Monday, September 08, 2003

movie review: wow did that stink (spoilers)

It is a rare moment that I actually contemplate getting up and walking out of a movie. Medallion, Jacky Chan's latest, had several. It was a strange movie in a lot of ways. At the beginning of the movie, Chan's character is a Hong Kong policeman working alongside and incompetent Interpol agent (another Mr. Bean type character, but a little handsomer). We find out later that Chan used to be an Interpol agent that he maybe had been this guys partner, and maybe had a fling with another Interpol agent, the love interest of this movie. But it is not quite clear, and references clearly relate to scenes cut from a longer movie.

Interpol is after some evil English guy, who has just found the key to immortality in the hands of a mysteriously mute little kid. Chan foils a couple attempts to get him, endearing himself to the kid, and earning himself a bit of immortality by dying to save him (for some reason you have to die first to be resurrected). But in the end the evil guy gets the kid and gets immortality and superhuman powers. The showdown ensues, and guess who wins.

In the meantime, the kid says a few words (why was he so mute in other scenes again?). The girl falls for Jacky again. The two of them continue to work with an extremely incompetent idiot.

I don't object to physical comedy, but why it was in this movie I have no idea. They could not seem to decide if they were trying to make the Matrix or Freaky Friday. The love interest seems really ridiculous, one really has no idea why she likes him.

And then the filming. Lots of little added wire trick stuff which made everyone look a little superhuman. There were very few of the staple fight scenes that make Jacky Chan amazing to watch ( it's not that he is getting old, there are a couple great examples in another recent movie: Shanghai Knights: the keystone cop fight, and the umbrella fight in East End ). There are some scenes filmed in very stylistic, sped up and somehow colored, but for no apparent reason other than style. Naturally the girl gets dressed up in leather for the final scene.

And I have to ask you, would you want to fight in leather. How smelly and disgusting would that be? I really wish Hollywood would get a new schtick. Leather is not the only way people can look cool. And why the hell do they need to look cool anyway?



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