Jackie Chan dodders back to his roots as a farmer reluctantly drafted into the ancient Liang army as a footsoldier in ancient China. Surviving a massacre of his troops, he captures a young general (Wang Leehom) from the opposing Wei army and attempts to take him home - by cart and on foot - so he can land a hefty reward. However, a search party led by the ruthless Steve Yoo has been sent to find him and there's also a gang of marauding bandits to contend with. Full-on action is tempered by a wry sense of humour in an engaging adventure that was trapped in development hell for twenty years.
"In a wok the eagle and the chicken are both just meat," so the ancient Chinese saying goes.
In this buddy adventure toned warrior Wang Leehom is the bird of prey while the ruffled rooster is veteran chop-socky star Jackie Chan. The wok, to carry the metaphor to a worrying extreme, is a gang of bandits planning to sacrifice both of our feathered friends.
It's a grim predicament...but they've suffered worse. In fact, they both managed to survive a Lord of the Rings-style melee when forces from the Liang and Wei states clash, leaving just Jackie and Wang on their feet.
The trouble is they were on opposing sides and Jackie grabs the initiative, strapping his battle-fatigued opponent to his cart and heading home to claim a reward big enough to allow him to return to the land.
However, a search party led by Yoo - a louche, crossbow-wielding psychopath - is on their trail and they've also got to run the gauntlet of predatory bandits.
After his numerous - often awkward - sojourns in Hollywood, it's good to seen Chan back on home turf, his wry humour perfectly suited to an engaging action romp that makes particularly good use of otherworldly locations.
There's a tepid attempt at social comment - Chan's anything-for-a-quiet-life soldier versus Wang's battle-hardened warrior - but it's the action sequences, including a splendid scene when Chan mounts an ox to rescue his reluctant partner - that will keep audiences thrilled.