STORY: Chinese archeologist, Jack, is in search of the lost treasure of Magadha. His assistants and Indian counterparts try to outsmart an Indian prince, Randall, and his army to clinch the gold.
REVIEW: At one point, Sonu Sood’s Randall is frustrated and says through his gritted teeth, “Don’t bore me…” as Chan’s character blabbers about morality. The line in itself is a short, crisp review of the movie.
But if one must dive into details, Kung Fu Yoga is about Jack, one of China’s leading archeologists, who is enlisted by an Indian archeologist, Ashmita (Disha Patani), for finding a lost treasure that belonged to her ancestors. He comes to India along with his assistants Zhu (Yixing Zhang) and Nuomin(Miya Muqi) to unearth the mystery. But the treasure has another contender in Randall (Sonu Sood), who is equipped with a dozen kurta-clad white men, computer-animated zoo animals, sleek cars and a healthy dose of inherent greed.
The movie begins so abruptly that you feel like you’ve started watching episode no. three of a show by mistake. Director Stanley Tong unloads a ton of information on you in the first ten minutes, leaving you half-confused and already half-disinterested. There’s some elementary-level Kung Fu and absolutely no yoga (but how else would India be represented in the title?); the English dubbing makes for awkward viewing and many lines seem to be lost in translation; there is altogether too much CGI work and to top it all, the movie sticks to a Western view of India (Elephants! Princesses clad in jewels!
Temples! Snake Charmers!). It also has a strong Raiders Of The Lost Ark-meets-Temple Of Doom vibe. Chan seems to be restricted in his moves but still has his charm. Sonu Sood could have made for a better antagonist had he been badder. The nearest thing that the movie has to a quick repartee is not between any two characters but an interaction between Chan and a lion, which forces some giggles out of you.
If you’re going for the Kung Fu, chances are you’ll end up in a meditative state instead.