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Jackie Chan Rides On

Agile, swift, strong, and graceful--these words describe Jackie Chan and the co-star who wants to upstage him in Ride On! Make that co-stars and CGI, since Chan’s sidekick helping him get back in the saddle for action movie magic arrives with hooves and a mane. Labeling itself as a tribute to stuntmen, Ride On! also honors Chan’s own cinematic legacy of martial arts films. Forced to once again jump, punch, kick, and pound, Chan’s washed-up stunt man fights to protect his beloved horse and start a relationship with the daughter he ignored for years. Such mush really needs no ladling--a coupl

e of dollops will do—but no one ever accused Chan of subtlety and restraint so Ride On! forgoes reining in any opportunity for fuzzy warmth. Nor does it shirk on Chan’s specialty, highly visual, fun fights requiring no dialogue. English subtitles fill in for Mandarin dialect, but hardly anything needs detailed explanation, especially with the Westernized version’s heavy-handed music. Visual rather than intellectual, Ride On!’s biggest challenge comes because Chan finally manages to show some aging, so as a guy pushing 70 seems unlikely to repeat all those great moves from the past. No matter: his charm still reigns plus that imposing horse fills in with a swift kick and good sense of humor whenever possible. Ride On! the movie shows Chan capable of doing just that, moving along a familiar path.

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