As more stars are turning to action movies, we turn our attentions once again to Orlando Bloom (Unlocked, Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) who heads out to Shanghai for his next feature.
Bloom plays Danny, looking less than inconspicuous with dyed blonde hair, a man who transports priceless works of art around the world so they can be put on display. At least, he does until he loses a Van Gogh in a heist and falls on hard times for a year with the police thinking he stole it.
His luck comes around when he is asked to take the Zodiac Vase to London, or rather, his ex-girlfriend, Lynn Hung (IP Man, See You Tomorrow), recommends his company to the owners of the vase.
As you’d expect, a gang attempts to take the Vase from him whilst it’s on way to the airport, the same gang that took the Van Gogh as it turns out. Danny decides not to take the vase to London though, instead electing to set a trap, along with the rest of his ‘crew’; Ding Dong, Lei Wu (Magic Star (TV), Into The Rainbow), as the tech-wiz, Hannah Quinlivan (Gentle Bullet, Moon River (TV)) as the ass-kicking girl and Simon Yam (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life, Election) as the, erm, older gentlemen.
They want to set a trap to get the Van Gogh back and return their reputation as art transporters. Of course, that doesn’t go quite to plan, the robbers escape and the police are still after them.
With the help of Ding-dong’s drones (seriously?), the other three break into the vast, fortified compound the bad-guys have. They get what they came for and game over right? Wrong, obviously there’s a woman involved, Dani’s ex, who is kidnapped by the bad guys and, well, you can guess the rest.
The Shanghai Job is a poor imitation of an action flick lacking, such that it is, in action. Sure, there’s a couple of fight scenes which are pondering and nothing we haven’t seen done before and done better.
Bloom swans around with his out-of-place accent and silly hair and it’s hard to understand why anyone would trust him and his ‘crew’ with their lunch, let alone a priceless work of art.
There is some mention of time and a wristwatch is shown at various points but it feels like one of those ideas that someone had at the start, then remembers about it every now and again and throws in some random reference to it despite it not having any bearing on anything.
The bad woman is played by Jing Liang (Mr. Six, Design Of Death), who does a fair attempt at menacing but never reaches any kind of status that would have you quaking in your boots or even worried about your artwork.
The henchmen come and go, as they do, except for the one big henchman, Xing Yu (IP Man, Kung Fu Hustle), who seems indestructible until Danny just punches him a few times in the face and then he’s down and out. Who knew it could be so easy?
The music is good throughout the movie. It’s a mix of dance and ethnic sounds with some indie and dance tracks thrown in for good measure, it certainly has your sub thumping.
Overall though, The Shanghai Job is an hour and a half of things we’ve seen before many times and many times we’ve seen it done a lot better.
The DVD is as lacking in content as the film as you get…well…you get the film and that’s it. No extras, not even a trailer.
There are outtakes as the credits role in the best Jackie Chan stylee and they are the most amusing part of the movie, but it’s a poor showing for additional bits otherwise.