The Medallion (2003)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2011-06-23
Summary: Not good on any level
“The Medallion” isn’t particularly good from any point of view. The action scenes are decent enough even though there is too great a reliance on wire work of the jump to the roof from the ground variety. The comedy heavy lifting (and it does get heavy) is done by Lee Evans as Jackie Chan’s sidekick/foil/rival. His act of officious befuddlement is funny at first but since that is all he brings to the party it gets old quickly. He does have a marvelous comic face. Claire Forlani has a running, unfunny gag in which she slaps Jackie Chan for no particular reason. She is gorgeous—was a face for L’Oreal—and abandoned her not very good Irish brogue very quickly.

Jackie Chan is a charismatic actor with great comic timing (even in comic scenes that simply aren’t funny) and the real screen presence of a true movie star. The action scenes would have been better if there had been fewer of them and they were shorter—once you have scene Jackie Chan wired up and bouncing around you don’t need to see it again. Or at least again and again and again. Julian Sands was wasted as a generic villain, although that is often his fate. He can be brilliant in small roles (“Leaving Las Vegas”) or big roles (“Gothic”) but seems to wind up as he does here with an unmemorable character that is better forgotten. Anthony Wong walked through a role that didn’t deserve that level of interest. Christy Chung was along for the ride as the double secret agent wife of Lee Evans’ character. Alex Bao as Jai accomplished he most important challenge for a child actor: he wasn’t annoying.

The plot is contrived, the writing labored and the characters make cardboard cut-outs seem like the latest in 3-D. It does hurtle along, jumping from an unresolved scene to another that ends before it should, making its 90 minutes seem like no more than an hour and a half.

I can’t think of any reason to recommend “The Medallion”.
Reviewer Score: 3