2 February 2013 | lost-in-limbo
"Just remember. You're still one of us."
I guess a second instalment to the very successful original was inevitable and this follow-up doesn't disappoint either, although I wouldn't say it comes close to it predecessor. With the likes of Summo Hung and Yuen Mao not returning it does leave a very big hole, but we know how well Jackie Chan can carry a film and that's was he does with Part II. Chan again would star, co-wrote, and direct along with being the stunt coordinator. You know by now the stunts we are seeing are Jackie leading the way in some feats like the handcuffed chase, rotating cage and the climatic showdown involving falling framework, but never really do they reach the great heights of some of his other staged stunts.
Dragon Ma has rid the sea of Pirate Lo and his men, and now finds him back on land where he's given a new assignment of cleaning up crime and corruption in one of the roughest districts. But Ma and his loyal crew don't have it easy with the local police chief who's crafting a web of deceit. However also riding Ma's back are some pirates who want to avenge the death of Pirate Lo and then there are agents of the Manchu government.
This action-adventure can be as fast and furious with outstanding martial arts choreography balanced out with goofy, if charming slapstick humour. The action is not as frequent as it seems spaced out, with more comical elements finding its way in where Chan toys around. Even the script shines the spotlight on some political issues involving communist's rebels vs. mainland Chinese imperials, which can make things a little talky and some sub-plots feel aimless. It starts off rather sharp, but never recaptures that spirit it began with. The lavished production makes good use of its set-designs and costumes with a flamboyant Hong Kong backdrop.