Jackie Chan's signature comedy-martial arts shtick never quite blends with a cartoonish story about a powerful ancient amulet that inevitably falls into the wrong hands. Legend has it that every thousand years a baby boy is born with the power to meld together the two halves of the titular talisman; once the medallion is whole, the child can revive the dead and endow them with divine powers, including immortality. Old-school villain Snakehead (Julian Sands) discovers this millennium's boy, Jai (Alex Bao), in a Hong Kong Buddhist temple, and intends to transform himself into a god right then and there. Local cop Eddie Yang (Chan) and bumbling Interpol agent Arthur Watson (Lee Evans) know nothing about the medallion, but they've been hot on Snakehead's trail for other evildoings. They track him to the temple and a scuffle ensues, but to Watson's dismay, Eddie chooses to rescue Jai from the burning building instead of chasing after their man. To keep the plot moving and to give Chan the opportunity to relieve the same henchmen of their guns with clever kicks and punches the poor kid will be kidnapped and saved more than once, and Snakehead eventually smuggles the recaptured Jai to Ireland. When Eddie reaches the Irish Interpol headquarters, he finds his old flame Nicole James (Claire Forlani), who's far less petulant about whatever Eddie did to end their relationship than Watson is about their failed partnership (the only hint of chemistry in this film is between the two men). The trio trace Jai to the docks, but Eddie and the child are trapped in a shipping container and pushed overboard; Eddie manages to save the boy, but drowns in the process. Enter the medallion's magic powers. In no time Eddie's alive once again, only now he's bulletproof and able to leap buildings in a single bound. Eddie's gravity-defying stunts are entertaining at first, but FX-enhanced Jackie Chan is hardly better than the real thing; his moves at the movie's opening are much more engaging. The fight sequences start to resemble a cross between INSPECTOR GADGET and a low-budget syndicated television series (think Hercules), particularly when a medallion-improved Snakehead reappears. Once the action degenerates, the film relies on Chan's charming smile and Evans's mediocre slapstick for relief, making one wish the medallion's special powers could transport them into a whole other story.
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- Released: 2003
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Jackie Chan's signature comedy-martial arts shtick never quite blends with a cartoonish story about a powerful ancient amulet that inevitably falls into the wrong hands. Legend has it that every thousand years a baby boy is born with the power to meld toge… (more)