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Every 1000 years a child is born who can wield the power of two halves
of a supernatural medallion, which can bestow superhuman strength and
immortality, as well as take life away. Snakehead (Julian Sands), your
typical crook with world domination ambitions, has discovered the
identity of a modern-day chosen child, and pursues him. Meanwhile, Hong
Kong police detective Eddie Yang (Jackie Chan) and Interpol agents
Arthur Watson (Lee Evans) and Nicole James (Claire Forlani) have been
pursuing Snakehead because of his criminal activities, and stumble into
the grander scheme.
While The Medallion is certainly not a film without flaws, it is satisfying on the whole if you approach it as a comic book/cartoon-styled Jackie Chan actioner. The film combines even more genres than that, actually, and there are times when it seems almost to be a spoof of James Bond-styled thrillers. There are also more straightforward comedy elements--especially when Evans is on screen, the film almost becomes a slapstick farce--there are Matrix-styled fantasy/action aspects, and there is a romance subplot. On top of all of that, The Medallion moves very quickly. Director Gordon Chan packs a lot of information into the film and barely pauses for a breath--if you blink, you're likely to miss some bit of crucial action, a plot point, or a joke.
In short, it's a complex stew of different genres, with a mixture of adult themes and childlike lightheartedness, wrapped in a dense mythology of fantasy and served at a non-stop, breakneck pace. Undoubtedly, those qualities will turn off a great deal of viewers, whether because they hate MTV/attention-deficit-disorder-styled editing, genre hopping or a lack of real-world believability. I don't mind any of those qualities, and in fact I tend to prefer films that forgo realism.
I only had two small complaints about The Medallion. One, it took me a few scenes to get up to speed with the film, both plot-wise and in terms of style. Once I got into the groove, though, I didn't want the film to stop--enough that my second complaint is that the film was too short (and in general, I strongly dislike the fact that most films seem to be forced by studios to end within 90 minutes). I wanted to see more of these characters, especially Evans, who stole most of the scenes he appeared in. Jackie Chan fans seeking a return to films that are solely kung fu-oriented will likely be disappointed, but if you have broader tastes, The Medallion might hit the spot. An 8 out of 10 from me.
It has taken Jackie Chan about 27 years, a good 60 movies or so, and a
few near death experiences for him to decide that he can start making
movies that don't regularly involve certain death, thanks to CGI. The
results are not so good. In fact, I'll just say it: 'The Medallion' is
a terrible action movie.
Jackie plays Eddie Yang, a Hong Kong detective chasing a villain named Snakehead (those villains and their crazy names). Snakehead, like all Hong Kong villains is actually English, so when he kidnaps a boy with the power to control The Medallion, Yang follows him to Ireland to reclaim the Medallion and find the child (who just goes to prove, that even if you live in a Buddhist temple in a sewer below Hong Kong, you can still learn to speak perfect English with an English accent).
Seems like 'The Golden Child'? Why yes, yes it does. Its a fun fantasy movie for kids, but anyone wanting to watch an action movie should watch this up until a short cameo appearance by Sammo Hung and then turn it off very quickly. Now I'm not a fan of CGI action, but I assumed that with Jackie Chan starring and Sammo Hung directing the action - two action masters - could still pull of some entertaining action scenes. Apparently not, as 'The Medallion' is only marginally better than, oh, say 'Charlie's Angels 2'.
Fun for kids, but action fans should avoid entirely. I'm being generous when I give this 5/10.
The movie centers a police agent (Jackie Chan) who will face down an
evil baddie called Snakehead (Julian Sands) for the possession a
medallion with an extraordinary power and he wants to use its magic for
his own nefarious plans . Chan and other agents (Claire Forlani and Lee
Evans) will have to face off nasties who are waiting to rule over the
world and obtain eternal youth , but the medallion is carried by a boy
and he hands over one halve to Jackie Chan . As Chan must determine the
secret of the medallion and confront the evil Snakehead who wishes to
use its magical powers for his own nefarious schemes .
From start to finish action pace is interminable , the movie is fast moving and that's why it is amusing and isn't boring , neither tiring . The film blends intrigue , humor , pursuits , frenetic action , struggles and results to be very entertaining . In spite of it , this comedy/action picture failed in the box office and was a real flop. The action by Jackie Chan is proceeded by means of special effects , FX , and wires to difference other films in which he makes his owns stunts . The motion picture has a certain likeness to ¨the Tuxedo¨ similar in extreme powers of Jackie such as : thanks to the 'medallion' and 'tuxedo'. While in the first Jennifer Love Hewitt played as ¨buddy movie¨ couple with Jackie Chan , here plays along with Claire Forlani .
The final showdown between the starring and nasty contenders is astounding and overwhelming although there are made by computer generator FX . The motion picture was regularly directed by Gordon Chan (Painted skin , Fist the legend , Thunderbolt) . After seeing credited director Gordon Chan's rough cut, Columbia hired Douglas Aarniokoski to shoot new sequences and re-edited the film extensively . The yarn will appeal to action-packed buffs and Jackie Chan fans.
Rating : Average 5/10
I liked this movie even though there are way too many holes in the film. If you compare this movie to the Rush Hour movies or Shanghai Noon, you will probably hate this film. I saw this movie with a laidback mind and expecting nothing more than a fun action movie. That is what I got. The story is about a medallion that has two halves. Each half gives superhuman strength to the user, but you have to be dead first. If the halves are combined, you get immortality. Now Chan and his gang of Interpol cops must keep the medallion and the user, a kid away from the people who want to use the medallion for bad. Jackie Chan is very clever in this film. He acts well and adds a bit of comedy. Claire Forlani also did a great job. Lee Evans was so-so. He can be a bit annoying. The special effects sucked. A rule of advice is never add CGI to a Jackie Chan movie. It will make that movie bad. What is the point of the cat meowing? It made the movie even worse. Overall, this is a good family film, even though it's a bit cheesy. I rate this movie 9/10.
In 3 words, awful, awful, awful.
I began watching Jackie Chan movies because it was SO cool that anyone could move like that. He didn't need the stuntmen, he didn't need the CGI, he was just that good. Plus, his movies had a sense of humor that was subtle enough to be funny without feeling you were being hit in the head with a 2x4.
And now this travesty of a movie. The action scenes? CGI'd up to the point that Ben Affleck could pull 'em off. The comedy? Lame, and forced.
As I sat in shell-shocked silence at the end of the movie (having tried desperately yet unsuccessfully several times throughout to go to sleep), all I could wonder is, what was Jackie Chan thinking? :(
Seriously light hearted and filled with wonderful stunts and fight choreography, The Medallion is about as entertaining as an action adventure movie can be. I loved Charlie's Angels because it was fun and loaded with action and The Medallion is no different. You know, there's absolutely nothing wrong with pure entertainment. Anyway, Jackie Chan is backed up by Claire Forlani, who does an "Angels" class job with her character, and the side splitting comedy of Lee Evans as the bumbling Interpol inspector Watson. Julian Sands plays a really good bad guy, as always. By the way, does Julian Sands seem to be getting younger? I mean, he's been making movies for a long time and he certainly doesn't appear to be getting any older. Maybe he should do The Portrait Of Dorian Gray for his next film.
Being a long time fan of Hong Kong cinema and a big Jackie Chan fan, I had
high hopes for The Medallion. Shanghai Knights was pretty good. When I saw
the trailer for The Medallion, it showed Jackie performing as usual plus
cgi crap. But, I wanted to give it a chance. A lot of film experts and
other sources of information gave insight into the movie, and it received
lot of promotion. I thought Jackie would return to his original style in
this one considering his age. I'm going to look at two perspectives of
the pros and cons.
PROS - There were two action scenes where Jackie doesn't do any wire martial arts nor requires cgi involvement during the first half of the movie. Given the fact that Jackie is reaching 50, he can still get down. The female lead was great. Claire Forlani exceeded my expectations of the female character, and her acting wasn't really bad either. She gets to do some martial arts herself (couldn't stand Jennifer Love Hewitt in The Tuxedo egh!!!). Lee Evans provides the comic relief along Jackie's martial arts and stunt work. I liked the way Hong Kong and American filmmakers collaborated to do the film. Look out for veteran Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong in a supporting role as the bad guy.
CONS - The cgi incorporated into the film just didn't do it for me. Filmmakers can't use cgi for everything. I'm tired of seeing people running through trees and jumping over things that's not possible in reality. The plot in the film had to many holes and seemed to be rushed at times. Jackie's acting didn't seem to fair well including the chemistry between him and Claire. It seemed to dull. Julian Sands wasted his time in this film. Hope he takes this as a lesson learned. Bey Logan's writing skills needs a brush up before he can continue on in my opinion. I hope he doesn't utilize the same form in the upcoming movie, Kung Fu Master. The mystical kid in the movie annoyed me too much, and he only said two sentences throughout the whole movie. Repeating the Golden Child theme is just ridiculous.
All in all, the movie was alright. Compared to Jackie's recent American releases, this better than The Tuxedo but less than Shanghai Knights. Jackie doesn't have to take every movie offer he can. Take a break and come back with the Police Story series or something. This is a type of movie that can only be seen once or twice if you want to consider your judgement about the movie.
My final vote 6/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recap: Police officer Eddie Yang traces known gangster Snakehead to
Ireland after Snakehead kidnapped a holy kid in Hong Kong. According to
the myth, the kid, with a certain medallion, can resurrect people and
give them superpowers (like immortality). Yang, and his colleagues
Watson and James, tries to free the kid as Snakehead tries to smuggle
the kid into Ireland on a boat. The result however is that the kid and
Eddie falls in to the water, trapped in a container. Eddie drowns, but
saves the boy, and in return, the boy later resurrects Eddie. Now,
Eddie, with superpowers must stop Snakehead once and for all.
Comments: I thought they really had something going there. Started out nice. As I expected, a lot of martial arts and fights, all nicely choreographed and with augmented with extra aids (like wires), of course, but still with a good feeling and some nice touches. The story was nothing fancy, but they had found the balance in the fights. Just enough fancy kicks and jumps. Action director Sammo Hung and Jackie Chan were onto something here. Then came the superpowers. Then everything went just silly. The balance went right out the window (along with Jackie Chan/Eddie Yang actually). Instead of nicely choreographed fights we get ridiculous fights with a lot of special effects. Net result; Silly. And the story didn't get any better either.
Jackie Chan delivers what is expected of him, he does what he usually does. But I can't do anything but wonder why the character Arthur Watson is in the movie? To add some comic element apparently, as that was needed. Watson is annoyingly clumsy, petty and incompetent and has mysteriously risen to a high position within Interpol. Evans plays the part well, I guess he does what is asked of him, but again, why is the character in the movie? Claire Forlani got the role of Nicole James, agent/love interest, of Eddie Yang. Though Nicole is much more competent than Watson she is clearly side-stepped both in the movie and with the virtual Interpol. Therefore her role is small, her potential and talent not used, her major part is as the one taking care of the kid (Doh, she's a woman - and this is a boring stereotype). She gets to show her skill in martial arts a few times though, showing she (or her stunt double - some shots make it easy to assume she has one) got them. Her only major fight though is, of course, against the female bad guy (to the sound of screeching cats... oh, come on!).
So, the beginning was promising, the second "half" disappointing. On average a 5.
"The Medallion" has a pretty good first half: there are enough scenes to prove that Jackie Chan's still got it, from a fight aboard a ship (where he ties a guy's arm to his leg using his own shoelaces and a piece of clothing!) to a fun freewheeling foot chase, and other minor stunts. But after Jackie "dies" and comes back equipped with superpowers, there are no more real fight scenes for him: they are all special effects - enhanced and wired. From a pure martial arts perspective, Claire Forlani's close-quarters fights near the end are the best that the second half of this film has to offer (more proof that Sammo Hung can make anyone look like a genuine martial artist!). The story is basically a rehash of Eddie Murphy's "The Golden Child", and it has a rushed feel to it (it's probably no coincidence that the DVD contains about 15 deleted scenes). But the cast is likable: Forlani is utterly lovely, Julian Sands is ideally cast as the immortality-seeking villain, and Jackie is always Jackie. "The Medallion" will probably disappoint most martial arts fans, but those who like the main actors will definitely get some enjoyment out of it. (**)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not only does Jackie Chan produce some of the best action sequences of
year, he produced 'The Medallion,' literally. The result: a modern
movie that retains its eastern heritage. This movie feels like one of
Chan's early re-releases. Those films, produced for Asian markets and
imported to the US Big Screen, had the feel of a 70's Bruce Lee movie.
only thing keeping 'The Medallion' from fitting the mold of the past is a
heavy injection of 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' special effects.
The movie starts out slow, spending a great deal of time introducing characters and establishing back-story. Some of the early scenes must have ended up on the cutting room floor because there is a very confusing abrupt jump to the future after the first sequence. After regaining my senses, I realized the scenes in early Hong Kong were over-dubbed, a very cool homage to the films that made Chan popular in this country. The movie is lightly sprinkled with nearly disappointing action sequences until the power of the medallion is finally revealed.
From that point on the movie is full throttle and works on every level. Mixed in with all the newfound action is a ridiculously silly plot, incredible gags, and for good measure a slap (courtesy of Claire Forlani) of romance. After the back-story scenes ended and the action picked up, I stopped caring that everything that followed completely defied logic. The film became so blatantly over the top that my suspension of disbelief circuits overloaded. I just sat back and enjoyed the film for what it was: one of Chan's best.
The film knows its role. It tries to be nothing more than the fun filled action romp it is. It is great to see that Chan play the buddy role with actors other than Chris Tucker. In this case he does it with three of them. Lee Evans steps up and is hilarious as the bundling Interpol agent Watson. The only disappointment is that we don't get more of an explanation of his home life (you will understand this complaint after you see the film).
I don't see how anyone could not like this film. The advanced screening audience was very diverse and all applauded when it ended, and again after the out takes (like always they were hilarious). I highly recommend it and will see it again when it opens nationwide.
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