Jackie Chan should be the world’s ambassador of laughs.
“Kung Fu Yoga” expertly blends the matchless beauty of India with Chan’s own brand of shenanigans. It’s impressive how after all of these years, he still doesn’t miss a beat. “Kung Fu Yoga” boasts a heavily diverse cast, which includes Yixing “Lay” Zhang of EXO, Indian heartthrob Sonu Sood, Disha Patani, Amrya Dastur and Hong Kong actor Aarif Rahman. (Look that last one up, ladies — you won’t be disappointed.) Even veteran actor Eric Tsang joins the crew to drop a few lines. With such a well-rounded cast and a comedic genius as their leader, it’s no wonder I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Kung Fu Yoga” starts off with a bit of the backstory. The graphics were similar to a video game cutscene but more realistic, and it doesn’t take long for the action to begin. The wild adventure starts innocently enough with Ashmita (Disha Patel) luring a world-renowned archaeologist, Jack (Jackie Chan), and his teaching assistant, Xiaoguang (Lay Zhang), into a quest for history’s answers. They link up in modern India in search of the treasure. Of course, if there’s treasure, there’s raiders, and these guys mean business. They give Jack and his crew a real run for their money.
The entire crew was extremely active with useful roles. Sonu Sood was the perfect antagonist with his menacing looks and velvet jackets. Lay showed off his his own acting chops with well-delivered lines and stunts; he was quite charming and funny. It was lovely to have him on screen so much as well. It’s never disappointing to watch anything Jackie is in, but the added bonus of seeing Lay in such a manly yet cute role can’t be missed.
“Kung Fu Yoga” is a lighthearted movie shot in a beautiful country. One of the most rewarding points about this film is the celebration of Indian culture and how director Stanley Tong expertly infused its unique charm into the story. The costumes and settings were so splendidly authentic and rich that they sparked a desire in me to see them in person. It’s so rare that comedic movies are inspirational and educational, and I’ve always admired Jackie Chan for crossing borders without diluting or mocking the culture.
His latest releases, including the recent “Railroad Tigers” with Z. Tao, feel like he is quietly training the next generation of comedic action heroes. You can catch a glimpse of him in action as he teaches Lay the secrets of laughter in “Kung Fu Yoga.” (Hint: The end will have you screaming like an EXO comeback.)