The Medallion
1 out of 5 stars
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Oh dear: Jackie Chan takes another step down the ladder after the dire Tuxedo with this similarly juvenile action movie, which again makes the mistake of augmenting his skills with movie silliness. And giving him a love interest. Here he's a Hong Kong cop named Eddie working with Interpol Agent Watson (Evans) to track the handsome super-villain Snakehead (Sands). At the moment, Snakehead is after a magical child (Bao) who controls two halves of a mysterious medallion with the power to grant immortality. The agents follow Snakehead to Dublin then team up with Eddie's ex-girlfriend (Forlani), also an Interpol agent. And when Eddie has a near-fatal accident rescuing the boy, he wakes up with all sorts of medallion-enhanced powers to help him stop Snakehead. Until Snakehead gets his hands on the medallion. (Snakehead? Who names these people? Surely not his mother!)

This is billed as a wacky action comedy, but there's not a single funny moment, unless Evans acting goofy does it for you (normally maybe, here never). Chan, Forlani and Sands aren't bad, trying their best to speak atrocious dialog as if they mean it. Gordon Chan's direction is just about coherent, but nothing more. And the script is so simplistic that it's almost funny as a spoof. Perhaps it's really another What's Up Tiger Lily, where Woody Allen took a Chinese film and overdubbed it with ludicrously hilarious dialog! One of the writers even inserts a steady stream of gay innuendo, rather odd in a film that's otherwise aimed at 5 year olds. The film's at least whizzy enough with its elaborate chases and battles, including a catfight between Forlani and a random woman who appears out of nowhere. But the main problem is that the super-charged Jackie isn't as interesting as the mere-mortal Jackie. Maybe he feels too old to carry an action film on his own, but he's still more inventive than anyone else out there.

cert PG themes, violence, innuendo 15.Sep.03

dir Gordon Chan
scr Bennett Joshua Davlin, Alfred Cheung, Gordon Chan, Paul Wheeler, Bey Logan
with Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, John Rhys-Davies, Alexander Bao, Anthony Wong, Christy Chung, Johann Myers, Nikki Berwick, Kirk Trutner, Lau Siu Ming
release US 22.Aug.03; UK 14.Nov.03
Screen Gems
03/HK 1h28

Laugh and we'll put it in the end credits outtake reel: Evans and Chan.

chan forlani sands
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2003 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall