PCR past banners
Now in our fourth calendar year!
PCR # 178  (Vol. 4, No. 34)  This edition is for the week of August 18--24, 2003.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"The Medallion"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Half star

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"The Cosmic Muffin"....Sole Surviving Boeing 307....Clyde and Niki Butcher's Labor Day Gala 2003
by Will Moriaty
"The Medallion"
by Mike Smith
"Football for the Sensitive Types"...."Happy TV!"...."Couch Potato Picks"
 by Vinnie Blesi
"Remembering River Phoenix"
 by Ashley Lauren
The Golden Ticket....Smell That?....Too Much Time On Her Hands....Is It My Breath?....What!! No Mike Post?
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2003
Archives 2002
Archives 2001
Archives 2000
Email PCR

Screen Gems     
Starring: Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani, Julian Sands and John Rhys-Davies
Directed by: Gordon Chan
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 48 mins

How can I best describe The Medallion? I think it was Bob Euker, as sportscaster Harry Doyle in the film Major League II, who summed it up best. Commenting on a film made in the off-season by one of the ball players, Doyle said, "I didn't get to see it, but I hear it was in focus."

Not sure if it wants to be a comedy, drama or straight out martial arts film, The Medallion jumps all over the screen in so many different directions that it makes sense that five people wrote this film. Too bad they all seemed to be in separate rooms when they did it. Chan is a Hong Kong policeman who is assisting Interpol in tracking down a criminal (Sands). They don't know what his plan is, or even what he looks like, but they know he's a bad guy. His plan is to obtain an ancient medallion, and the child who possesses it, so he can become immortal. Leading the Interpol team is Agent Watson. Watson is played by the hilarious Lee Evans, who displayed his comedic talents in such films as Something About Mary and Mousehunt. Unfortunately, his fall down funny slapstick humor is the last thing the leader of an Interpol assault team needs. Of course, the bad guy gets away with the boy and Chan and company are now off to Ireland. Enter Forlani as another Interpol agent, this one with a romantic past with Chan. Their bickering, intended to be witty, is just annoying. They both contact Watson at his home, where he lives with his very quiet wife and child, who are convinced he is a librarian. So far, so good. Unfortunately there is another hour of movie left. Through a series of unbelievable plot twists, Chan becomes the immortal one. Not only can he not be killed, he also has turned into the nearest thing to Superman on film since Christopher Reeve. And this is the most believable twist. Honest. Don't believe me? Try these:

a. Nobody in Ireland has an accent, except the little Chinese boy, who speaks like he grew up in London.
b. Forlani has an English accent, unless she gets excited. Then she's a good old American.
c. You can spend several hours underwater trapped in a flooded shipping container provided you hide inside an inflatable rubber tent. I'm not kidding!
d. You're quiet wife, when provoked, will break out automatic weapons and riot gear, kick a lot of bad guy butt, and NEVER let you know why or how she did it.

Even the outtakes, which are sometimes the best part of a Jackie Chan film, fail to impress. In the past, they have shown the many different stunts that Chan, who always took pride in doing his own stunts, attempted. This time it was various cast bloopers that ran alongside the credits. As a "Stand In For Mr. Chan" was listed in the credits, it seems like Jackie has finally realized that, at age 49, it's time to let the young men take over. There was a short outtake that showed Chan in one of those cool "Sherlock Holmes" hats. Perhaps there was a planned bit with Evan's "Mr. Watson" that was cut. Too bad. I might have laughed.

On a scale of zero to four stars, I give The Medallion  Half star

This week's movie review of "The Medallion" is ©2003 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2003, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.