroes and the One Degree of Jackie Chan". Creative Screenwriting.

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