In June, Well Go USA released a fun Jackie Chan throwback picture that showed the actor still has plenty of spunk. Now, they’re releasing one of his newest team ups with director Stanley Tong. Together they created some of Chan’s best films: Rumble in the Bronx and Supercop. Now, the two may be showing their age, but Kung Fu Yoga manages to bring out the best in both of them with a quick pace and plenty of Chan’s trademark fight choreography to help in the midst of some horrible acting and questionable CGI.
Jack (Chan), an archeology professor, has come up with one of the best restoration tools ever invented. One day, Ashmita (Disha Patani) arrives from India hoping that Jack can help her. She’s found the map to an ancient treasure and wants Jack to assist in finding it. Along for the ride are Jack’s two assistants — Xiaoguang (Yixing Zhang) and Nuomin (Miya Muqi) — and Kyra (Amyra Dastur), Ashmita’s assistant. Before they know it, they’re having adventures through Tibetan ice caves and mountain temples in India, while the nefarious Randall (Sonu Sood) is hot on their heels. Randall is a descendent of a rebel army leader and wants what feels is rightfully his.
You can tell almost instantly — without looking that is — when a Well Go USA title is on a 50GB disc instead of a 25. Details are sharper, colors are brighter, compression issues are non-existent. And Kung Fu Yoga is no exception. Watching this upscaled on a 75” 4K TV you’d think the picture would look strained, but everything looks better than watching in standard 1080p. It’s great when a disc looks better upscaled, not all of them do.
It’s a good thing they put it on a larger disc considering the included Mandarin DTS:X track. It raises a ruckus with hard hitting punches, pinpoint directionality, and with all the commotion in some scenes, dialogue is never drowned out. So you never have to worry about that. The film includes a mix of Mandarin, Indian, and English, but if you turn on the English subtitles — hilariously English 5.1 DTS-HDMA and 2.0 Stereo tracks are also offered — they play through the entire movie regardless of whether English is being spoken or not. Chinese subtitles are also available, along with a Mandarin 2.0 Stereo and DTS Headphones:X option.
The special features may not be the best, but with any Chan film they’re bound to at least have some laughs or two. “Best of Both Worlds” (3:41) discusses the fun of crafting a co-production between China and India. “The Dynamic Duo” (2:43) covers the teamwork of Chan and Tong, mentioning this is their eighth film together. “The Making Of” is a standard EPK with cast/crew interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. “Jackie Chan Featurette” (2:37) is a nice piece with everyone talking about how amazing it is to work alongside Chan and how sincere he is. “Bloopers” (3:23) are self explanatory, as is “Bollywood Dance Featurette” (3:16). The film’s “Trailer” (1:39) rounds things out, along with trailers for additional trailers for This Is Not What I Expected, Railroad Tigers, and Greater.
Kung Fu Yoga never tries to break the mold, but it’s nice to see Chan can still make ’em almost like he used to. The story is a fun throwback to the Indiana Jones films with plenty of nods and references, while the cast gets to show off some practical fight skills amidst some horrible acting from being forced to speak English. If it weren’t for one sequence with some questionable CGI involving hyenas and a tiger, the film could have been a touch tighter and would have flown by even faster. With the help of a fantastic 1080p presentation and a stellar DTS:X track, Kung Fu Yoga is a another welcome addition to Chan’s exhaustive résumé.