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The Medallion

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Medallion

Starring: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani
Director: Gordon Chan
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: August 2003
Genres: Martial-Arts, Action, Comedy

*Also starring: Lee Evans, Christy Chung, Julian Sands, John Rhys-Davies, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Johann Myers, Alex Bao

Review by Steve Rhodes
3 stars out of 4

Time for true confessions. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Jackie Chan fan. His latest, THE MEDALLION, is far from his best, but it's fun. In the film's most exhilarating sequence, Chan, as Hong Kong detective Eddie Yang on assignment in Ireland, takes a simple chase scene and turns it into pure magic with a dancer's timing and unbounded energy. Chan always seems to be secretly channeling Fred Astaire.

"In the fourth month of the year of the snake, a child shall be chosen," Julian Sands, as Snakehead, the story's villain, starts off the film by reading from an old book. The medallion from the film's title is described by one expert as, "the Holy Grail of Eastern mythology." It holds the power of life and immortality and is kept by a kid known only as "the Chosen One." No, it's not Neo.

An Interpol team, led by Arthur Watson (Lee Evans), is hot of the trail of the infamous Snakehead, but Eddie is supposed to be just along for the ride. Of course, Interpol will eventually have to ask for his assistance. Claire Forlani, playing agent Nicole James, is Chan's female sidekick. I had trouble with Evans' brand of slapstick, but I eventually warmed up to him. Forlani is a beautiful actress with a limited acting range who again does her best, which isn't much.

The plot has Eddie developing superhuman powers and the ability to heal instantly from any wound. Clearly written for Chan's inherent and loveable vulnerability, the script has Eddie experiencing the intense pain of fatal injury, even if not the usual terminal results. Eddie is so strong that he accidentally rips off car doors when he is just trying to open them. The movie is no laughfest, but there are several satisfactorily funny moments. And, as per usual, the movie's outtakes outshine the film itself. In fact, it is only in the outtakes that Chan and Forlani demonstrate real chemistry because they stop acting and just start hamming it up together.

THE MEDALLION runs 1:30. The film is rated PG-13 for "action violence and some sexual humor" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

My son Jeffrey, age 14, gave the film ***. He said that it started slow and had trouble pulling in its audience but that, once it got going, it provided good laughs and had an interesting story. Like me, he always loves Jackie Chan.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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