The Medallion (2003)

the-medallionTaking its cue from “Golden Child” and just about every other fantasy film, a young child, a “chosen one” is chosen to guard the medallion, cue candles, a temple, and guards who are supposed to protect a lethal weapon but are knocked out with a tap on the head, also, cue spooky British villain Snakehead who plans to steal the medallion for immortality, but first he reads from a book at the very start of the film introducing the concept of the medallion in a low spooky British voice: “Every so and so, a child from so and so, is chosen to do so and so, to protect the medallion!” The term “immortality” is hard to define in this film; if you take one half of the medallion you can’t be killed.

Light emerges from your wound and heals you if stabbed or shot, but you’re not really immortal, because you need both halves of the medallion to make you immortal. But after reading so many comics and books as a child, I assumed the fact that you can’t die meant you’re immortal, but I could be wrong. Somehow when the person is killed they’re re-incarnated by the medallion, and their former self blows away like sand. Why? It’s never explained, and it’s not a cool effect. Either way, the movie moves on with Jackie Chan as Eddie Yang as an Interpol agent attempting to capture Snakehead, which is odd, because we’re never told why exactly they want him. We’re never given his history, we’re never given true motivation to why he should be jailed, and he doesn’t even kill anyone in the film, but hey, you know, he’s British, and creepy looking, and sort of looks like that guy from “Warlock”, so he must be bad!

Jackie Chan actually steals from his own animated series, a rather good animated series which is a remembrance of the star Chan used to be. Yang wants Snakehead and decides to go after him on his own after the Interpol agents fail to. Cue horrible comic relief Arthur Watson played by Lee Evans who uses comedy shticks that were funny four years ago as an inept agent who isn’t that skilled, but somehow leads a group of officers on a major sting. I literally groaned every time this man was shown on-screen and he’s just not a good character. Yang is determined to get the chosen child who knows the secret of the amulet which isn’t that much of a complicated secret to begin with, teamed with his old partner Nicole, played by Claire Forlani who is usually good, but is just put to shame as a disposable, bland, and obnoxious love interest who doesn’t sell her fight scenes well.

Somewhere along Columbia and the four, count ’em, four screenwriters it was passed along to, this story was just cut and hacked to pieces creating large gaping plot holes and inconsistencies that are never answered. This isn’t a film per se, it’s bits and pieces of a film that might have been good cut and pasted together to create a horribly edited and badly done film with countless inconsistencies, it was just baffling. What happened between Nicole and Eddie which prompts her to slap him every time they meet? Why is Watson even in the police? Why does everyone make a big deal about the medallion but the bad British dude is sucked into the medallion when he puts them together? That’s not cool to have! Why do Eddie and Nicole remain immortal with superpowers when the medallion is clearly with the chosen one?

Why does Nicole emerge from a dramatic bright heavenly vortex when she’s brought back to life but the other are simply brought back to life without any grand entrance? Why did Watson’s wife, who was basically oblivious about his secret life as an agent have a hidden compartment in her closet filled with guns and shields? Was she an agent, too? Was she just on to his career and stored it there in case? How come it’s never touched upon for the rest of the film? Either way, after my endless parade of questioning plot holes that just stumped me, “The Medallion” is also very badly directed, and the editing is just awful as well. Probably the worst Jackie Chan vehicle to come around in his career, I could pick out three of his better films to watch over this.