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Film / The Medallion

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Chan and his precioussssssss...

The Medallion (Chinese:飛龍再生) is a 2003 action comedy film co-written and directed by the Hong Kong film director Gordon Chan, and starring Jackie Chan, Lee Evans, Claire Forlani and Julian Sands. It was much less successful than Chan's other American films such as the Rush Hour film series, Shanghai Noon and its sequel Shanghai Knights. The film was theatrically released on August 15, 2003 in Hong Kong and August 22, 2003 in the United States by TriStar Pictures.

In the story, Eddie Yang (Chan) is a Hong Kong police officer hired by the Interpol to capture a crime lord known as Snakehead (Sands) and prevent him from kidnapping a chosen boy with special powers and a medallion that gives superhuman power and immortality.

Children of the early 2000s might be amused to note that the film has quite a few parallels with the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures, a Celebrity Toon starring Jackie Chan (a highly fictionalized version of him, anyway...) that was still running when the film was released. The Big Bad is even played by Julian Sands, who had a prominent role in the show as the voice of the crime lord Valmont.

The Medallion provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Nicole, which is justified by her being police. The real surprise is Asian housewife Charlotte being an even bigger one.
  • Action Prologue: The opening scenes are all about the Stern Chase of Snakehead and the many violent (though deliberately nonfatal in Eddie's case) shenanigans that follow.
  • Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: Jai, after bequeathing the medallion to Eddie.
  • Badass Normal: Eddie is capable of martial arts and some frankly crazy stunts before he ever heard of the medallion.
  • Back from the Dead: The medallion has the power to resurrect people and bestow them with immortality and superhuman strength.
  • The Chosen One: A rare non-protagonist example is found on Jai, the current chosen one. Until he designates Eddie as the next one.
    • An In-Universe story tells this is done every one thousand years to bind the two halves of the title artifact.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Nicole vs the fake nurse Snakehead sent for the boy, near the end of the movie.
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: It takes a while for Eddie to get used to having super strength leading to him breaking things by accident.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Eddie after he is revived and empowered by the medallion.
  • Evil Brit: Snakehead.
  • The Exit Is That Way: Watson, infuriated at the prospect that Eddie may be replacing him, storms out of the room. There is a pause, before an exasperated Hammerstock-Smythe informs him Watson that he is in the filing cabinet.
  • Exotic Backdrop Setting: Most of the film is set in Ireland but outside of extras and bit parts none of the characters are actually Irish with the Interpol HQ seemingly staffed entirely by British agents.
  • Immortality Immorality: Snakehead was already a bastard to begin with, but after becoming immortal with the power of the medallion, he gives Eddie a speech about how powerful, godlike, and unstoppable they both are and that they can do whatever they want with no consequences.
  • Immortality Inducer: The titular medallion. However it can only be achieved by having both halves of the medallion in one's power, as only one half can give Nigh-Invulnerability and Super-Speed while the other only gives Mind over Matter powers and Super-Strength.
  • Immortality Seeker: Snakehead.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Eddie and Watson have an argument in the Interpol offices that makes it sound like they're bitter over the end of a sexual relationship. To make things even more embarrassing, Eddie's ex-girlfriend is present.
    Watson: We had a good thing going and you left.
    Watson: You didn't like me always being on top.
    Eddie: Okay, you can be on top - let's just do it together, okay?
    Watson: No. But you have fun doing it by yourself.
  • Hard Light: The best way to describe what anyone resurrected by the medallion has become - while appearing to be flesh and blood, injuries cause them to leak light instead of blood. And then it seals itself up.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: Eddie is with Hongkong police while Watson is Interpol. Not helping things is the way their repeated failures is more Watson's fault than Eddie.
  • Living MacGuffin: Jai is implied to be this.
  • No Body Left Behind: Anyone who's died and gets the treatment from the medallion will reappear as an exact double made entirely out of energy, before the old body disintegrates into nothing.
  • The Quiet One: Jai doesn't speak for most of the film.
  • Real Men Can Cook: Turns out Watson wasn't kidding about making dinner for his wife. When Eddie shows up unannounced Watson makes him work for his dinner.
  • Spotting the Thread: It takes Eddie a little too long to realize that the nurse is wearing the wrong kind of shoes because Snakehead sent her.
  • Stock Scream: The Howie Long Scream is used several times.
  • Taking You with Me: After Eddie Yang throws the medallion at Snakehead to take away the life it gave him, the fish and the dragon in the medallion appear to take him. The latter attempts to trap Eddie in the medallion too, but fails.
  • Thanatos Gambit: After having the Chosen One successfully captured, Snakehead poisons himself while forcibly clutching to Jai's hand with the medallion and force the boy to bring him back to life.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Eddie's tactics against armed assailants range from discharging or unloading their weapons to immobilizing them with their own clothing.
  • Villainous Breakdown: When Snakehead is about to lose the life the medallion gave him, he attempts to trap Eddie Yang into the medallion as well.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Snakehead planned to kill Jai after obtaining the medallion's power. However, he finds out that Jai only had one half and decides to keep him alive until he gets the other half.