Kung Fu Yoga
‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is an action comedy starring Chinese Hollywood actor Jackie Chan, Sonu Soodn, Disha Patani, Amyra Dastur, Aarif Rahman, Miya Muqi and Yixing Zhang, and has been directed by Stanley Tong. The movie is the first of the three-film agreement signed between India and China in May 2015.
The movie opens with and animation scene of a war in ancient India, where warriors of the Tang dynasty led by Wang Xuance are fighting to help save the Magadha kingdom and its treasures from the evil general Arunasva. But an avalanche hits and the treasure of Magadha dynasty gets buried under the show.
Back to present day China, Jack (Chan) is a renowned archaeologist who is approached by Indian princess and Ashmita (Disha) and her assistant (Kyra Amyra Dastur) seeking his help to retrieve the lost treasure of her ancestors. Jack and his men decide to search for the treasure and thus begins their adventure which takes them across different places like snowy Tibet, posh Dubai and India’s Rajasthan. When they get closer to discovering the treasure, prince Randall (Sonu Sood), who wants the treasure for himself attacks them. Jack and his men escape, but again they come across Randall in Dubai during an auction of a rare gem belonging to the Magadha dynasty. However, the gem gets stolen. Who is the actual thief and does the ancient treasure get unearthed?
‘Kung Fu Yoga’ has a very loose plot, lethargic execution, choppy editing and begins abrupt. The dialogues seem forced and the Chinese lines dubbed in English lack impact. And when did Magadha empire shift to Rajasthan? The film presents India as if it is only about ‘Indian magic’, elephants, rope tricks, snake-charmers, levitating sadhus, etc. Also, the ‘Yoga’ in the title seems to be there for name only, to represent India.
But ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is supposed to be a comedy and there is ample silliness and goofiness in it. One doesn’t have to think or understand to laugh at the mindless entertainment. The action sequences and chase scenes have been well shot, and individually, they are quite thrilling and engrossing – like the car chase involving Jackie with a lion in the backseat and the run-in of the characters with hyenas.
The movie is a visual treat with the snow-capped mountains, cascading waterfalls to the sand dunes of vast desert of Dubai, fancy cars, the beautiful temples and forts of regal Rajasthan – all captured really well.
Jackie Chan is the only saving grace in the film. He is known for his witty and goofy acts and action, and his comic timing evoke some giggles. Sonu Sood looks dapper in his princely avatar, but goes a little overboard. He is good in fight sequences. Disha and Amyra look pretty and the other characters have also done a decent job.
‘Kung Fu Yoga’ is definitely not for the intellectual kind, and if one watches it without using brains, then it is lot of fun.