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Gordon Chan's The Medallion
revolves around the scheme of a master criminal, Snakehead (played by Julian
Sands in his usual sneering, overdone, and grating style), to obtain a
medallion kept by a boy monk which is able to bestow immortality and superhuman
powers. This insidious villain is, however, opposed by Eddie Yang (Jackie Chan), a Hong Kong police officer, and by two
British agents, Nicole James and Arthur Watson (Claire Forlani and Lee Evans).
After Eddie is killed protecting the boy monk, the latter uses the medallion to
revive him and grant him supernatural powers, with the help of which the
policeman is able to continue his fight against Snakehead.
The Medallion is a little different
from most of Jackie Chan's other films. The quality of the acting is usually
better. The production values are generally higher. The plot is actually fairly
cohesive. The action sequences, though never thrilling, are more technically
complex and even include the use of wire work and other special effects.
Nevertheless, even though the film surpasses many of Chan's other efforts in a
variety of ways, it is no more entertaining than are most of those movies and
is far less enjoyable than are his best works.
What is more, while it may be better made than are many of
Chan's earlier films, The Medallion is, in fact, consistently mediocre.
There really is very little in the movie for which it can either be praised or
faulted. Admittedly, the characterization of Watson is inconsistent, the
computer generated effects are less than inspired, and Sand's acting and
fighting skills are not impressive, but compared with the flaws of most of
Jackie Chan's films these problems are very minor.
Fans of Jackie Chan may not enjoy the film because it does
stray from the actor's usual formulas in several ways, but it is no worse than
a good number of his other films. The Medallion is an entertaining
action movie made a little more enjoyable than most by Chan's likeable on
Review by Keith Allen
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