Viewed on 01 SEP 03   Oriental and Western filmmakers have been in a silent arms race for decades - racing to perfect fantasy flicks where superheros can do anything - including flying.  The West, getting a head start with Superman, finally perfected the 'flying superhero' in Keanu Reeves in The Matrix.  Not to be outdone, Oriental film makers perfected their own versions of Flying Superheros in the now-ubiquitous gong-fu fantasies.  Suddenly, they leapfrogged forward, catching up with the West with Jet Li in The One, then quickly trumping that with Hero.  It took THE MEDALLION to push the genre too far, to rub the genre's nose in its own excrement, to ruin it forever as anything other than kiddie fodder.  Bangkok's filmgoers staggered out of THE MEDALLION numbed to near-somnambulism by dreary rerun antics and reused special effects, not caring if they never see another person fly or, for that matter, perform any vapid superhero stunt.   --And its not just because Jackie Chan can't fly very well, either.
There is a very good reason that East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.  That reason, as applied to Hollywood, is because if one tries to force East & West to do a picture together, it is virtually certain at least one complete buffoon will land a leading role.  In THE MEDALLION, this buffoon is named Lee Evans.  Don't get me wrong, I don't know Evans, so this is not personal.  But Evans should stick to what he's good at - weekend gigs wearing clown costumes at McDonalds.  Or, perhaps even safer for all, he should try his luck at working hand puppets on early morning TV shows - preferably a non-speaking part.
Jackie should have learned these harsh lessons in Shanghai Knights when he and Owen Wilson bombed like the turkeys they were.  He obviously didn't, and will eventually pay the piper for his follies.  Its all very Darwinian - when films don't make money, there is no money for making successive films.  And eventually somebody starves to death.  How fitting an end.
LEAST   Enduring Line or Phrase:  "Halt ! Interpol !"
© 2003, Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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