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Tom Dey

Tom Dey

A pet project of Chan's, "Shanghai Noon" proved a challenge for Dey, who rose to the occasion, dabbling in the Hong Kong action directing style and collaborating with both stars to create a smart, funny and well-paced film that was entertaining to both action and comedy fans alike. While the film was a hit, Dey was disappointed with its opening weekend, though the slightly lower than expected take could easily be attributed to fierce competition from the debut of "Mission: Impossible 2" starring Tom Cruise and directed by John Woo. Still, the longtime commercial director had hoped for a more active role in the feature's marketing and was unimpressed with the trailer, which touted "Shanghai Noon" as a fish out of water broad comedy rather than the charming and sharp buddy film it was.Despite his dissatisfaction with "Shanghai Noon"'s early takes, the studio was pleased enough with the finished product and audience reaction to develop the sequel "Shanghai Knights" (lensed 2002), though Dey did not return as director. Instead the helmer moved on to "Showtime" (2002), arguably a project with even more commercial appeal. Starring box office draws Eddie Murphy and Robert De Niro as a pair of LAPD detectives who become the subject of a reality TV show, "Showtime" took a skewed approach to the buddy action genre not unlike "Shanghai Noon" had done, and like his previous effort, the film relied on strong dialogue and chemistry between stars as much as the requisite fast-paced stunts.
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