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Skiptrace: high grossing, adrenaline-pumping film ni Jackie Chan

PUMALO na naman sa takilya ang pinakabagong pelikula ni Jackie Chan, ang Skiptrace na tinalo ang ibang bigating movies tulad ng The Legend of Tarzan at ang Japanese animation, Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan sa Chinese box office nitong nakaraang linggo.

Sa opening day sa China noong July 21, humakot ito ng $14.7-M at kapag pinagsama-sama ang kinita nito sa unang apat na araw, ito ay umaabot sa $60-M. Sinasabing ito ang “highest debut of Chan’s 50-year career, na nakagawa siya ng mahigit 150 pelikula.

Si Chan ay gumaganap bilang Bennie Chan, isang Hong Kong detective na may isang dekada nang sinusubaybayan ang crime lord na si Victor Wong. Samantala, ang inaanak niyang si Samantha (Fan Bingbing mula sa X-Men: Days of Future Past) ay nadawit sa sindikato ni Wong.  Nang malaman ni Bennie na may kinalaman ang isang American gambler na nagngangalang Connor Watts (Johnny Knoxville mula sa MTV’s Jackass movie trilogy) sa problema ni Samantha, dagdag pa rito ang hawak nitong importanteng impormasyon para tuluyang makasuhan si Wong, ginawang misyon ni Bennie na dalhin si Connor sa Hong Kong. Ngunit ang mga kalaban ay laging nakasunod sa kanila, at para makatakas, kung saan-saan napadpad sina Bennie at Connor.

Ayon sa direktor na si Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2, Cliffhanger), ang glittering casinos ng Macau, ang urban jungles ng Hong Kong, ang grasslands ng Mongolia, ang sand dunes ng Gobi Desert, ang rapids ng Yellow River, at ang breathtaking mountain ranges ang nagbigay ng mga ‘di malilimutang tanawin sa mapanganib nilang adventures.

“’Skiptrace’ is in fact an idea I’ve had for at least 20 years,” kuwento ni Jackie Chan. “I liked the film ‘Midnight Run’ (starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin) very much so I wanted to do something in that vein, like a highway movie.” Narinig din niya na maraming tao ang humanga sa ganda ng China sa pelikulang Karate Kid film (year 2010), kaya na-inspire siyang gumawa ng pelikula na mas higit pang magpapakita ng ganda ng kanyang bansang China at iba pang lugar sa Asya.

Inisa-isa ni Jackie Chan ang mga pinuntahan  nila, ito ay ang Russia, Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Guangxi, Macau, at Hong Kong. Ayon sa kanya, “The most memorable location for me would be Inner Mongolia and Guangxi, because of their unique costumes and traditions.”

Natural, hindi naging madali ang paglipat-lipat ng production crew na kinabibilangan ng 400 na katao sa mga lugar na ito, “but it was critical to the spirit of the movie and I’m certain the audience will feel the payoff of all that work,” sambit ni direk Harlin.

Ngunit higit pa sa mala-travelogue na feel nito, ang pelikula ay tungkol sa “friendship and honor”, ayon kay Harlin. “I enjoyed exploring the journey of these two characters, who, first reluctant to be friends, have to fight for not only justice, but also for their own survival.

“Johnny Knoxville makes the perfect partner for Jackie – they are both famous for their crazy stunts,” sabi pa ni direk Harlin.

Unang sumikat si Knoxville sa MTV reality stunt show na Jackass noong early 2000.

“The amazing script and the opportunity to work with Jackie Chan,” ani Knoxville kung bakit niya ginawa ang Skiptrace.

Nagpapasalamat din siya sa kanyang idolo dahil pinayagan siya nitong ‘wag gumamit ng stunt double. “Jackie Chan has let me do more stunts in this movie than any other Hollywood movie that I’ve done,” aniya.

Bumilib naman si Jackie Chan sa performance ng kanyang kapareha, “(Johnny) impressed me with his ability to bounce back after doing complicated set ups.  Very few actors can do that while having a smile on their face.

Ibinahagi ni Knoxville ang isang improvised stunt na ginawa ni Jackie Chan, “We were sitting in inner Mongolia and he asked me if I could do a summersault. I told him I couldn’t, but I could try.  Next thing I know, I’m handcuffed and he flips me over a fence.  It’s amazing that he thinks of stuff like that.”

Pinaka-memorable na eksena kay Jackie Chan ang muntik na siyang malunod. “I was on a raft with Johnny and I was supposed to fall into the river and pretend I didn’t know how to swim…The river was very rough and I nearly got myself drowned,” kuwento niya na sinang-ayunan ni Knoxville. “On action, Jackie fell out of the boat and into the rapids at a point where the current was really strong, and he was supposed to deliver the line, ‘I can’t swim’…while he tried to deliver his line, water filled his mouth and I watched his expression go to ‘I’m no longer acting – now I’m truly struggling.’  In that moment, I threw him a stick to get back on the boat…

“His energy is infectious,” papuri ni Knoxville na dream come true rin na makasama si Jackie Chan.

Compelling story, adrenaline pumping action, and multi-layered characters, ilan lamang ito sa makikita kasama ang breathtaking scenery, na pinagmamalaki ng Skiptrace. Mapapanood na ito sa Philippine cinemas simula August 10. Handog ng Viva International Pictures at MVP Entertainment.

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