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on February 27, 2013
Also known as "Armour of God III." Jackie Chan stars as Martin, aka Asian Hawk in this action comedy. Chan delivers as expected. Heavy action, comedy, and over choreographed fight scenes.

Chan is a master thief who uses his ability to steal art work. His latest job is to find and obtain the 12 bronze heads of the Chinese zodiac which were stolen in 1860. The movie has a theme of western civilization plunder and returning the loot.

The beginning was great with Chan being a human toboggan during his escape, even if he went faster than physically possible. The scenes lessened from this point as a smart adult action comedy turned into a kids movie by the pirate scene which included one man who reminded me of Johnny Depp.

The ending tapered off as the plot became a bit odd with the volcano. Fun popcorn film. Just don't expect too much.

Parental Guide: No f-bombs, sex, or nudity. Girl/girl fight.
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on August 15, 2013
Great movie hard to keep up with some of the subtitles (too quick) but the pause feature helps there. I really enjoyed the movie and since I've been studying Mandarin Chinese some I was able to follow some, but again, way too fast to get it all. Maybe I'll just need to watch it a few more times...
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on April 22, 2013
"CZ 12" or "Chinese Zodiac" opens with a brief introduction about a historical episode about twelve bronze Chinese zodiac statues looted from the Old Summer Palace in 1860 Beijing during the Second Opium War. Produced, written and directed by Jackie Chan, the film revolves around a treasure hunting team led by Jackie Chan's Asian Hawk, who is hired by Lawrence Morgan (Oliver Platt), a greedy billionaire and owner of a company trading in antiques, to steal the world's valuable treasures and artifacts.

The film's basic format is virtually that of "Armour of God" and its sequel "Armour of God II: Operation Condor," with adventures featuring Jackie Chan and sidekicks (including beautiful women) against the background of exotic locations. The storyline is often incoherent, and female players (Laura Weissbecker in particular) are relegated to thankless supporting roles, but action set-pieces are enjoyable.

58-year-old Jackie Chan still pulls off his trademark physical comedy routines with flair, using props opposite Alaa Safi, but don't expect stunt work of his 80s and 90s classics. Kwon Sang-woo and Liao Fan are good as members of the treasure hunting team, but I think the film could have used martial arts skills of Caitlin Dechelle and Zhang Lanxin more effectively. Their martial arts scene is too brief.

In short, this is a good old fashioned action-comedy, though you might want more action and less comedy while watching it.
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VINE VOICEon June 17, 2013
It took 21 years to get another sequel in Jackie Chan's "Armour of God" franchise. Chan has also gone on record as saying that "Chinese Zodiac" will be his last big action film. So this is as close as we'll ever get to Chan going all out like he used to in the films you've grown to love like "Police Story" and "Drunken Master." The Hong Kong action star is pushing 60, so it's certainly understandable. At the same time, you can't help but wish that "Chinese Zodiac" wasn't so mediocre.

The film opens with the downhill rollerblade sequence. It's an ingenious little device that would make for an easy escape, but this is where the film's issues kick in. You notice the wire work as soon as JC barely averts being squashed between two cars. Movements are often unnaturally fluid while doing incredible maneuvers like doing a back flip while sliding down a pole may seem like a cool concept, but is obviously not executed in the traditional sense. Even Chan's trademark of sliding in between small spaces seems to require the assistance of wires. The notion of giving fans what they want one last time is admirable, but Jackie Chan may have waited too long to deliver. Chan's avoidance of serious action in "Little Big Soldier" was at least entertaining while "New Police Story" at least used wires in a way that wasn't so obvious.

The little things start to bug you in "Chinese Zodiac." JC is a thief. He's trying to be as quiet as possible while sneaking around and stealing precious and priceless artifacts. So why is he stomping around? Are his shoes really that noisy? He can't have lead feet with all of that agility he has. Why Jackie Chan insists on portraying women in such an irritating fashion is bewildering. Coco (Xingtong Yao) and Catherine (Laura Weissbecker) are as annoying as Ada (Carol Cheng) and Elsa (Eva Cobo) in "Operation Condor." Their constant bickering, stubborn attitudes, and absolute helplessness will drive you mad. At least Bonnie (Zhang Lanxin) is portrayed as a strong woman who can fight and make herself useful, but her broken marriage side-plot is completely pointless.

"Armour of God" featured a Grand Wizard and the Armour of God. "Operation Condor" had Nazis and 240 tons of gold. Yet for some reason, throwing in pirates in "Chinese Zodiac" feels overboard. Maybe it's the ridiculous humor that ruins it. The comedy seems overly juvenile and even more slapstick than you're used to for the majority of the film. Chan pretends to be a dog, the women bicker about who was wrong hundreds of years ago, and there are continuous jabs at language barriers (purple). None of it is very funny as most of the humor feels very forced.

The last half hour or so is where things pick up. JC's encounter with Vulture (Alaa Safi) on the couch is where "Chinese Zodiac" actually gets good. Sure, you're suddenly introduced to several characters that don't really matter during what is essentially the finale of the film, but who cares? This is the Jackie Chan you paid to come and see. The fights from here on out feature the crazy action choreography you've come to love Chan for along with humor that's in the same vein. The photos that are taken during an action sequence along with JC's reaction to them are particularly entertaining. It's as if "Chinese Zodiac" was wearing gloves and protective padding up until the finale where it suddenly strips down to the basics and gets serious. The free-fall scuffle is also exhilarating. It does seem like they fall forever, but is otherwise done very well with a really satisfying conclusion.

"Chinese Zodiac" isn't nearly as good as it's hyped up to be. The film takes its sweet time getting to the goods and forces you to sit through grown men and women acting like children (this is an actual line from the film) and silly humor that fails to hit its mark. However, it does eventually pay off as the finale is exactly what you'd expect from a Jackie Chan action film. The film is a bit of a mess when you stop to think about it (Oliver Platt is built up to be the villain of the film, but only has two scenes), but still gets the job done in a roundabout kind of way. "Chinese Zodiac" is incredibly frustrating at times and is mostly disappointing overall, but throws in just enough of what Jackie Chan used to be like in his prime to be somewhat satisfying.
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on July 24, 2013
i definitely love jackies older and non american made movies, they have more of his action and choreography. in this cz12 movie. you can tell jackie is done breaking bones and insane stunts! but it was still entertaining of how much fun and action he still has. so it was good movie i think
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on December 22, 2013
Always great to see the old master in action. I know he's sustained some serious injuries in some of his stunts, but he hides them well and is convincing in his abilities to keep going. I hope he does but I worry about his well being.
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on January 3, 2014
I have yet to see this movie but I am giving it a 5 star rating anyways. Why? Because I am sick of people complaining about delivery method, DVD region, ect and giving bogus 1 star reviews with out actually seeing the movie. So my 5 star review will help balance the average score out somewhat.
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on February 11, 2014
This is a classic Jackie Chan action movie. Full of fun and action this movie shows that Jackie is still on the top of his game.

NOTE: The DVD is Region 3 so will not play in North American DVD players.
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on March 20, 2014
It come in a great condition like brand new never been open... Great movie also.. I really do appreciate this service
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on October 20, 2013
***Review of American theatrical release, not DVD****

My wife and I made a point of seeing this movie on the big screen, not because Chan delivers big screen epics usually, but because any Chan film deserves some support from his North American fan base. Truth to tell is this film could alienate some of those NA fans with its kitchen sink and broad strokes approach to making an adventure film. I look forward to the eventual Region 1 DVD release and watching it subtitled and maybe cut differently. But we'll see.

You don't expect much of a plot in most Chan films and this one is pretty basic: JC (as he's referred to in the American dub--not as his Asian Hawk character that older fans of "Armour of God" and "Operation Condor" are familiar with) is an adventurer thief who, along with his crew, track down pricey artifacts many of which have been plundered from the treasure troves of many a country. Oliver Platt shows up as a scheming arts and artifacts broker and his appearance in a distinctly Asian film took me out of the film for a moment I must admit; he was a waste in this film. Anyway, JC and his crew are tasked to track down the twelve bronze heads of the Chinese Zodiac and get paid big bank if they get them all. What ensues is a focus on their first few conquests and it all feels haphazard with some quick editing and scene changes that would make a music video director feel at home. As Chan & co. (two younger men and a female partner) go on to ingratiate themselves with and bamboozle a group of young activists dedicated to the repatriation of national artifacts and a Parisian heiress interested in Chan's abilities to help her uncover what might have happened to her grandfather we are treated to Chan breaking into a rich Parisian's home and then narrowly escaping an attack by a group of Doberman pinschers and a trip to a southeastern tropical isle that feels like Chan is plumbing for some of that 'ol Indiana Jones plus Pirates of the Caribbean magic. But the magic just isn't there.

The scenes with the collector's bumbling security guards sticking Chan's team up with guns that aren't loaded (!) only to be shot at with real bullets from some south seas pirates (one looking more than a tad like Jack Sparrow) fulfills that old Keystone Cops feeling that Chan could pull off in some of his older films but it misses the Buster Keaton marks that made those films such classics. But fear not because the scene is about to change dramatically again after Chan's troupe decides to play nice and help the artifact activist's head science gal and help her get her captured brother and friends back. Of course these kids were taken by some of the brokerage house's goons because the activists are succeeding in getting the public to back off of buying stolen national treasures.

Once we get to the goon squad's hangout, an underground high-tech factory that helps to restore and replicate lost antiquities and art, Chan faces off with a new person, a rival artifact hunter. The two have a couch fight (...yes, they fight while managing to stay in physical contact with a couch....) and this fisticuff leads into one frenetic fight sequence to another and, while not Chan's best (come on, dude is getting up there in age) it is quite entertaining and shows off some of that old Chan magic. This last third of the film that also includes a skydiving fight sequence saves the film (along with the opening sequence with Chan in a high-tech skateboard suit--it was fun and would have been fantastic if a younger Chan was able to apply himself to it). This portion of the film is why you go to see a JC film in the first place.

The feature is capped off in usual Chantastic fashion with a series of bloopers and missed stunts and a moving collage of sorts of scenes from his entire career but there are two additional ending points that I've never seen before in a Chan film: (1) Chan himself gives a brief voice of thanks to his worldwide fandom while patting himself on the back over how proud he is of his accomplishments and (2) there is a Guinness World's Record note at the end of the credits that cited Chan as holding the record for accomplishing the most stunts in movies by an actor who is still alive! As to the first point Chan's voice talking to the audience felt a little self-indulgent; if a popular American actor did this he would be endlessly mocked but Chan's that peculiar talent who is driven to connect with his audience so I get it. As to the second point...that's just totally cool.
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