Max Lance Typing

Shouldn’t Jackie Chan Have English Down By Now?

Bad English...in 3-D!

Bad English...in 3-D!

I just saw the preview for The Spy Next Door, which finally combines the movies Spy Kids and Rear Window, and it just seems a little surprising that Jackie Chan still speaks English as well as the hostess at my local Wok Don’t Run.

Avatar invented an entire race, with its own language, culture and traditions that came with a dictionary to make Klingon look like Pig Latin, yet we don’t have CGI down to the point where we can get Jackie Chan pronouncing the letters R and L?

I know that English is a tough language for far Easterners, just as it would be tricky for Sylvester Stallone to star in the Japanese blockbusterMy American Samurai,” and it was cool up through Shanghai Noon, but this is a good decade and a half in America and he still needs some Rumble In The Bronx dubbing.

It’s not cool anymore, especially when Jackie Chan tries to show some heart at the end of the movie. He always has to get the heartwarming speech or pep talk to the kid/culturally-different-partner/Chris Tucker at the end of the movie, and it’s hilarious because the music and lighting is there and he’s going to enlighten us all, then he says something, and you have no idea what it was. Every movie of his concludes with you having the same awkwardness as when your waitress at The Tiger Bowl tells you the day’s specials and you have no clue what just happened.


There are two theories for why the proper English is taking a little while: either he is convinced that we still watch him for the martial arts, which is ridiculous since The Matrix killed pure martial arts movies; or he is staying in character for Rush Hour 4.

Either way it’s a sham, since all his martial arts now are cartoonishly CGI generated to the point where Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon looks more realistic from a physics perspective. I have an easier time believing that people can sword fight while running on top of tree tops rather than Jackie Chan having to put a child to bed by throwing him in the air and catching him in his pajamas. But maybe if the kid could understand what Jackie Chan was saying, he would have put on his own nightwear in the first place.


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