ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13
Analysis Date: February 8, 2003
CAP Score: 35
CAP Influence Density: 1.46

MinMax: -81

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- Aside from a few instances of good comedy, about the best feature is how to spell Shanghai.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy
Production: All Knight Productions LLC, Jackie Chan Films Limited, Spyglass Entertainment, Touchstone Pictures
Distribution: Buena Vista Pictures, Touchstone Pictures
Director(s): David Dobkin
Producer(s): Stephanie Austin, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, Jackie Chan, Willie Chan, Jonathan Glickman, Edward McDonnell, David Minkowski, Solon So, Matthew Stillman
Written by/Screenplay: Alfred Gough & Miles Millar (written by and characters)
Cinematography/Camera: Adrian Biddle, Harvey Harrison
Music: Randy Edelman
Film Editing: Malcolm Campbell
Casting: Priscilla John, Donna Morong, Marcia Ross
Production Design: Allan Cameron
Art Direction: Giles Masters
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, TX

Chon Wang (Jackie Chan), pronounced "John Wayne", is sheriff of Carson City, Nevada in 1887. Born the son of Kim Chan, a keeper of the extremely valuable and important imperial seal in Forbidden City, China, Chon Wang decided to come to America though against his father, Kim Chan's wishes, so much so Kim Chan disowned Chon Wang for it. A dastardly dude named Rathbone (Aidan Gillen) murdered Kim Chan to get the imperial seal [Mark 7:18 - 23]. It was apparently the largest diamond in the world. The seal would be used by Rathbone as payment to Wu Yip (Donnie Yen) [Hab. 2:9] to kill the reigning Queen Victoria (Gemma Jones) plus nine other high ranking English officials who are each in line for the throne, leaving the power-mad Rathbone the only successor to the throne [Eph. 5:5].

Learning of his father's murder, Wang dispatches himself immediately to London, England to meet his sister, Chon Lin (Fann Wong) who traveled there on the trail of Rathbone. But Chon Wang was without adequate funds to make the trip to London. Remembering some gold owed him from some caper performed by he and and a previous associate, Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson), Chon Wang made a stop at New York to collect his due. Turns out, O'Bannon had long ago squandered the loot and was working as a waiter. With Wang's spirits undampened, the two decide to unite and "mail" themselves in a crate to England.

Though there is some fun in Shanghai Knights such as creative Kung Fu fighting with umbrellas to the tune of "Singing in the Rain", there is some programming that is not so fun. Aside from a few instances of good comedy, about the best feature is how to spell Shanghai.

When Rathbone kills Kim Chan, they are standing face to face and Rathbone lunges at Kim Chan while Kim Chan slumps in pain as life oozes from him. The viewer can see Rathbone's arm thrust forward. And Rathbone has such a realistic expression of great satisfaction on his face. What a message for our 13 year olds! Some of whom are learning to kill as an expression of gratification for being tormented [Matt. 24:12]. What better teacher can they have than such as this in and as entertainment. And yes, such onscreen behavior is a teacher. Even supposedly minor behavioral aberrations in and as entertainment such as mischief is contagious. Such exposure emboldens the impressionable, the younger the more impressionable, to go ahead and do 'it', "just like in the movies." "No matter what they do to me!" Movies of old certainly had killing in them but never with such arrogance and evil coldness as movies today. Never with such lure to the developing attitude and character.

More killings include death hanging, death by arrows and death by decapitation after being shot with arrows. Four guards to Kim Chan's palace are murdered by Rathbone and his henchmen. The viewer sees the hanging victims with a rope around their necks being drawn up into the air. The viewer sees the arrows hit and impale the victims. While the viewer sees only the swinging of the sword in the decapitation, little is left to the imagination. All within three or four minutes. then, in thee or four more minutes, after much defensive fighting with swords, Kim Chan is murdered. that is five murders. There are more.

And there is "intercourse" in this movie. Chon Wang is lying face up with a prostitute on top of him facing him with the camera angle from the top of their heads. He is dressed. She is somewhat dressed. She going up and down, up and down ... as exercise. That it was exercise was really what the filmmakers were trying to say. Sure, it was! [Mark 7:18 - 23] If you buy that I have a bridge I'll sell you. The gate to it is golden. And if you are not into bridges, I can get you some recreational/retirement real estate in Florida. Cheap. :o) Though I jest I suspect the point is made. At least to those with enough experiential maturity to understand satire and sarcasm. And, as is typical of PG-13, foul language was a serious issue of the programming including God's name in vain with and without the four letter expletive. [Col. 3:8]

Please take the time to read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide whether to view this film with your kids.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Mark 7:18 - 23 "Are you so dull?" he asked. "Don't you see that nothing that enters a man from the outside can make him 'unclean'? For it doesn't go into his heart but into his stomach, and then out of his body." He went on: "What comes out of a man is what makes him 'unclean.' For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.'"
  • Hab. 2:9 Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin!
  • Eph. 5:5 For of this you can be sure: No [unforgiven] immoral, impure or greedy person -such a man is an idolater -has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
  • Matt. 24:12 And because iniquity [sin] shall abound [because of the many who will come in His name and corrupt His Word], the love [which includes honor, respect and personal integrity] of many shall wax cold. [I wonder if many really understand the urgency of this verse.]
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Shanghai Knights (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • attempted murder, repeatedly, most by blade, twice by arson, once by drowning
  • fighting with police and others, repeatedly
  • theft by pick pocketing
  • bullying a child
  • reckless driving
  • torture, repeatedly
  • abduction, repeatedly
  • planning murder
  • breaking and entering
  • aiding prisoner escape
  • order to kill
  • sword at throat to kill
  • heavy fighting sequence
  • defensive killing by explosives
  • gunfire to kill
  • long sword fight attempt to kill
  • sword injuries
  • great fall
  • repeat of violent imagery during credits

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 21 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • lying, repeatedly, lies to save face
  • coaching to lie
  • "Gotta look out for number one", once by a child

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • women as toys, repeatedly
  • sexual invitation by women dropping room keys into crotch of a man
  • man in tub
  • man in towel only
  • offer of sex, repeatedly
  • prelude to intercourse
  • excessive breast exposure, repeatedly
  • simulation of intercourse excused as calling it exercise
  • sex talk, innuendo, comments, repeatedly
  • nudity on playing cards
  • crotch hit, kick
  • anatomical references, repeatedly
  • detailed statue nudity
  • fondling breasts of statue
  • face licking
  • prostitution
  • camera angle to force viewer onto private parts, repeatedly
  • purchase of several prostitutes for sex as a gift
  • male frontal nudity with gender=specific areas hidden by convenience objects
  • positioning to suggest homosexual practices
  • repeat of sexual imagery during credits

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • drinking
  • smoking
  • booze

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • one use of God's name in vain with the four letter expletive and three without
  • "open minded" to excuse sinful behavior

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • two graphic murders by hanging
  • one graphic arrow murder
  • one graphic murder by arrows and decapitation
  • one graphic murder by stabbing
  • multiple non-graphic murders by machine gun

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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