"The Medallion" - Movie Review
- Friday, August 22, 2003
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: PG-13 (for action violence and adult humor)
Release Date: August 22, 2003
Actors: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, Lee Evans, Christy Chung, John Rhys-Davies
Director: Gordon Chan
Special Notes: Chan said this movie is a cross between "Ghost", "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" and "Lethal Weapon". Many will recognize a much taller John Rhys-Davies from "Lord of the Rings".
Plot: Eddie Yang (Chan) is a Hong Kong agent who teams up with British Interpol agent Arthur Watson (Evans) (as in Sherlock Holmes' "Watson") to protect a royal little boy and catch an international smuggler named Snakehead (Sands). Ironically, Snakehead’s latest quest is to hunt for the chosen boy who possesses the talent to either bring people back from the dead or add life to their years with an ancient medallion. Legend has it that when two halves of the necklace are brought together in the presence of the chosen one, it can bring immortality and incredible powers to the owner. Naturally the bad guys want the power so Eddie is in a race to find the boy and re-team with his old flame Nicole (Forlani) and old boss Commander Hammerstock-Smythe (Rhys-davies) to get the medallion.
Good: At first I was afraid I wasn't going to enjoy this movie because of the slow start but after about 20 minutes, the story gets funnier and more interesting. The comedic pairing of Chan and Evans combined with the theme of Chan being transformed (by the medallion) into a human that can’t die, makes this movie work on several levels and gives it some very funny and unusual moments. The audience I saw it with was enjoying almost every scene and all ages were laughing. Chan is a unique talent known for his stunt work and Charley Chaplin pratfall comedy, but in this movie he tries something a little different: He combines his phenomenal abilities with special effects moves and the result is an amazing choreographed story that will dazzle the audience with breathtaking scenes.
Bad: I wish I could say this movie is ‘kid friendly’ because Jackie Chan tends to attract younger fans, but its not. Mild language, a few expletives, colorful phrases and martial arts-style violence make this PG-13 more appropriate for preteens and up, rather than younger children. There’s a cleverly written scene where Chan and Evans use dialogue that misrepresents who they are and insinuates that they are having a homosexual relationship but they make it quite clear that they’re not. The violence isn’t bloody or gory but instead consists of many instances of martial arts-style fighting as well as people shooting guns at each other. A few characters are brought back from the dead (by way of magic from the medallion) but the magic is never really focused on.
Bottom line: I took four teenagers (two girls two boys ages 15 to 17) to see this movie and they all loved it! The boys commented on how they enjoyed Chan’s humor and the way he does his stunts and the girls enjoyed the romance element and the fact that a girl got to be a hero as well (Forlani does a lot of her own stunts). If you want a no-brainer popcorn movie with lots of amazing action, stunts and very funny scenes to finish off the summer with, then this is the movie for you to see.
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