20 June 2001 | Schlockmeister
A nice entry in the Chan series
Sidney Toler did really well in this outing as Detective Charlie Chan, undercover in Panama City in order to help the U. S. Government capture spies. Since one of Charlie Chan's signature parts of his outfit is his Panama Hat, it was only logical that his cover be as a proprietor of a Panama Hat shop.
As in most Chan movies, we see very atmospheric locales, many shady characters, and Chan, ever calm, solving the mystery. Lionel Atwill is a part of the shady cast and does a great job. Victor Sen-Yung who plays #2 son, Jimmy will be a familiar face to TV watchers, he played Hop Sing the Chinese cook on Bonanza for years. He does a great job here as the over eager son who wants to help Charlie but usually ends up in the way. He does provide good comic relief in this story.
All in all, a good entry in the Chan series. The solution to the mystery is a little clearer than it often is in this series, many times with Charlie Chan films when he explains the solution at the end, you just have to throw up your hands and trust that Charlie knows what he is talking about, it isn't always very clear. The telling of the story makes sense, making this a good introduction to the series if you are new at it.