Movie review: CZ12 (2012)


Jackie Chan is back. Cool. The Hong Kong superstar whom is famous for performing his own crazy stunts in films along with comedic style is back on screen with his 101th film to date: Chinese Zodiac 12 (CZ12). He mentioned that this would be his last action film due to his age (he is now 58) that would makes it hard for him to perform his own stunts in future. So, I’m not going to miss it. This film which is based on treasure hunting is actually an indirect sequel to the ‘Armour of God’ franchise released around two decades ago. For that reason, I purposely re-watched the ‘Armour of God 1’ and ‘Armour of God 2’ two weeks ago and both are really interesting films. And finally, I watched CZ12 on yesterday’s midnight with high expectation and I am not disappointed at all. Indeed, I am impressed and I enjoyed it.

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In CZ12, Jackie Chan reprises his role as adventurer and treasure hunter Asian Hawk (whom is known as JC in this film now), who is seeking to repatriate 12 bronze heads of the animals of the Chinese zodiac that were looted from the Old Summer Palace in the Second Opium War. Along with several others in a team, they took on a bumpy adventure to retrieve the precious bronze heads back while the antagonists worked on producing fake yet realistic artefacts for bidding to gain fortune. The story itself is already very interesting. There is no love story or whatsoever that is usually dragging a movie, as this is all on action, adventure and comedy which is perfect enough for film like this and bring the most of entertainment value to the audiences. And this film which deals with the history of China on that particular bronze heads appeals to me, and raises notable message that artefacts stolen previously should be returned to its origin country without any price.

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It’s a thrilling ride watching this movie which is taking about two hours long. None of the scenes in the movie are boring or seems unnecessary.  I was engaged to the story’s development and practically to the whole show from the beginning till the end. Everything is exciting and there is quite a number of brilliant stunts performed by Jackie himself as expected. He always steals the show by doing a number of crazy stunts (taking on a roller suit down a mountain, fighting an opponent without leaving the cushion, using photography equipments for attack and defence, fighting off opponents in the air, etc). His stunts are my personal favourites. He seriously had creative ideas of doing all that stuff which at the same time turned out to be quite hilarious to the audiences. Then, he went from French mansions to a remote island when he and his team encounters also pirates and gold, and finally to a secret laboratory that produces fake artefacts where his action sequences are scattered. His last stunts in the air near the volcano is symbolic and meaningful too.

It’s midnight and I was actually very sleepy at the time of the movie showing. But then, I couldn’t afford to get my eyes closed for even a second due to the excitement and laughter that this movie brought. This time, technology makes up for a very helpful equipments to JC on such an adventure while as usual, his female sidekicks would be quite a trouble to him. So, this movie is like a collage of Jackie Chan’s personal old classics, Indiana Jones, and Mission Impossible. Who is going to miss it then? First, I thought that this movie is in Cantonese, but then it turns out to be in Mandarin, English and some French. It seems that this movie appeals to a bigger market, and I’m okay to it. Basically, there is actually nothing bad I can find from this film, unlike some critics out there that pointed out that JC’s actions aren’t ‘shining’ anymore. Well, he is 58 already, and what I can see from CZ 12 is that he already did his very best out of his effort. And his action sequences here are cool and impressive too. Well, that’s from my perspective. Generally, it’s a very exciting, interesting and entertaining film not to be missed. Out of 10 points, I rate CZ 12 a total of 8.0.

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For your extra information, Jackie Chan picked up two Guinness World Records last week for his work on CZ 12:Most Credits in One Movie, together with Most Stunts Performed by a Living Actor for his body of work. He was the Actor, Writer, Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Composer, Stunt Coordinator and, most bizarrely, Catering Coordinator, to name just some of his roles, on this film, which looks some sort like a vanity project for him. I’m glad he still did it well. Jackie Chan is a legend. I would love to watch CZ 12 again. I wish for more of his films like this one, but I think my hope would be dashed since he said this is his last action film already.

(All images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

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