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Action superstar Jackie Chan (Rush Hour 2, Shanghai Knights) combines his high-flying style with state-of-the-art special effects as he unleashes the power of THE MEDALLION, the film Roger Ebert gives a big 'thumbs up! Chan plays Hong Kong detective Eddie Yang, who works with the beautiful Interpol agent Nicole (Claire Forlani from Meet Joe Black and The Rock) and the bumbling agent Watson (LeeEvans of Mouse Hunt) to try to rescue a boy from the clutches of the villainous Snakehead (Warlock's Julian Sands). But when a fatal accident ends his life, Eddie is brought back to this world with the help of THE MEDALLION and is supercharged! Now empowered with superhuman strength, Eddie sets out to thwart Snakehead's plan for world domination. Filmed on location in Hong Kong, Thailand, and Ireland. Jackie Chan has got the powerand kicks THE MEDALLION into high gear!
- 15 deleted scenes
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I like this movie mostly because Jackie Chan is in it, and because I love Claire Forlani and her marvelous eyes, and occasionally Lee Evans's oddball, fumbly comedy stylings ("Interpol, freeze!"). Jackie's physicality is as amazing as ever, and the best sequence here may well be his pursuit of a lanky, particularly agile henchman thru the streets of Dublin. When Jackie effortlessly scales that tall gated wall, whew... But THE MEDALLION demonstrates again that a Jackie Chan picture doesn't fare too well with CGI, and this is because Jackie by himself is a walking, breathing special effects. Jackie has performed his own death-defying stunts for so long that any outside embellishments just seems superfluous; it really feels like cheating. As far as his role in the film, I thought Eddie Yang was handling his business pretty well before he gained all these super powers... although, okay, he did end up drowning to death. The first half of the film is fantastic, action wise. Afterwards, the CG stuff takes over and it's a bit much. Jackie Chan by his natural self is a hard chap to kill. His having super powers, it just doesn't seem fair.
Claire Forlani and Jackie Chan achieve this sort of sweet relationship, although their romance is more lukewarm than anything. Chan has better chemistry with Lee Evans, even though Evans stabs him, experimentally, like a billion times in one scene. Some things to look forward to: Forlani (or maybe her double) shows off some martial arts skills and the wife of Lee Evans' character ends up surprising you. And, as ever, stay tuned for the blooper reel during the closing credits.
I mentioned that I occasionally enjoyed Lee Evans's humor, but a bit of him does go a long way. Mostly, the comedy in THE MEDALLION is pretty painful. Julian Sands as the villain fails to invoke that same sinister presence he brought to WARLOCK. I'm also not feeling his showdowns with Jackie. THE MEDALLION is worth a look because of Jackie being Jackie in the first half. Ironically, when Jackie sinks and drowns halfway thru and is then resurrected, it's really from that point that the movie itself really begins to capsize.
Plus she does a lot of her own stunts and is pretty good. Fun film for an evening in.