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SHANGHAI NOON summer preview

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STARRING JACKIE CHAN, OWEN WILSON, LUCY LIU DIRECTED BY TOM DEY

BUZZ-O-METER 7

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?It’s Butch Cassidy and the Karate Kid!

Chan came up with the idea for this action comedy, in which he plays a Chinese imperial guard sent to the Old West to rescue a princess (Liu). The Uber-laconic Wilson (The Haunting) — the anti-Chris Tucker — was cast as his thief-turned-sidekick (it seemed a good way to avoid Rush Hour: The Early Years). But at their first meeting Chan said hardly anything, which didn’t bode well for buddy-dom. ”I was thinking ‘Oh, God, did we make a mistake?”’ recalls Dey, a commercial vet making his feature debut. Once on set, however, the stars clicked. ”I could tell in our first take we had found some magic,” says Dey. The duo stuck to their respective strengths, with Wilson (who co-wrote Rushmore) improvising some dialogue, leaving the physicality to Chan. ”Rather than being known as an actor who does his own stunts,” says Wilson, ”I want to be known as an actor who never does any stunts.” (May 26)