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3.8 out of 5 stars44
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2004
'The Medallion' is one of those movies to fill a spare hour and a half. As in many action films, the plot is forgotten and essentially it's just a setup for the fights and action. People assume that every Jackie Chan film will have hardcore martial arts fighting, but this is not true. Chan has never been a Kung Fu master, however he's always been a Kung Fool master (not an insult to the man just he's choice of style)which is proved greatly in this movie. The nice thing about this movie is the romantic sub-story. Chan and Forlani have an amazing chemistry, but Chan doesn't play it like a Hugh Grant, he's like a normal guy whcih is interesting to see. This movie is not an epic, but with a title like 'The Medallion' and Chan and Evans in the cast, you shouldn't be expecting one. However it's very entertaining, and a nice one to have in your collection!
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The Medallion aka Highbinders has the distinction of not being quite as bad as many of Jackie Chan's recent disastrous films, but it's not even close to being good either. A big-budget high concept misfire, there's not much visible bang for its buck or even much concept after the studio rejected director Gordon Chan's rough cut and replaced him with Doug Aarniokoski for extensive reshoots: even the deleted scenes on the DVD offer different backstories for the same character in the hope that if they shot long enough they'd find something that would work. The finished film itself suffers from similar schizophrenic moments, with the relationship between its unlikely cop pairing of Jackie Chan and, er, Lee Evans suddenly having a completely new history as soon as the location moves from Hong Kong to tax break filmmaking friendly Dublin.

The premise isn't terribly imaginative to begin with: Chan's Hong Kong cop and Evans' Interpol agent are trying to catch vaguely defined villain Julian Sands and rescue a Golden Child he's kidnapped to harness the power of a medallion that can bestow super powers and immortality. Eventually Chan gets killed only to come back with vaguely defined superpowers - largely relating to bad wire work and poor special effects - and yada yada yada, you've heard it all before. With the plot reduced to its barest elements and the relationship between the two stars a non-starter, all that's left to hold the fort are Sammo Hung's action scenes, but even these are so lazily staged with such a plethora of unconvincing wire work it's no great surprise to find most of them relegated to the deleted scenes bin.

Unfortunately the end result is the kind of film that'll make you look back on even Eddie Murphy's career-stalling The Golden Child as surely not being as weak as this. It's full of gaping plotholes (just why does Evan's screen wife Christy Chung have a hidden armoury in the broom cupboard? Why does Chan's resurrection barely cause a raised eyebrow?), Chan seems to have given up on the film fairly early on and is just going through the motions, a dubbed Anthony Wong is wasted in a throwaway supporting role and matters aren't helped any by Adrian Lee's disgracefully bad nudge-nudge wink-wink score Mickey Mousing every failed joke. But the film's real coup de grace is the catastrophic miscasting of Lee Evans, who veers from the odd vaguely competent moment to the more frequently pitifully abysmal (and that's with his worst scene disguised as a Clouseau-esque Russian captain taken out of the film). There's one okay chase scene in Dublin, though nothing to compare to Chan's earlier triumphs, and a couple of the jokes don't fall completely flat, but the overall impression is of a film that feels like an utterly anonymous failed TV pilot. For a kid's show. And yet it's still less painful to watch than The Tuxedo or Around the World in 80 Days. But don't mistake that for a recommendation...

Sony's DVD has a decent 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, audio commentary by one of the producers and editor and 14 deleted scenes and alternate ending, though apparently there are a lot more where they came from that don't make it to the disc.
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on 22 April 2013
This 2008 Jackie Chan film is about the attempts for a criminal organisation to obtain the Medallion (based on Buddhist concepts) in which Jackie Chan plays a Hong kong detective Eddie Yang who has to protect a young child who is a mystical re-incarnation and a guardian of the medallion from Snakehead as the action moves around the world from Hong Kong to Thailand and then Eire. He is both aided held back by agents Nicole (Claire Forlani) and Watson (Lee Evans) who holds a grudge against Yang as well as being a bit of a bumbler (which provides the comic relief in the film) as the film reaches its denouncement.
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on 7 June 2004
Half Jackie-Chan, a quarter of Lee Evans and a Quarter of CGI. This movie is a tad confusing, and starts off as a classic Chan movie, originally called "HighBinders", then we switch to what appears to be a Lee Evans directed movie, then onto a CGI wires-n-all flick.
It's a mish-mash, but it's hilariously enjoyable. The out-takes at the end seem to include many dozens of deleted scenes, mostly including Lee Evans, which should've been left in. You feel like the director removed some of Lee's role, and it's a shame. However, fantastic fantastic movie. Some dodgey acting by some bit-players at the start, and a lull in the middle, but well worth sticking! :)
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on 23 February 2008
Eddie Yang(Jackie Chan), Watson(Lee Evans) and Nichole(Claire Forlani) set out to try and rescue a boy, who has been guarded all his life in a small temple, from Snakehead(Julian Sands) who wants the medallions powers. Things go terribly wrong and Eddie ends up dying. The boy brings him back to life using the medallion which has special powers. Eddie is then able to do things at super speed and with super strength, he is also unable to die when Watson tries to stab him to death in an attempt to prove that he has indeed got special powers.
Snakehead manages to kidknap the boy again and uses him to make him immortal like Eddie. A fight then follows between the two immortals, complete with a lot of special effects.

I have to say that Lee Evans is always an unusual choice of action for a film but he is perfect for the spoof role that he is playing.
This definately is a spoof film with a mythical feel to it.
Very funny if you enjoy Lee's typical level of humour, if not perhaps this is one to give a miss.
Jackie is superb as ever with various fight scenes and chases. Not his best film ever but certainly good viewing.
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on 28 March 2004
This film is excellent. For the bad criticism that its recieved I think that Jackie Chan fans seem to only like one style of film and fighting. This film is very unique, creative and artistic. The set design and music are fantastic, Jackies acting and English are at its best, and the chemistry between all characters is great. I thought with lee evans the comedy may be a bit over the top for a Jackie Chan film but it was actually very subtle and funny.
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on 14 April 2013
Who would have thought that British comedian, Lee Evans would have teamed up with the legendary Jackie Chan?

This is exactly what happens in this brilliant film about a cop who tries to save a young kidnapped boy. In the process, Jackie suffers a fatal accident, only to be saved by the boy and a strange medallion that not only brings him back to life, but makes him immortal with superhuman powers.

Evans plays an Interpol detective teamed up with Jackie in an attempt to stop the medallion from falling into the hands of the baddie, save the boy and his own family in this highly enjoyable romp.
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VINE VOICEon 24 March 2004
Jackie, what have you done!? I first heard about this movie (originally entitled 'Highbinders') years ago and it seems to have been in production for just about forever! Having heard of the talent involved with the project, Jackie himself, Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan, action choreography by the legendary Sammo Hung, directed by Gordon 'Beast Cops' Chan, even a small role for the gorgeous Christy Chung, I was awaiting it's release with baited breath! Unfortunately I was extremely disappointed - and there is a reason that this film, despite Jackie's box office pull, did not get a cinema release and went straight to video! It's just plain awful! It fails as an action move becuase it relies too heavily on exaggerated wire-work with people 'bouncing' around even before they acquire supernatural powers, leaping down the street like gold medal olympic athletes! And it fails as a comedy because it is so unfunny - Lee Evans makes a complete prat of himself and is extremely irritating! The film just doesn't help anyone's career! 'The Tuxedo' was passable (just!) as it was quite funny in some places but let's hope this isn't the start of a downward spiral for Jackie and doesn't ruin his reputation - let's hope this is quickly forgotten so we can all look forward to 'Rush Hour 3'!
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on 24 June 2014
After the Rush Hour movies and the first Shanghai movie, this is Jackie Chan's best movie. It's a nice change of setting for the film to be in Ireland, but the best thing about it is the action and the comedy. The action is great as always, there is a mixture of stunts and CGI. It's very funny also, mostly from the inspired pairing of Chan and Lee Evans. Recommended
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on 23 March 2004
I am a big hong-kong movie fan and a big jackie chan fan But I was very dissapointed with this film. It had a bad story, bad script and most dissapointingly, bad action, especially considering that sammo hung was Action director (and many jackie chan fans have got to admit that Sammo brings out the best in Jackie). The only thing that was remotely good about this film was the Cinematography. My advice is that wait until it is shown on TV before you watch it.
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