I can never get upset with a Charlie Chan film, they're all simply classics. That being said, I already have a bias in favor of the Chan series so my review may be tainted.
In this Chan outing, Charlie (Oland) and #1 son Lee (Keye Luke) find themselves hot on the trail of the murderer of an infamous ex-mob lady Billie Bronson (played by the sultry Louise Henry). Added to the fray is her missing diary which contains secrets that could blow the lid off of New York's underworld. We have the usual Chan formula, with a fast-paced, New York twist. You have the usual suspects (who more often than not turn out to be not guilty) and the big surprise ending where we learn who the real killer is. I can honestly say I didn't see it coming.
The things which separate this film from others in the series are the hectic New York setting and a few very interesting characters. Huber's character Inspector Nelson seems to be one of those characters you either love or hate. I'm a lover because he adds so much flair to the movie. We even have him telling a woman to shut-up near the ending, which is something you don't see in many (if any) Chan flicks. A woman has never been treated so crudely up until now and I just love it. I found myself cracking up and rewinding the scene just so I can hear its delivery again.
Lastly, this film's killer shocked me in more ways than one. He/she was actually a character I liked and cared for and I was a little heartbroken when I found out. That's something a Chan film hasn't ever made me feel, sad. But boy this movie sure is a wild ride and it ended up being one of the Chan films I like to watch over and over.
Be sure to see this one soon and enjoy. You can thank me later!
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