Kung-Fu Yoga (2017) Review

Verdict: Unimpressive 

Great landscapes with OK acting, but poor story.


Jack  (Jackie Chan) is one of the world’s most renowned archaeologist. He is visited by Ashmita (Disha Patani) and Kyra (Amyra Dastur) who asks him to help find out what happened to the lost treasures of Magadha. Accompanying Jack are his two assistants, Xiaoguang (Yixing Zhang), and Nuomin (Miya Muqi). Jack also requests the help of the son of a friend he knows, Jones (Aarif Rahman), and they set out on an expedition. However, trouble comes along, when Randall (Sonu Sood) confronts them about the ownership of the treasures. Directed by Stanley Tong.

Not really my type of movie, but I had to accompany someone to watch this. The story isn’t all that great, as it is quite predictable, and the characters themselves are quite shallow. The kung-fu part takes up the majority of the movie, which is no surprise. However, the ‘yoga’ aspect of it isn’t so much there in the literal sense. I gather that the ‘yoga’ was just there as a nudge to the joining of the Chinese-Indian cultures and stars.

Jackie Chan plays mostly the same roles in movies like these, and he’s OK for the most part. He has earnest expressions, but I feel pretty neutral when it comes to him. I neither like or dislike him, and he is still able to perform stunts pretty well. Other cast members did their parts well enough, and the story was easy to follow along with. However, Patani, Dastur, and Muqi all look like participants in beauty pageants, a very specific type of female casting going on in this film. Zhang as well is a member of K-pop group EXO-M, which is the Chinese sub-group of EXO, and Rahman (Almost Malaysian represent!) and Sood, also all look like they can be in various modelling competitions. Not unpleasing to the eye, but the lack of diversity (in regards to looks) make this movie seem quite fake.

In addition to that, I am unsure if this happens to all Chinese made films, however, there always seems to be trouble with audio syncing. Not only do voice speeches sound unnatural (too smooth), the rhythm and timing of the speech in accordance with the mouth motion is out of sync. This happens throughout the whole movie, and is very disconcerting to watch. You can tell that the audio itself is not taken at the same time as the video filming.

As well, while the story itself isn’t very engaging, it can be forgiven given the genre of the movie.However, the script is quite poorly written as there are many instances of abrupt changes in topic. What’s more, a lot of the time there is no flow in the way the conversation progresses. A person would say one thing, and then the other person would respond by saying something that doesn’t seem to relate to what the first person actually said. But after awhile, the conversation kind of circles back, which is quite an odd way to hold conversations.

One thing that I enjoyed in the film, was the landscapes. Some are obviously green screens – or maybe they all were, but they give off the intended effect. There was no problem with diversity in landscapes. Cinematography wasn’t bad either. And there were some successful comedic scenes, mainly to do with a lion.

Overall, a plain story with unsettling audio, but great scenery.

To sum-up:
PROS: Landscape, OK acting, some comedy
CONS: Story, audio, lack of body diversity

I give this a 5/10.

Have you seen Kung-Fu Yoga? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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