Chan’s role comes off as somewhat of a caricature that might well be offensive to Asians, but it’s what he usually offers, and it’s been successful so far. Coogan and De France give solid performances. The best part about the movie is the cameos, however, although Schwarzenegger, who appears in a wig as a lusty Turkish prince, is silly and makes us wonder if he’s in on the joke about womanizing. Like several other scenes that dragged, these needed editing, which would have helped with the film’s length and pacing. The plot is far-fetched and also drags, but the costumes are beautiful.

The film contains a strong message about the importance of creativity, science and the entrepreneurial spirit. There is lots of talk about inventions like roller skates, bicycles and planes that could peak children’s interest in science, if prodded. It might be fun for parents to help their children invent something and apply for a patent – it’s easier than you might think. For more information, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office at www.uspto.gov.

With its portrayal of Lord Kelvin, the film has an anti-authoritarian bent that is reinforced by a scene where children “educate” adults about the meaning of life – yet another instance of a film reversing roles between children and adults. It also has a mystical undertone that will need debunking, with a reference to legends being based in fact (later proven to be true), and a scene where the Chinese worship their ancestors.

Unlike its predecessor, this film won’t garner any awards, and adults aren’t likely to be impressed. But, with a few exceptions, it is decent entertainment for the family.

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