Jackie Chan’s filmography needs no introduction, it is full of action and comedies like Rush Hour, Karate Kid and many more. However, there is an underrated buddy cop film in his filmography that many may not know about, and it’s not one of the Rush Hour films: it is Skip trace.
Released in 2016, Skiptrace follows Jackie Chan as Benny Black and Johnny Knoxville as Connor Watts in an unlikely partnership as they attempt to take down a crime boss. Skiptrace is a joint American-Chinese film directed by Renny Harlin and written and produced by Jackie Chan herself. What’s even more remarkable is that despite being 62 years old at the time, Jackie Chan, as always, performed his own stunts and delivered an impressive performance.
What is Skiptrace about?
Skiptrace follows Detective Benny’s mission to take down the infamous crime boss Matador, also known as Victor Wong. Since Matador killed Benny’s partner Yung nine years ago, he is more than a normal target as Benny harbors a personal grudge.
Things take an unexpected turn when Benny unexpectedly teams up with Connor Watts, an American gambler and con artist. In a casino in Macau, Benny is attacked by the Russian mafia and, while fleeing from them, witnesses the death of a woman named Esther Ye. Samantha, who previously spoke to Connor, turns out to be the daughter of Yung, a sleeper agent trying to take down the mafia. With Connor now captured by the Russian Mafia, Samantha turns to Benny to save Connor, knowing he could be a possible witness against the matador and bring down her empire once and for all.
When Benny realizes that Connor could potentially testify to bring down Wong’s empire, he takes it upon himself to ensure Connor’s safety. Their journey spans from China to Russia, being pursued by both Chinese and Russian mobs. The ensuing adventure forces two men from completely different walks of life, one a detective and the other a cunning con artist, to confront and overcome their differences
Jackie Chan’s extraordinary performance makes this film even more remarkable, especially considering that he was 62 years old at the time. Johnny Knoxville’s humor and charisma added entertainment, making this pairing one of the most memorable comedy-action duos of Jackie Chan’s film career, along with his partnership with Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour films.
What is Skiptrace’s Rotten Tomatoes score?
Although Skiptrace is an entertaining film, it still suffers from low audience and critical ratings. The film’s Rotten Tomato score for critics is a poor 38%. The audience value is significantly low at a whopping 27%.
Many complained about the film’s lack of originality, which was essentially a copy of old Jackie Chan films like Shanghai Noon and Rush Hour. Many even called Jackie Chan spoiled because he spent all his prime years giving up stunt work, the element that made Jackie stand out even from the other actors in his films.
All of these flaws can still be ignored considering Skiptrace is still a team of Jackie Chan and Johnny Knoxville and this movie gets as much Jackie Chan as it can get. Full of nostalgia, humorous moments and the classic action sequence, it still manages to entertain viewers throughout its 107 minutes running time
How does skiptrace end?
Benny was arrested after Wong’s fingerprint failed to unlock Matador’s phone, suggesting he was not the crime boss after all. Witnessing this, Connor takes on the role of a lawyer to secure Benny’s release from prison. They manage to bypass the security lock on the Matador’s phone and find out the location of the loading yard where the Matador’s operations were carried out. Connor and Benny sneak into the shipyard and are shocked to witness Wong, whom they believe to be the matador, being brutally killed by an unknown assailant, who is disappointed that Wong didn’t make it, Connor and Benny catch.
Unfortunately, both Connor and Benny are soon arrested and it turns out that the real matador is Yung, Benny’s partner who he thought was dead. Yung reveals that as an undercover police officer, he faked his own death to protect his integrity as a police officer.
Yuri then leads Benny to a room where his daughter Samantha is being held captive. Samantha is shocked to see her father is alive, but beyond disgusted when she realizes he was the matador all along. The Russian mob also invades the shipyard and begins a shootout that damages the boat and causes it to sink. Samantha starts drowning in the boat and that’s when Benny and Yung work together to save Samantha. But later, Yung takes his own life by drowning after making Benny promise to protect his daughter’s life.
The police arrive on the scene and capture all the escapees in order to put an end to the criminal gang once and for all. After the dust settles, Connor returns to Russia to attend the birth of his presumed child, only to later find out that the baby is not his own. Later, Connor and Samantha also fulfill Benny’s dreams by giving him a ranch with alpacas, which is a poignant conclusion to the film.
A sequel to Skiptrace was also reportedly in the works around 2017 when Jackie Chan was looking for an Indian actress to cast in the film. The sequel has most likely been canceled, but the possibility of Jackie Chan and Johhny Knoxville getting back together for a second installment isn’t entirely out of the question.
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