This colossal rip off of so-many-movies-I-cannot count will go down as one of Jackie Chan’s hokiest films to date. Borrowing from THE MATRIX, THE GOLDEN CHILD, CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, many James Bond Films, and SPY KIDS, THE MEDALLION hardly has an original idea!
To make matters worse, the editing is a little slow on the humor, lingering a little too long on each joke. This may be needed for the Hong Kong audience, but it feels like a vaudeville show where the comedians linger after their lines, hoping for some laughter.
There is a jerkiness to the filming in some places that looks like they could not decide what camera speed to run. Sometimes the action is sped up slightly (common on Kung Fu movies), and other times it is slightly blurred, looking like they had camera problems. Some stunts that did not need wire rigs used them anyway, and instead of looking like “kung fu fighters,” they kind of lurched through the air like a cheap Peter Pan production at the local High School.
The music is just plain irritating. Within five minutes, it was clear the composer was trying too hard to illustrate every second of the movie with not so much as a breath of a pause. He also borrowed from all the movies that were borrowed from visually, stylistically, and thematically, so the music has a stale feel.
The story proposes that once every thousand years there is “one” child who can put together the two pieces of a rare medallion which will cause a new surge of good energy and life, but should it fall into the WRONG hands, then it could be used for immortality and EVIL! Guess what? The medallion and the boy fall into the hands of an evil antiquities collector bent on immortality and surrounded by black leather-wearing henchmen.
Jackie Chan is Eddie Yang, a Hong Kong detective working with Interpol who, with character actor Lee Evans (playing Arthur Watson) and lovely lady Claire Forlani (playing detective Nicole James), must. . . blah, blah, blah, save the world. . . you get the picture.
The only interesting twist is that Chan dies and is resurrected by the young “wizard.” Afterwards, he is immortal and so he can run faster, jump higher than before. Though the resurrection thing is never really explained, nor the extra powers that resulted. Of course, the bad guy, Snake Head, (another unexplained title) played by Julian Sands, dies and is also resurrected, thus equaling Chan’s powers only in an evil, over-the-top way.
The movie tries at humor, but in a lot of cases it falls flat. The redeeming factor is Evans (Mouse Hunt) whose expressions and “prat falls” steal every scene where he appears. This movie has Chan getting the leading lady. The total lack of chemistry between an early fifties Chinese man and a mid twenties English women could not be more obvious.
Claire Forlani (playing Interpol Detective, Nicole James) strains to draw more out of Chan than his nervous little boy smile. Somehow, the audience is expected to believe they are ex-“somethings,” and the fire is re-kindled by fighting a common enemy. Ha.
The end has (surprise), the two immortals fighting to the finish, where two creatures from the medallion (Snake and Fish) magically appear and swirl around the evil man, eventually turning him into a character on the medallion somehow. Nicole, after having a “catfight” (complete with cat sound effects) with an evil Kung Fu bad-girl, dies in the fray, and Chan uses the medallion to resurrect her, and they both fly off into the sky (ala Neo in THE MATRIX), leaving the little boy to walk through a wall and disappear, while the bungling detective Watson stands with mouth agape.
Unless you are in the Jackie Chan fan club, and have to keep your membership current by seeing every movie he has ever made (est. over 120), you may want to avoid this film like a brother-in-law who owes you money. Jackie has definitely done better. The mysticism is so stupid, any halfway intelligent child over 13 will find it “lame”. . . just like the rest of THE MEDALLION!
Please address your comments to:
John Calley, Chairman/CEO
Sony Pictures Entertainment: Columbia and TriStar
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
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SUMMARY: In THE MEDALLION, a rare medallion has the power to cause a new surge of good energy and life – UNLESS it falls into the wrong hands! With lame humor, poor chemistry and other hokey elements, THE MEDALLION might appeal only to the die-hard Jackie Chan fan club members.
(PaPa, FRFR, L, VVV, M) Heathen worldview with mysticism, chanting, Buddhas, temples, resurrection by mystic power, apparitions, supernatural power, everlasting life apart from God; only three mild obscenities; much fighting violence including shooting, stabbing, kicking, punching; no sex; no nudity; and, lying.
GENRE: Action Fantasy