CZ12 (Chinese: 《十二生肖》; pinyin: Shí-èr Shēngxiāo), also known as “Chinese Zodiac”, is a 2012 Hong Kong comedy starring and directed by Jackie Chan. This is the third film in the series, which began with “Armor of God” (1986) and its sequel “The Armor of God II: Operation Condor” (1991). The movie was released in December 2012, and grossed more than US$145 million at the box office in China. Chan won two Guinness World Records for “Most Stunts Performed by Living Actors” and “Most Credit in a Movie”. This film won the Best Action Choreography Award at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards.
The film begins with the story of the Old Summer Palace and the robbery and destruction of British and French soldiers during the Second Opium War. Among the stolen treasures, the bronze heads of the Chinese zodiac animals.
Today, the auction price of each bronze head is millions of euros. MP Corporation is the main company that provides bronze heads and other stolen artifacts. MP Corp commissioned JC (Jackie Chan) to find the remaining bronze heads, and promised that if he can take all the bronze heads back, he will get 10 times the bonus. JC visited Professor Guan, and Professor Guan created 12 identical copies in the name of his researchers for research purposes.
When JC is alone, he uses special gloves to scan the heads of multiple bronze statues of the Chinese zodiac so that his secret organization can replicate extremely realistic models. After scanning, he went to Paris and found a woman named Coco recommended by Guan to learn more about the whereabouts of the two bronze heads.
JC and his partners Simon (Kwon Sang Woo), David and Bonnie infiltrated a mansion together and found two bronze heads. JC managed to decrypt the password into a top-secret vault and found two copper heads, a painting named “Rose”, and many other precious national treasures believed to have been lost inside. JC’s cover was quickly destroyed, but he managed to escape the capture of all valuables. However, he was discovered by Cocoa.
Without time to explain himself, he told Coco to see him in the houseboat while escaping from the mansion security. In the houseboat, Martin told Coco that he was working in a secret company that was trying to recover all the lost cultural relics for China. The guards of the mansion burst into the houseboat and tried to attack JC. However, the police were called and they were all arrested. JC, Coco and Simon were all cleared of any misconduct and released.
Coco, JC and his team were invited to a castle owned by a lady named Catherine (Laura Weissbecker) without realizing that the guards of the mansion were dragging them out of doubt. It turned out that the captain of one of the ships that took part in the destruction and looting of the Old Summer Palace, “Indestructible”, was Catherine’s great-great-grandfather. This disturbed Cocoa, who confronted Catherine on this issue. JC and his team found many precious treasures in the castle, including the bronze head of a rooster, and made a series of plans to transport them out. JC assured Catherine that he would help her find the remains of her great-great-grandfather.
The next day, they ventured to find an indestructible treasure on a seemingly uninhabited island. JC instructed Coco and Catherine to stay behind while his team explored the island. However, Coco and Catherine disobeyed JC’s orders and searched for the body of Catherine’s great-grandfather. They are entangled in vines, forcing JC to rescue them.
While excavating the remains of great-great-grandfather, the team accidentally discovered indestructible remains, more bronze heads and large amounts of gold. When they were about to leave with all the artifacts, they faced the guards of the mansion. In turn, local residents on the island, a group of pirates, appeared and quickly captured everyone. JC and his team fought hard and escaped the island through logs equipped with a pulley system, leaving five guards with pirates.
After riding the yacht, Coco unexpectedly discovered the true motive of JC’s adventure and confronted him. Subsequently, about eight tons of gold sinks were loaded on the logs. Nevertheless, JC and his team were rewarded for recovering some of the lost bronze heads. When they discovered that the so-called “missing person” bronze head had been in the hands of MP Corp, they were so annoyed that they could not claim huge bonuses.
At the same time, the protests of Coco and her classmates about the sale of national treasures escalated rapidly and attracted worldwide attention. When Coco’s students tried to find more information about MP Corp, three of them, including Coco’s younger brother, were captured. After Coco asked JC for help, JC contacted MP Corp and asked if it provided “The Roses” artifacts and was allowed to enter the secret place. After visiting the entire factory, JC inferred the location of the captives. Almost all exact replicas in the factory will be sold at auction as authentic artifacts.
He fought against the unscrupulous treasure hunter Vulture, a long-time rival who happened to be there, but ended up in a deadlock. JC negotiated with MP Corp to sell the “The Roses” painting at a reduced price and ensured the release of three hostages. When MP Corp refused, JC raced against time. In the ensuing battle, because a guard’s baton broke a tube and the furnace exploded, most of the facilities were destroyed. Then, JC decided to release the three hostages in exchange for oil paintings without paying for the damage to the house.
At the same time, it is expected that the dragon bronze head will get the highest price at the auction, but due to increasing pressure from militant groups, no one bids. In order to teach these groups a lesson, MP Corp threatened to throw the relics into an active volcano. If the bid is not received by 12:00 noon the next day, it calls the task “let the dragon flies fly.” The deadline passed, and without a bid, the condor led three divers to throw the relic into the volcano. JC intervened to prevent the relic from falling into the volcano and was seriously injured in the ensuing aerial battle.
In tribute, Vulture handed over the relic to the huge JC. The owner of MP Corp was arrested for possession of the “rose” painting. Saw JC recovering in a hospital and in good condition with everyone including Vulture. The movie ends with JC kissing his wife, who visits him in the hospital.
From April 18 to May 2, 2012, Jackie Chan filmed several scenes in the Latvian Aerodium vertical wind tunnel in Jelgava, Latvia. Filming was also taken in France, Mainland China, Taiwan and Vanuatu. Chan performed most of the stunts and personally fought with the strong support of the stunt team. Jean-Yves Blondeau, the inventor of the skating suit, trained Chan to use the suit for the body referral sequence in the movie. This movie was made using IMAX 3D at the same time.
The film’s grand premiere was held on December 12, 2012, followed by a release in Asia on December 20, 2012 and India on December 28, 2012. It was initially announced that the film will be released in American theaters in the summer of 2013. It was edited by Jackie Chan himself for about 20 minutes to optimize the playback speed and content for North American audiences. This release date was postponed to autumn. The re-edited version was exclusively screened by the AMC Theater on October 18, 2013 for theatrical exhibition.
Jackie Chan as JC a.k.a. Martin
Kwon Sang-woo as Simon
Liao Fan as David
Helen Yao as Coco
Zhang Lanxin as Bonnie
Laura Weissbecker as Catherine de Sichel
Pierre-Benoist Varoclier as Léon
Jonathan Lee as Jonathan Lee
Vincent Sze as Michael Morgan
David Torok as Bodyguard of Michael Morgan
Max Huang as Bodyguard of Michael Morgan
Alaa Safi as Vulture
Pierre Bourdaud as Pirate
Emmanuel Lanzi as Henchman
Rosario Amadeo as Pierre
Pierre-Benoist Varoclier as Léon
Wilson Chen as Wu Qing
Steve Yoo as Pirate Chief
Ken Lo as Pirate
Oliver Platt as Lawrence Morgan
David Serero as the bodyguard
Caitlin Dechelle as Katie
Marc Canonizado as Marc
Bo-yee Poon as Lawrence’s Assistant
Shu Qi as David’s wife (cameo)
Daniel Wu as Doctor (cameo)
Joan Lin as JC’s wife (cameo)
Kenny G as Airplane pilot (cameo)
Hong Kong : 12 December 2012 (Hong Kong International Film Festival)
China : 20 December 2012
Hong Kong : 20 December 2012
Malaysia : 20 December 2012
Singapore : 20 December 2012
Vietnam : 20 December 2012
Taiwan : 28 December 2012
Cambodia : 3 January 2013
Cambodia : 3 January 2013 (Legend-Cinema Cambodia)
India : 4 January 2013
United Arab Emirates : 10 January 2013
Bahrain : 10 January 2013
Kuwait : 10 January 2013
Philippines : 30 January 2013
Kazakhstan : 31 January 2013
Russia : 31 January 2013
Ukraine : 31 January 2013
Estonia : 1 March 2013
Latvia : 14 March 2013
Turkey : 5 April 2013
Japan : 13 April 2013
Greece : 2 May 2013
Lithuania : 10 May 2013
Russia : 20 May 2013 (TV premiere)
Kazakhstan : 25 May 2013 (TV premiere)
USA : 18 October 2013
Germany : 31 January 2014 (DVD and Blu-ray premiere)
UK : 2 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
France : 10 June 2014 (DVD and Blu-ray premiere)
Finland : 11 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
Hungary : 11 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
Sweden : 11 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
Australia : 12 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
Italy : 18 June 2014 (DVD premiere)
Spain : 29 August 2014 (DVD and Blu-ray premiere)
China : 20 July 2020 (re-release)
Also Known As
(original title) : Sap ji sang ciu
Australia : Chinese Zodiac
Brazil : Operação Zodíaco
Bulgaria (Bulgarian title) : Китайски зодиак
Canada (French title) : Le zodiaque chinois
China (Mandarin title) : 十二生肖
Finland (DVD title) : Chinese Zodiac
France : Chinese Zodiac
Germany : Armour of God – Chinese Zodiac
Greece : Chinese Zodiac
Hong Kong (Cantonese title) : 十二生肖
Hungary (alternative title) : Műkincs hajsza
Hungary : Műkincs hajsza
Italy : Chinese Zodiac
Japan (English title) : Rising Dragon
Japan (Japanese title) : ライジング・ドラゴン
Latvia : Dieva bruņas 3: Misija Zodiaks
Lithuania : Operacija: Zodiakas
Mexico : Operación Zodiaco
Norway : Chinese Zodiac
Poland : Chiński zodiak
Portugal : Operação Zodíaco
Romania : Zodiacul chinezesc
Russia : Доспехи Бога 3: Миссия Зодиак
Spain : Chinese Zodiac: La armadura de Dios
Sweden : Chinese Zodiac
Taiwan : 十二生肖
Turkey (Turkish title) : Çin Falı
Ukraine : Обладунки Бога 3: Місія Зодіак
UK : Chinese Zodiac
USA (informal title) : Armour of God III
USA (short title) : CZ12
Vietnam : 12 Con Giáp
World-wide (English title) : Chinese Zodiac
World-wide (English title) (complete title) : Armour of God III: CZ12
Hong Kong, China
Jackie Chan (singer)
JCE Movies Limited
Emperor Classic Films
Emperor Dragon Movies
Jackie & JJ Productions
Emperor Motion Pictures
Jackie & JJ Productions
Universal Pictures (USA)
12 December 2012 (Gala premier)
20 December 2012