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THE MEDALLION

Anyone who’s seen a Jackie Chan movie knows that the plot is superfluous. The real draw is his kung-fool antics — he’s one part Charlie Chaplin and two parts Bruce Lee. But in this action/fantasy/comedy directed by Gordon Chan, the amiable kickboxing clown gets strapped with his most vacuous material to date. After a near-fatal accident, his kindly Hong Kong inspector, Eddie Yang, comes into possession of the title object, which in the right hands can resurrect the dead and endow them with superpowers. But Chan’s Eddie is already superhuman: he can scale walls on the fly, launch himself onto moving vehicles like Spiderman, and do back flips as if he were blowing his nose. Which is why turning his supercop into superman is such an inane idea — it’s like using a jet to cross the street.

Eddie’s foe, known only as Snakehead (Julian Sands), has also been to the grave and come back fortified. What ensues is a listless battery of gaudy slo-mo fights, cheesy FX, and egregious overuse of wire stunts. Claire Forlani tags along as an Interpol cop and spurned lover; British funnyman Lee Evans goes way over the top as the bungling police officer who doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Eddie. (88 minutes)


Issue Date: August 29 - September 4, 2003
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