The Medallion (2003)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Target audience: Unknown.

I’ve always respected Jackie Chan for his style of filmmaking and fighting, but for other martial arts fans, some believe the latter part of his career has lessened as he had more focus on family friendly films. As for me, I continue to try to see the bright side. His antics are always there, and his films are always unique, if only a little. The Medallion is a film I remember seeing when I was younger, and I remember actually enjoying it a lot. Watching it again, I could see some major flaws that I would have done differently, truthfully.

This time around, Jackie Chan plays an Interpol police officer that has been after a criminal known as Snakehead. Snakehead has been after a legendary Medallion that apparently grants whoever holds it with eternal life and extraordinary superpowers. The current holder and safe-keeper is a young boy who also seems to have superpowers of some kind. When Jackie Chan’s character ends up saving the young boy, he dies and the boy grants him new life, along with superpowers. Unfortunately, Snakehead gets his evil hands on a medallion as well, and the two face off in the most epic battle of our century…or something.

Overall, I’d have to say this film is clearly geared towards family fun, but that’s not entirely accurate. Throughout the film, there are a lot of innuendo jokes that are more obvious than hidden. I understand family films throwing inside jokes throughout about sex or other adult-centered humor. It’s there in order for the entire family to enjoy the flick. The kids can enjoy the stupid characters and the fight sequences, while the adults enjoy the jokes meant solely for them. That’s not how this film works though, the jokes are more than obvious, and they happen more commonly than they are supposed to. At first, you get a dumb side character made for young people laughs, and the next you have him and Jackie Chan clearly making gay jokes that last longer than they should. For that reason, the film doesn’t even know what audience it is going towards…but I’m inclined to say the whole family just for the overall tone presented.

As I’ve mentioned, I love Jackie Chan, and his unique style of fighting and humor is obviously present here as well, but a lot of the film doesn’t feel very special on its own. It’s about a magical medallion…which feels a bit too stereotypical and cliché than it should. Then, the movie goes over-the-top in regards to special effects and the supernatural. I’m okay with a little supernatural if it’s tasteful, but this goes from interesting to annoying. Then, of course, there’s the problem with side characters that you really couldn’t care for.

Jackie Chan apparently has this way of making movies where he flirts with young and attractive American actresses…and it just doesn’t fit. Plus, the girl is a forgettable and disposable waste of talent. I understand the importance of his partner, Arthur, but his character was way too goofy and cartoonish that he just brings everything down, including whatever potential was left in this film.

Yes, I did rate this film 61%, but my ratings aren’t like everyone else’s. This rating had more to do with how well it was done in general…how it looks, sounds, how it got the message across, how well it translates to a modern audience. That’s all in there. I also didn’t hate the movie, but it appears the only real reason why I remembered this film after 10 years is because it was Jackie Chan and there is fighting.

The Medallion is cool if you’re a huge fan of Jackie Chan and will watch him in anything; not so cool if you are a fan of good movies.

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