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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
The Medallion (2003)

"In the Year of the Snake, a child shall be chosen and, at his touch, the reborn shall be endowed with extraordinary supernatural powers."
- Shankehead (Julian Sands)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: December 21, 2003

Stars: Jackie Chan, Claire Forlani
Other Stars: Lee Evans, Julian Sands, John Rhys-Davies
Director: Gordon Chan

Manufacturer: DVDL
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for action violence, some sexual humor
Run Time: 01h:28m:42s
Release Date: December 23, 2003
UPC: 043396005020
Genre: action

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
C+ D+A-A- C+

DVD Review

There is a moment in The Medallion where all of its first act troubles are let lose, and a classic Jackie Chan sequence take over. The scene features Chan chasing a villain through the streets of Dublin, and it reminds the viewer why Chan continues to thrill, even as he approaches his fiftieth birthday. The thrill soon fades, however, and the remainder of the film turns its back on Chan's abilities, offering nothing more than second-rate CGI work, becoming just another mind-numbingly bad action adventure film.

The plot of The Medallion is perhaps the reason the film fails so miserably. As best I can tell without getting a horrible headache, it deals with an evil villain named Snakehead (Sands) and his ability to walk through life with immortality and invincibility provided that he possesses a medallion as well as a "chosen child" who wears it. When Snakehead attempts to kidnap the child, he is stopped by Hong Kong police officer Eddie Yang (Chan). Soon, Snakehead tries again with successful results, and things shift from Hong Kong to Ireland with Eddie in hot pursuit. When Eddie tries to save the child he dies, but is brought back to life with the help of the medallion—and now Eddie is invincible and immortal.

Int the catalog of Jackie Chan films that is already filled with the type of rollicking action films that are admired by millions, The Medallion serves as a saddening reminder that Chan has turned a corner in his career. He is no longer the wonder that he once was, doing stunts with props and anything else he could find all on his own, as The Medallion has ushered in the use of wires and CGI imagery in an effort to make the master more accessible to younger audiences who have become caught up in the latest craze of wire-aided stunts that defy believability.

And through all of this is Chan, showing flashes of his usual brilliance in some scenes; but the script puts an end to this very quickly. What is the point of Chan doing his work if the writers are going to give him the power of invincibility? Why not hire another actor, since it seems as though the filmmakers do not care about his abilities? It is a lot like doing Hamlet without allowing the actor to speak.

As is the growing trend with Chan's recent films, he is saddled with both a love interest and a partner, but I'm sad to say that Clair Forlani and Lee Evans are not Lucy Liu and Owen Wilson (respectively). A cobbled-together back story involving a former date with Forlani's character as well as an old rivalry with the Evans' character fail to offer any sort of tension that would help to make things interesting.

The Medallion is a mess from start to finish and it is a sorry day when a Chan film can not make me laugh and thrill me over the span of an hour an a half. Unfortunately that day has come.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: D+


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno

Image Transfer Review: The Medallion is presented in both a 2.40:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer and a horribly cropped full-frame image. The widescreen image looks simply fantastic with colors that are vibrant and no bleeding, while the more murky hues of Dublin come off quite nicely with nice depth and virtually no grain. Sharpness and detail are each rendered perfectly, making this one of the most film-like transfers I have seen in quite some time. There are no signs of edge enhancement noticeable throughout. This is one of the better transfers I have seen lately.

Image Transfer Grade: A-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Being a very fast-paced action film, The Medallion offers some nice surround moments with terrific directionality. A gunshot here, an ambient noise there: this is a mix that does not let up. Each of Chan's kicks and punches is met with a thump in the .1 LFE channel, while the left and right speakers do a fine job of presenting the enveloping sound field. Dialogue is crisp and clear throughout with no distortion.

Audio Transfer Grade: A-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 26 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish, Korean, Thai, Portuguese, French with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
14 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
1 Feature/Episode commentary by producer Bill Borden and editor Don Brocho
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: A feature-length commentary with producer Bill Borden and editor Don Brocho offers some nice insight into the making of the film and Chan's legacy, but overall the track is simply an unneeded discussion of just how great the film is. There are some gaps of silence but, for the most part, though the information is rather bland, the two keep the conversation going.

A collection of 15 deleted scenes is offered with several that were included in the overseas release of the film. A rather disappointing alternate ending is also offered, while the remaining deleted scenes add nothing to the overall quality of the finished product and were rightfully excised.

Extras Grade: C+


Final Comments

The Medallion is not the worst Jackie Chan film to come along in the past twelve months as The Tuxedo was a much worse film in every aspect, but just because it is not the worst it is in no way recommended.


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