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Superhuman Jackie Chan saves the day, but can't save the movie
15The Medallion (2003)

updated 12 November 2003
reviewer's rating
1 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell


Director
Gordon Chan
Writer
Bennett Joshua Davlin
Gordon Chan
Paul Wheeler
Bey Logan
Alfred Cheung
Stars
Jackie Chan
Lee Evans
Julian Sands
Claire Forlani
John Rhys-Davies
Length
88 minutes
Distributor
Columbia TriStar
Cinema
14 November 2003
Country
Hong Kong/USA
Genre
Action
Comedy
Web Links
Official site



Despite its obvious lifts from Eddie Murphy's 80s adventure outing to Tibet, The Medallion is more Golden Ass than Golden Child. It's a lame slapstick actioner in which Jackie Chan lets CGI effects take the heat instead of his arthritic joints. And who can blame him? At 50-years-old he's getting a little long in the tooth for all that leaping off tall buildings stuff.

"MAGICAL MEDALLION"

Following in the wake of The Tuxedo, in which Chan squeezed into a superpowered dinner jacket, The Medallion offers much the same setup: after being blessed by a little Chinese boy carrying a magical medallion, Jackie finds that - like Popeye munching his greens - he's been blessed with superhuman strength, speed and prowess. All of which proves pretty handy since his chief adversary, international smuggler Snakehead (Julian Sands), has snatched the other half of the amulet and is now hiding out in Dublin (no, it doesn't get any better).

With the help of two Interpol agents (Lee Evans and Claire Forlani), Chan's hot on his trail, careening through Dublin's streets in madcap chases. He punches his opponents through brick walls and generally does the kind of superpowered stuff - to the tune of Stereo Fuse's I Wanna Be A Superhero - you'd expect to see in a comic book. Which is where this idea should have remained.

"APPALLINGLY ROPEY"

In these days of The Matrix, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Kill Bill, there's no shame in enhancing martial arts with some nifty CGI. But Chan's so old and tired he's willing to let the martial arts take bottom billing, opting instead for a series of set-piece effects scenes that are appallingly ropey.

It ends up making the speeded-up, digitally enhanced action scenes (choreographed by HK legend Sammo Hung) seem like an old man's vanity. Which is rather ironic since this is a movie squarely aimed at the pre-teen market.

Find out more about "The Medallion" at
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