Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Gordon Chan|
|Produced by||Alfred Cheung|
|Written by||Gordon Chan
|Music by||Adrian Lee
|Editing by||Don Brochu
|Studio||Emperor Multimedia Group|
|Distributed by||TriStar Pictures (Theatrical)
Screen Gems (Video) Artisan Entertainment (VHS/DVD)
|Release dates||August 15, 2003
August 22, 2003
|Running time||88 minutes|
The Medallion (Chinese: 飛龍再生) is a 2003 action-comedy film co-written and directed by Hong Kong filmmaker Gordon Chan, and starring Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani and Julian Sands. It was much less successful than Chan's other American movies such as the Rush Hour film series, Shanghai Noon and its sequel, Shanghai Knights.
Eddie (Chan) is a Hong Kong police officer who is hired by Interpol to capture a crime lord known as Snakehead (Sands), and prevent him from kindapping a chosen boy with special powers and a medallion that gifts superhuman power and immortality. Much of the film features supernatural and mystical themes, though it is filled with action and comedy.
Eddie Yang (Jackie Chan) is a Hong Kong police officer cooperating with Interpol in the capture of a crime lord named AJ "Snakehead" Staul (Julian Sands). Snakehead procures an ancient book from a Chinese bookstore keeper, which tells the story of a boy being chosen every thousand years to bind the two halves of a legendary medallion. In Hong Kong, Eddie and Interpol agent Arthur Watson (Lee Evans) lead a raid to capture Snakehead and his men, who are about to kidnap the boy, named Jai (Alex Bao). Eddie and the agents fight off Snakehead's men, infiltrating the temple containing Jai. Jai is saved but Snakehead eludes them. Two weeks later Snakehead captures Jai aboard a cargo boat in Hong Kong. Eddie and a team of Hong Kong police engage and defeat several of Snakehead's men, but Snakehead escapes with Jai to Dublin, Ireland.
In Ireland, Eddie is assigned to help Interpol with the investigation, much to Watson's chagrin. Eddie is also reunited with his girlfriend, a British agent named Nicole James (Claire Forlani). By chance Eddie later encounters and apprehends one of Snakehead's top men, who confesses Jai is being held in the harbour. Eddie, Watson, and Nicole move to rescue Jai, defeating several Snakehead agents in the process. Eddie and Jai end up trapped inside a container, which is knocked into the water by one of Snakehead's men before they can be released. Eddie keeps Jai alive by an inflatable tent, but himself drowns. After being rescued, Jai uses his medallion on Eddie's body.
In the morgue, Watson is grieving over Eddie's body when Eddie suddenly appears beside him. Eddie realizes Jai used the medallion to resurrect him, and his former body vanishes into nothingness. Jai splits the medallion into its two halves, giving one of them to Eddie. Snakehead's men appear in the hospital to recapture Jai and during the fight, Eddie discovers the medallion has also granted him superhuman strength and immortality.
Nicole looks after Jai but he is captured again by Snakehead. At his castle hideout, Snakehead forces Jai to activate the medallion so he can gain its power, but with only one half of it, Snakehead only gains superhuman strength and remains mortal. To steal the other half, Snakehead and his men attack Watson's family. Watson's Chinese wife is revealed to be a police operative like him, much to Watson's surprise as he kept his job secret from his family. Together they fight off the attack from Snakehead's men.
Eddie, Watson and Nicole learn the location of Snakehead's castle lair and go to finish him once and for all. The operation runs smoothly at first, but Snakehead kills Nicole and becomes immortal. He and Eddie engage in a vicious fight, until Eddie uses the medallion to take away the life it gave, which leads to the two dragons from the medallion appearing and taking Snakehead, trapping him in the medallion. Jai allows Eddie to use the medallion to resurrect Nicole, who also gains super-strength and immortality. The two then run at superhuman speed into the distance as Jai enters another dimension through a portal, frightening Watson.
- Jackie Chan as Inspector Eddie Yang
- Lee Evans as Interpol Inspector Arthur Watson
- Claire Forlani as Inspector Nicole James
- Alex Bao as Jai
- Julian Sands as Snakehead
- Johann Myers as Giscard
- John Rhys-Davies as Commander Hammerstock-Smythe
- Anthony Wong Chau Sang as Lester Wong (Snakehead's assistant) (as Anthony Wong)
- Christy Chung as Charlotte Watson
- Billy Hill as Miles Watson
- Scott Adkins
- Bruce Khan
- Han Guan Hua
- Paul Andreovski
- Nicola Berwick
- Reuben Langdon (as Reuben Christopher Langdon)
- Hiro Hayama (as Hiroyoshi Komuro)
- Mark Strange (as Michael Strange)
- Matt Routledge (as Matthew James Routledge)
- Chris Torres (uncredited)
- Brad Allan (uncredited)
- Jude Poyer (uncredited)
Original plot and conception
The working title of the film was "Highbinders". In the original plot of the film, those who were given power by the medallion became a Highbinder. Snakehead's original goal in the film was to create an army of Highbinders to join in his crime organization.
According to the commentary by the editors, "The Medallion" was not American-made, although Columbia-TriStar bought the distribution and editing rights worldwide except in Japan, France, and Hong Kong (but these three countries retain the American cut of the film, the only cut ever made). The original cut was meant to be around 108 minutes, and the plot of the film explained Snakehead's crime organization of human smuggling, and the deaths that occurred from it, as well as his desire to create an army of Highbinders to aide his crime organization. All of this, however, was cut to center on the medallion. As a result of several scene cuts, some of the original dialog was overdubbed, including a small amount of Cantonese dialog.
Over 20 minutes of these deleted scenes can be viewed on the US DVD. Among these scenes are alternate endings where Eddie prevents Nicole's death, and an extended fight sequence between Eddie and Snakehead's men, and an alternate ending to the chase sequence between Eddie and Giscard.
In its US release, The Medallion was #5 at the box office on its opening weekend and fell steadily lower during its 10-week release. Overall, it has earned $22.2 million, ranking #42 among all martial arts films released in the US and eighth among the Jackie Chan films distributed in the US.
Some critics and fans of Jackie Chan were disappointed by the use of CGI special effects and extensive wire-based choreography in place of the daring stunts usually present in Chan's previous films and were turned off by the desire to achieve Hollywood-level results with a lower budget.
Awards and nominations
- 23rd Hong Kong Film Awards
- Nomination: Best Action Choreography (Sammo Hung)
- Nomination: Best Visual Effects (Matthew Gidney)
- The Medallion at Box Office Mojo (retrieved on December 3, 2006).
- The Medallion at Rotten Tomatoes (retrieved on December 3, 2006).
- Official website
- The Medallion at the Internet Movie Database
- The Medallion at AllMovie
- The Medallion at Box Office Mojo
- The Medallion at Rotten Tomatoes