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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Medallion
Medallion
Columbia/Tri-Star // PG-13 // December 23, 2003
List Price: $26.96 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Shannon Nutt | posted December 14, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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THE MOVIE

Everybody's kung-fu fighting in The Medallion, which of course goes without saying since this is, after all, a Jackie Chan movie. I've had mixed feelings about Chan over the years. I love him as a physical actor – since few can do the kind of stunts (and Chan does most of his) that he does on camera. Yet, his mastery of the English language still struggles after a number of American movies. Now, I don't blame him for this (hey, I can't speak a word of Chinese), but it limits his abilities as a actor in English-speaking films. As a result, the best Chan films have been ones that have teamed him with capable American actors, such as Chris Tucker in the Rush Hour movies and Owen Wilson in the Shanghai Noon films. Therefore, when I tell you Chan's partner in The Medallion is Claire Forlani, that should speak volumes as to why this Chan vehicle doesn't quite work.

The plot (which for some strange reason kept reminding me of Eddie Murphy's The Golden Child, although the stories aren't very similar) concerns a young child who is the protector (or something…I had trouble following!) of a two-piece medallion that will grant eternal life to the person that possess it. Evil Julian Sands (who we know is evil immediately, since Julian rarely plays a good guy) is after the medallion and kidnaps the young boy. Chan plays a Hong Kong cop who must travel to Ireland to team up with an old partner (Forlani) to try and save the boy…but along the way, Chan's character is killed!

Just as I was ready to jump for joy and await the end credits, Chan's character is resurrected by the power of the medallion, and his new body is possessed with superhuman power…thus giving the filmmakers an excuse to show Chan in some unbelievable action sequences – which are easily the best reason to put this DVD into your player.

The movie might have been a better one if all involved just played things straight. But the film has long stretches of slapstick comedy and sitcom-like humor that seem very much at odds with some of the action sequences in the movie. I suppose the director (Gordan Chan) thought he could follow the path of other Chan action-comedies to success. But The Medallion is less of a movie than it is a series of action sequences, interrupted occasionally by some less-than-well-thought-out attempts at humor.

THE DVD

Video:
Viewers will have the option of watching the film in either 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen or in the full-frame format. The transfer is pretty good, with a lot of bright colors and no evident over-saturation of the picture (the opening sequence contains a lot of red, and I was glad to see the color was properly balanced).

Audio
The only English-language track on this title is a 5.1 Dolby Track, which sounds very nice and is aggressive at the right moments (i.e. during the action sequences). Viewers will also be given the option of a 5.1 French Track, as well as either English or French subtitles.

Extras:
Screen Gems has done a nice – if not exceptional – job with the extras on this disc, providing a Feature Length Commentary Track with Co-Executive Producer Bill Borden and Film Editor Don Brochu, that seems to have been recorded just prior to the movie being released in the theaters (during the final dubbing mix for the film) – which probably isn't the best time to record a commentary track, since you're too close to the project at the time and really can't be unbiased.

Also in the extra materials on this DVD are 15 Deleted Scenes, including an alternate ending to the movie. Finally, the disc has a number of Trailers, with the theatrical trailer for The Medallion, plus trailers for Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, The One and XXX.

THE BOTTOM LINE

There's probably just enough here to warrant a purchase for those die-hard Chan fans out there, but for the rest of us – this one's rental material only.
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