Cast: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani,
Studio: Screen Gems
Rating: 7/10

Corporate Line: Jackie Chan stars as Eddie Yang, a resolute Hong Kong cop who suffers a near fatal accident while investigating a case involving a mysterious medallion. Eddie soon discovers that with the powerful medallion in his possession, he gains incredible speed, strength and skills – taking his martial arts abilities to a whole new level. Enlisting the help of British Interpol agent Nicole James (Claire Forlani), Eddie is determined to learn the secret of the medallion and face down the evil Snakehead (Julian Sands) who wants to use its awesome powers for his own nefarious plans.

The Good: Lee Evans, who plays an Interpol agent and Chan’s partner, is hilarious. He steals every scene he is in. Chan is funny as usual. Claire Forlani is chipper, almost too much so – but adorable is never bad. It’s remarkable how much her look and acting remind us of a not-so-interesting recent co-star of Chan’s, Jennifer Love-Hewitt.

As always Chan offers up his usual martial arts hi-jinks. They usually out shine the entire film. This time the film actually has a plot, though the usual fair of bad guy wants to take over the world. Chan never seems to stray from the tried and true action film from opening to close, thankfully his filler is usually more watchable than most. The best aspects of Chan’s films are they are something you can bring your kids and they won’t get bogged down with the film running about 90 minutes.

The Bad: Julian Sands isn’t all that scary as the bad guy. Is it me or are all the henchmen, in every action movie, dumb as a rock? It never ceases to amaze me how the bad guy, Snakehead in this case, is always yelling at his crew for being pathetic. Wouldn’t someone who is supposed to be so smart hire a crew that is not full of imbeciles? The Medallion is hardly the only movie that suffers from this.

Frankly: Jackie Chan has some ups and downs. For every Shanghai and Rush Hour there is a Tuxedo and Accidental Spy. With the Medallion Chan got it right and you have to wonder if this film is a roaring success if we’ll see another sequel. Note: As usual with Jackie Chan films, stay through the credits – this time you are entertained with more than Chan breaking a bone or two.

+ Charlie Craine

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