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Review Skiptrace (2016): Believe it or not, I liked it!

genre: action, adventure, comedy, martial arts






After the disaster that was Police Story 2013 (which had nothing to do with the Police Story franchise just so you know) I was real hesitant to watch Skiptrace. The trailer didn't entice me a single bit and to be honest pairing up Johnny Knoxville and Jackie Chan seemed like a very poor idea. However rest assured the film is actually a lot better than the trailer suggests. So let me tell you why that is.

Important to be aware off is that this film is closer to Jackie Chan's Asian produced films than the American centered ones like Rush Hour and Shanghai Noon. In my opinion it's on par with the Rush Hour films or even slightly better. While I liked the Rush Hour films (1 and 2 more than 3) it always bothered me that they did not let Jackie Chan do his thing and let him take center stage. They forced Chris Tucker upon the viewer and Chan was almost more a secondary character than the main one. In this film they don't make that mistake and they have given Chan the space to bring out the best of his abilities acting wise. Despite what you might think Chan is is a good actor when given the chance to. His only problem is his English. After all these years that unfortunately still has not improved. That being said it is not quite exactly on par with Jackie Chan's older Asian films. Obviously the action is toned down a little since Jackie Chan is 62 years old now and can't do the same things he used to do. But I have to say he still is capable to do some impressive stunts and fighting. Skiptrace is more about the crazy stunts than the hard hitting action. But the fights still are fun to watch although I can't hide a slight disappointment of old school Jackie Chan. Just slightly.

And I know I was skeptic about Knoxville and Chan as buddies but I think it worked out quite well. Let me put it this way. It never felt forced or cringeworthy. I bought them as a duo. Besides it's not like the film gives you a chance to ponder about that too much since the events move along in a nice fast pace making you overlook all the flaws and mistakes. While I am not entirely sold on Knoxville's appeal he does bring enough charm to the screen to make you like him. Also unlike Chris Tucker and Owen Wilson Knoxville can do his own stunts and it makes you appreciate him even more. In a way Knoxville is the most ideal partner to Chan and the both of them show that no holds barred mentality you just got to love.

Then there is Eve Torres as Dasha. The former WWE star impresses and I definitely want to see more of her in action films. And if that is not enough she is also smoking hot. 


But she is in good company because Bingbing Fan also has a role in this film and while she is more the damsel in distress also has a few scenes where she is dealing with some bad guys. 



I found myself smirking and laughing a whole lot more than I expected to. But there are some genuine hilarious moments where the main characters surprise us. I won't spoil those moments for you only what I can tell you is that for me these scenes made me very forgiving for the lack of the typical Jackie Chan action. Another bonus is the beautiful scenery and traditions you get exposed to. I don't know about you but sometimes it is really nice to get introduced to some culture. So yes, Skiptrace is definitely worth your time. It might not be classic material. Still it is fun and entertaining through and through. 


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