Directed by Gordon Chan
Expectations: Moderate, but I’m excited cuz it’s Gordan Chan.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
The Medallion is an odd movie in just about every way. It’s definitely not a good movie, but I had a fun time watching it thanks to my love for the weird and wonderful world of B-Movies. This makes it something of a hard movie to rate, as I’d rather re-watch this movie than most of his US work leading up to it, but there’s no way that this movie is anywhere near as polished or well-made as those. These are the conundrums of my eclectic taste.
Jackie plays Eddie Yang, a Hong Kong police officer who finds himself pulled into the world of the supernatural when his target, Snakehead (Julian Sands), attempts to kidnap a boy from a local temple. The boy holds the power to reunite two halves of a sacred medallion that can give immortality and great power to those it is bestowed upon. It’s kind of a riff on The Golden Child, but beyond this basic premise of a kidnapped child of prophecy, The Medallion diverges significantly from anything resembling the classic Eddie Murphy film.
In simple terms, this is roughly what The Medallion is, with the key difference being the inclusion of known American actors to create more of a second-tier American film than a Hong Kong crossover. The other major difference is that in the case of The Medallion, there is no version other than this US release. Apparently Sony didn’t care for Gordon Chan’s original cut, so they re-shot some stuff and completely re-edited the film, even changing the plot a little. And since the film’s rights were bought in totality by Sony, this prohibited a Gordon Chan cut from being released in Hong Kong. So this is all we have of The Medallion, although I imagine the extensive deleted scenes on the DVD represent a fair amount of what might have been in the film under different circumstances. And I must say, having watched those deleted scenes, that I don’t think these scenes would’ve combined into anything superior than the released version.
The Medallion is far from being a competent movie experience, but for fans of B-Movies and cinema that pushes the normal creative boundaries, you might end up enjoying it regardless (as long as you can overlook a lot).
Next up in this chronological journey through the films of Jackie Chan is a documentary about Jackie and his father, Traces of the Dragon! See ya then!