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The Medallion

Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2003 7:27 pm
by Remo D
Or, as the end credits point out over a dozen times, the film originally shot as HIGHBINDERS.

Try to make sense out of this one. Just TRY. If you can explain the specific rules of just what the medallion is and how it works, I'll take my hat off to you. But (surprise surprise) it doesn't really matter--here's Jackie Chan, still giving us some amazing (real) stuntwork, supplanting it with some computer magic (still entertaining in this supernatural context) and relying more than ever on his natural comic charm.

And you know what? It works. We laughed long and loud throughout the whole thing. Yeah, Art Evans can't decide whether to be amusing comic relief or out-and-out annoying, but he was good for some laughs, and I'm still remembering JOHNNY ENGLISH and cutting the routine some slack. Claire Forlani is actually a terrific heroine/sidekick--and then there's Julian Sands as "Snakehead" (what else?). Yeah--magical child, profoundly significant medallion that comes in two pieces, life after death, immortality--you know, that sort of thing.

Okay--perhaps it was cut to ribbons by the distributor. Perhaps it doesn't make sense. But it moves like a rocket, you can never predict exactly where any given scene is going to go, and there's at least one truly excellent (and mostly real) chase scene with some bits that can still make you cringe as Chan seemingly slides through them with ease.

Here's the catch--you're not expecting SUPERCOP, right? Chan has always considered his films to be family films--and we've always made a point of taking our daughter along to his releases--it's just like when my parents would take me to see the Peter Sellers PINK PANTHER films. Chan's easing slightly off the stuntwork and moving himself into character comedy, like he's always said he wanted to do. Nobody can demand that he "earn" his stripes anymore... so if you so much as simply enjoy having the guy around (and we obviously do) then there's great fun to be had here. Others need not apply.