Silly and muddled, but not without a certain amount of goofy charm. The exposition to keep the plot moving is hopelessly leaden, and the straightforward comedy scenes are forced and clumsy. It’s the slapstick action scenes that work best, and produce the most laughs.
The script feels like it has been brutally hacked about to a) recognize Jackie Chan as the star power behind the film with a sub-plot equal in stature to the main story, b) accommodate the numerous cameos necessary to rival the 1950s David Niven version, and c) still fit within the 2-hour format. Personally, I didn’t mind seeing Passepartout as a kick-ass kung fu hero returning to China to save his village, but it’s the cameos that dragged the film down. There’s an easy 20 minutes that could have been spent better on smoothing out the plot jumps, or on the relationships between the characters. As it is, it feels like Steve Coogan and Jackie Chan are acting in seperate movies.