The fast talker and hit with the ladies has managed to get in trouble with the Russians who he’s been captured by after some gambling in Macau. Unfortunately, while there, he saw something he wasn’t meant to see and met someone he wasn’t meant to meet – Samantha. Bennie is forced to retrieve Connor after Samantha gets in trouble, and so a long trek from Russia to Hong Kong commences. Chan is of course no stranger to this particular body of films, having previously starred in the Rush Hour trilogy with Chris Tucker. But where those films (or at least the first two) succeeded and this one failed is in its embrace of silliness and shameless stereotyping, knowing it’s all for the purpose of comedy. Skiptrace, however, never quite succeeds in integrating the action and comedy. Because Chan is a legend, there are some great action sequences, including a scene that takes place on wooden architecture built on a river, and a rather absurd fight choreography involving Russian dolls. Knoxville doesn’t have much to do in these scenes, and when he tries to bring the emotion, it just falls flat. How to find personal information? Much like one picked up on in The Last Stand, in which he starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, he just doesn’t bring any oomph in a sidekick role. Since the two leads are travelling across different countries to get to their final destination, there’s an integration of local cultures and How to Skiptrace? traditions which, while interesting and a bit of craic, feel dumbed down for the film’s western audience. At one point, there’s an Adele singsong scene which is frankly just cringey.
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