The Medallion isn’t a bad movie and for 88 minutes is fine as a time waster, but compared with other Jackie Chan movies, it’s fairly generic in the stunt work and by the second half, just dumb when Chan gets superpowers which negates some of his trademark stunts, even if they might be run-of-the-mill for the actor. As for the Blu-ray, the video isn’t the best though it is an upgrade over the DVD as is the audio.
Genre(s): Fantasy, Martial Arts, Comedy
Image | PG13 – 88 min. – $17.97 | June 21, 2011
Directed by: Gordon Chan
Writer(s): Alfred Cheung (characters); Alfred Cheung (story), Bennett Joshua Davlin & Alfred Cheung & Gordon Chan & Paul Wheeler and Bey Logan (written by)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands, John Rhys-Davies
Theatrical Release Date: August 22, 2003
Features: Commentary, Deleted Scenes
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (PCM 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Jackie Chan is a likeable guy and probably is still the best in the martial arts subgenre doing most of his own stunts often intermixed with comedy. His debut for American audiences basically came in 1998 with Rush Hour opposite Chris Tucker which spawns two sequels which weren’t great yet still had some charm to them. Since that point Chan would appear in numerous action-comedies with a variety of male comedic actors or leading ladies such as in Shanghai Noon (and its ill-advices sequel, Shanghai Knights) with Owen Wilson, The Tuxedo with Jennifer Love Hewitt and in 2003 it was the generically titled The Medallion with Lee Evans and Claire Forlani.
This story has Chan playing, wait for it, a Hong Kong police detective named Eddie Yang on the case of an international villain – not entirely sure what his deal is – nicknamed Snakehead (JULIAN SANDS) and he’s after a kid with supernatural powers thanks to a magical medallion with power of brining the dead back to life (and vice versa).
With the help of Interpol agents Arthur Watson (EVANS) and Nicole James (FORLANI), who is Eddie’s old flame, they try to track down Snakehead and his minions as they try to get their hands on the kid. In the process, Eddie is killed but then brought back thanks to the kid and the medallion, but he’s not exactly back to normal. Now the slick Eddie basically has superpowers with super speed and is impervious to bullets and other forms of weaponry. Now the three try to stop Snakehead before he utilizes the power for evil and… RULES THE WORLD!
The Medallion is what I would call a safe and harmless movie. No, it’s not very good and in fact for a Jackie Chan flick, for which he also was an executive producer, is fairly generic. Even so, my biggest gripe against the movie is that while we do get Chan’s trademark stunt-work for about half the film where he’s chasing down bad guys by diving over gates or through bars and such, but then once he basically becomes Superman, all of that goes out the window and instead it’s Chan with super-speed or the ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and all that. As much as I’d like to say I watch a Jackie Chan movie for the story, it’s his amazing stunt work which often makes or breaks a movie.
The supporting cast in the meantime fills out their roles well enough though their characters are underdeveloped, especially in Forlani’s case whose character had the most emotional connection to Chan and that relationship comes across as manufactured. Of course, this is a martial arts flick first, comedy second and everything else is tied for a distant third so to that end how the characters were developed didn’t play a big impact on the quality of the film. Where it might is the villain. Snakehead isn’t the most threatening villain I’ve come across in these types of movies but I guess he’s serviceable enough as is Julian Sands, the actor who plays him. Like the plot itself, none of the supporting roles are memorable.
The Medallion was directed by Gordon Chan, a Hong Kong director and was written by a plethora of writers, no less than 5 of them all told and I can see why the movie never quite picks up steam.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.5/5
For whatever reason, although the DVD version got 15 deleted scenes, here we only get 2 Deleted Scenes (2:37; SD), since both feature Julian Sands, I assume it might have something to do with the others featuring Jackie Chan and/or Claire Forlani and Image Entertainment could not retain the rights to use those scenes.
Anyway, there’s also a Producer and Editor Commentary which in itself is an odd pairing since the director was not included (could be a language barrier, though since Gordon Chan is from Hong Kong). The track itself is informative covering various topics like the changing of the title (originally it was Highbinder), the making of the props, the stunt work done and where various scenes were shot.
VIDEO – 3.25/5
Image Entertainment’s latest Sony title is presented in its original 2.40 aspect ratio and in 1080p high-definition. The picture doesn’t look the greatest as it has an almost blotchiness to it. I don’t know if some process was done or if it’s just how it was filmed, but this is not the best detailed HD transfer I’ve seen. That being said, I did compare it to the DVD and there is a slight upgrade.
AUDIO – 3.5/5
Even though the DVD featured a Dolby Digital 5.1 track, here we do get a lossless track but it’s the old PCM 2.0 stereo track. But I must say that it didn’t sound too bad even if some of the gunfire came off as flat as do some of the action sequences, neither of which have a whole lot of depth. The dialogue levels though were crisp and easy to understand.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, The Medallion isn’t a bad movie and for 88 minutes is fine as a time waster, but compared with other Jackie Chan movies, it’s fairly generic in the stunt work and by the second half, just dumb when Chan gets superpowers which negates some of his trademark stunts, even if they might be run-of-the-mill for the actor. As for the Blu-ray, the video isn’t the best though it is an upgrade over the DVD as is the audio. More perplexing however was that 13 deleted scenes were not included on the disc.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2.