Jackie Chan has often played a fish out of water, but he's rarely found himself so far upstream as in this comic adventure, in which he puts his fighting skills to the test in the Old West of the 1850s. Lo Fong (Roger Yuan), onetime captain of the Chinese Imperial Guard, has traded upholding the law for smuggling opium. Needing some operating capital, Lo Fong kidnaps the Emperor's daughter, Princess Pei Pei (Lucy Liu), and takes her to America. When the Emperor sends his best men to find her, Chon Wang (Chan), one of the Emperor's less distinguished guards, insists on joining them; he feels at fault for Lo Fong's capturing the Princess, and he wants to make amends. However, while the rescue party scours the West, Chon Wang gets separated from the group and soon becomes lost. When he crosses paths with Roy O'Bannon (Owen Wilson), a bright but arrogant train robber, the two become unlikely allies. While Shanghai Noon was billed as Jackie Chan's follow-up to Rush Hour, his first successful American-made feature, it was actually filmed in Canada, as was Chan's breakthrough film in America, the Hong Kong-backed Rumble in the Bronx.
by Mark Deming synopsis