Review by: Jack Foley | Rating:
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: None listed
IT has not been a good year for Jackie Chan movies. The jovial
entertainer has misfired spectacularly with the ill-suited The
Tuxedo, entertained only moderately in the overlong Shanghai
Knights, and now bombs again in The Medallion.
Billed as a film which combines the martial arts prowess of its
international action superstar with state-of-the-art special effects,
The Medallion is actually an all-too mundane, and frequently quite
shabby, affair, that squanders its biggest selling factor.
I said, following the release of The Tuxedo, that using special
effects to enhance Chans fight scenes was a
waste of time and spectacle, yet director, Gordon Chan, insists
on doing the same, reducing the impact of the sequences, and succeeding
only in making his star look too old for much of the mayhem.
A hopelessly miscast support team also do much to hinder proceedings,
while the obvious nods to movies such as The Golden Child feel
a little lazy, especially as Chan is no Eddie Murphy when it comes
to wise-cracking his way through the lulls in proceedings.
The plot finds Chan as Eddie Yang, a typically resolute Hong
Kong cop, who suffers a near fatal accident while investigating
a case involving a mysterious medallion, but who becomes resurrected
with special powers, including the ability to absorb bullets.
Enlisting the help of British Interpol agent and former love-interest,
Nicole James (Claire Forlani), as well as the bumbling Watson
(Lee Evans), Eddie determines to learn the secret of the medallion,
protect the life of the young boy protecting it, and face down
the evil Snakehead (Julian Sands), who wants to use its powers
to secure world domination.
The Medallion is clearly designed as an action vehicle to appeal
to the younger generation, but occasionally feels a little too
adult in its depiction of violence. It does manage to conjure
the odd smirk, particularly through Chans use of self-deprecating
humour, but is all too frequently found wanting in just about
There isnt an action sequence which stands out, or a performance
worth noting, making this a tediously long 90 minutes, in which
nothing much happens barring one repetitive chase sequence after
It has often been said that Chans movies are only as good
as his co-stars, and, in the case of The Medallion, he has really
struck out. Evans is completely miscast as the bumbling Interpol
agent, while Forlani appears star-struck most of the time, which
gets in the way of any type of performance.
Sands, too, appears bored as the villain of the piece, no doubt
attempting to play on his Warlock persona of days gone by, while
the secondary baddies hardly seem like worthy adversaries for
even an ageing Chan.
And when the out-takes fail to carry their usual verve, you just
know you have witnessed a particularly bad movie.