You don't expect much of a plot in most Chan films and this one is pretty basic: JC (as he's referred to in the American dub--not as his Asian Hawk character that older fans of "Armour of God" and "Operation Condor" are familiar with) is an adventurer thief who, along with his crew, track down pricey artifacts many of which have been plundered from the treasure troves of many a country, including China. Oliver Platt shows up as a doughy scheming arts and artifacts broker and his appearance in a distinctly Asian film took me out of the film for a moment I must admit; he was a waste in this film. Anyway, JC and his crew are tasked to track down the twelve bronze heads of the Chinese Zodiac and get paid big bank if they get them all. What ensues is a focus on their first few conquests and it all feels haphazard with some quick editing and scene changes that would make a music video director feel at home. As Chan & co. (two younger men and a female partner) go on to ingratiate themselves with and bamboozle a group of young activists dedicated to the repatriation of national artifacts and a Parisian heiress interested in Chan's abilities to help her uncover what might have happened to her grandfather we are treated to Chan breaking into a rich Parisian's home and then narrowly escaping an attack by a group of Doberman pinschers and a trip to a southeastern tropical isle that feels like Chan is plumbing for some of that 'ol Indiana Jones plus Pirates of the Caribbean magic. But the magic just isn't there.
The scenes with the collector's bumbling security guards sticking up Chan's team with guns that aren't loaded (!) only to be shot at with real bullets from some south seas pirates (one looking more than a tad like Jack Sparrow) fulfills that old Keystone Cops feeling that Chan could pull off in some of his older films but it misses the Buster Keaton marks that made those films such classics. But fear not because the scene is about to change dramatically again after Chan's troupe decides to play nice and help the artifact activist's head science gal get her captured brother and friends back. Of course these kids were taken by some of the brokerage house's goons because the activists are succeeding in getting the public to back off of buying stolen national treasures.
Once we get to the goon squad's hangout, an underground high-tech factory that helps to restore and replicate lost antiquities and art, Chan faces off with a new person, a rival artifact hunter. The two have a couch fight (...yes, they fight while managing to stay in physical contact with a couch....) and this fisticuff leads into one frenetic fight sequence to another and, while not Chan's best (come on, dude is getting up there in age) it is quite entertaining and shows off some of that old Chan magic. This last third of the film that also includes a skydiving fight sequence saves the film (along with the opening sequence with Chan in a high-tech skateboard suit--it was fun and would have been fantastic if a younger Chan was able to apply himself to it). This portion of the film is why you see a JC film in the first place.
The feature is capped off in usual Chantastic fashion with a series of bloopers and missed stunts and a moving collage of sorts of scenes from his entire career but there are two additional ending points that I've never seen before in a Chan film: (1) Chan himself gives a brief voice of thanks to his worldwide fandom while patting himself on the back over how proud he is of his accomplishments and (2) there is a Guinness World's Record note at the end of the credits that cites Chan as holding the record for accomplishing the most stunts in movies by an actor who is still alive! As to the first point Chan's voice talking to the audience felt a little self-indulgent; if a popular American actor did this he would be endlessly mocked but Chan's that peculiar talent who is driven to connect with his audience so I get it. As to the second point...that's just totally cool.