HOME   News   Reviews   Adv Search   Features   My DVD   About   Apps   Stats     Search:
  Directed by
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.40:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Hungarian: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Russian: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • Commentary - English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  Subtitles
    English, Czech, Greek, Polish, Hungarian, Russian, Dutch, Icelandic, Croatian, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hindi, Romanian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Commentary - English, Commentary - Dutch
  Extras
  • 14 Deleted scenes
  • Audio commentary
  • Alternate ending

The Medallion

Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 85 mins . M15+ . PAL

  Feature
Contract

At first I was in jaw-dropping amazement that a film could use such cruddy slapstick to attempt to wring a dry (heave) laugh from its audience. Then I realised that this film must have been made with kids as the target and my tense body relaxed and I enjoyed things a bit more.

This isn't to say that adults canít enjoy it, for I did once I got past the hurdle of thinking this was a regular Jackie Chan movie. It seems the kids around the world canít get enough of the Jackie Chan stuff. Heís fun, he kicks serious arse every time he fights anyone and heís always good for a laugh. Big kids like him too and why not?

Our film story is a bit simple, but thatís okay. We follow the exploits of Eddie Yung (Chan) working out of Hong Kong with Interpol to try and catch Snakehead (Julian Sands). This dude wants a medallion that, when used with the power of a chosen child, can grant eternal life. Between Eddie and bumbling secret agent Watson (Lee Evans), and Nicole (Claire Forlani) a dead sexy other secret agent who had a thing on with Eddie a few years back, they gotta catch Snakehead before he lives forever and makes it really hard to catch him.

"Welcome, Chosen One!"

Unfortunately, Eddie gets wasted soon into the piece and gets brought back to life with the kidís help and the power of the medallion. Now Eddie is supercharged and suddenly has the power of ten Hong Kong law enforcers. Snakehead is gonna pay Ė but not before a classic series of over-the-top stunts and fight scenes, of course.

On that note, the fight scenes are absolutely riddled with wire-fu. This isnít always so bad and sometimes works very well, but here it is clunky and more than obvious to even the most inexperienced of viewers. I wish theyíd realise down Hollywood way that the wires aid a character in defying gravity. Gravity is most definitely a constant and to remove it for even a millisecond is to appear obvious. When you remove it for seconds on end, itís more than just obvious, itís stupid. And we can all tell, because we have learned within us from an early age at what speed things react to gravity and itís always apparent when it is messed with.

Oh well. As far as kidís entertainment goes this is good solid fun and stuff theyíll obviously enjoy. The plot seems to be very similar to the one that drives the Jackie Chan Adventures animated series, which again leads me to believe they are related in being aimed at the kids (plus they both have the same release date of March 16). Still, itís good clean fun with Jackie getting to make out with Claire Forlani, and what guy could begrudge a fella that? Not me, anyway.

  Video
Contract

Made last year and delivered here in 2.40:1 with anamorphic enhancement, the film looks fairly good overall. There are some minor instances of film artefacts popping up here and there, but nothing extreme with colours even and blacks true. In fact, the colours are sometimes deliberately overly dynamic lending the film a cartoon quality at times. This is particularly handy when Evans is doing his most slapstickhead performances. Flesh tones are fine, including the post-death Jackie (and others) with their whiter shade of pale makeup on.

The layer change comes across relatively smoothly at 57:56 between scenes with no interruption to audio, but a mild pause on the last frame. Shadow detail is good and the computer effects and animation are also quite nice. At least they're way better than the wire-work. Otherwise a decent transfer that looks as good as a recent film should.

  Audio
Contract

While granted us in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround, the surround workout isnít the most exciting Iíve ever heard. The music gets around there a lot, but as to the action scenes, well, not always great. Still, the sound is well delivered and devoid of any hissing or garbage like that. The subwoofer gives some serious resonance to the music anyway, particularly the drums in the action scenes. Of note, the Adrian Lee score here seems largely inspired by that of the Indiana Jones films and thatís okay; the lone hero pursuing an ancient artefact theme runs throughout anyway.

Dialogue is all fine, including Jackieís halting grasp of English, although there have been some characters dubbed into English, it is assumed from their native Chinese. These moments are harder to spot, but in the Asian gent in the bowler hat and glasses, harder to miss. Sound effects are comic for the most part, or dramatic or whatever depending on the impact of the scene's intent.

  Extras
Contract

Not a great deal, with a rather excitable pair lending their vox to the audio commentary for the film. We have co-producer Bill Borden and editor Don Brochu speaking their minds here and they do have some insight and a certain presence to the commentary. However, they are a little disappointing when we consider how good it would be to have a Jackie Chan commentary or even have Ms. Forlani contribute.

14 deleted scenes follow and these are in various stages of treatment with poor rendering and timecodes about. Interestingly, the film was called Highbinders before being changed to The Medallion and this is apparent on the clapperboard for each scene. They are also un-enhanced but play in 2.35:1. The final scene is an alternate ending which is devoid of the CG effects it so desperately needs to make it work right and is a crappier ending than the already sorta crappy ending in the film.

  Overall  
Contract

Itís a Jackie Chan film, so we shouldnít expect rocket science and thankfully we donít get it. There are plenty of Jackieís trademarks lingering throughout, although the film also seems devoid of them at times too. Possibly this is due to the fairly large assembly of name-brand supporting cast who demand screen-time, I dunno.

At any rate, the film is fun while being aimed squarely at the kids but has enough style in it to keep any grown-ups watching amused for 85 minutes. Oh, and Jackieís usual outtakes litter the credits and are good for a laugh, as always.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3818
  • Send to a friend.

    Cast your vote here: You must enable cookies to vote.
  •   
      And I quote...
    "The ageless Jackie Chan still moves like a tiger and makes out with Claire Forlani. Who wouldnít want to be like him?"
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          Sony 68cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
      Recent Reviews:
    by Jules Faber

    Narrow Margin
    "Gene Hackman as an action star? It happenedÖ "

    A King in New York: SE
    "Taking a poke at too many demons makes this film a little stilted and not among his best works"

    A Zed and Two Noughts
    "Is it art or is it pornography? Who cares? Both are good."

    Blake's 7 - The Complete Series One
    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

    Heavens Above
    "While not amongst some of Sellersí more confident roles, this one is still up there amidst the more subtle of themÖ"

      Related Links
      None listed

     

    Search for Title/Actor/Director:
    Google Web dvd.net.au
       Copyright © DVDnet. All rights reserved. Site Design by RED 5   
    rss