Xpress, the Coolest Section of the St. Petersburg Times, is the home for features, news and views of interest to young readers. Most of the work in Xpress, which appears on Mondays in Floridian, is produced by the Times' X-Team. The team of journalists ages 9-17 from around the Tampa Bay area is selected every year at the end of the school year to serve during the following school term. The current team of 12 was chosen out of 150 applicants. Watch for X-Team application forms in Xpress during the month of May.
Read the reviews by Xpress Film Critic Billy Norris
'Medallion' could use some superpower help
By BILLY NORRIS
Published August 25, 2003
Summary: An ancient medallion holds the power to make a person immortal with superhuman strength when its two halves are combined. Snakehead (Julian Sands) is out to steal the medallion and control its abilities. He kidnaps the young monk, Jai (Alex Bao), who is the keeper of the medallion, but his plan to become indestructible is thwarted when Jai is rescued by Eddie Yang (Jackie Chan), an agent working with Interpol to bring down Snakehead. Eddie dies during the rescue attempt, but the monk brings him back to life with the medallion and bestows upon him half of the sacred object. This gives Eddie those mystical powers and the ability to fight back against Snakehead, who is more determined than ever to become invincible.
My View: Chan's work in his recent releases, The Tuxedo and Shanghai Knights, has been hit-and-miss, and the same can be said of this movie. Computer-driven stunt sequences are prevalent, and Chan's English seems even more difficult to understand. But the movie gets better when the supporting characters begin to show their true colors, especially Chan's Interpol agent sidekick, Watson (Lee Evans), whose goony physical humor gets increasingly funnier. Chan's love interest, ex-girlfriend/Interpol agent Nicole James (Claire Forlani), doesn't add anything substantial to the story. The character could easily have been eliminated and it would not have made much of a difference. The plot is unlike most of Chan's others in that it is a fantasy, which is a nice change; Chan movies usually have run-of-the-mill story lines that serve only as vehicles for his stunning stunts. Chan still has the ability to wow you with his agility, but you have to wonder how much more his body can take. He is 49 and has to be nearing the end of his high-action film career. Sooner or later it'll be time for him to hang it up. Recommendations: This isn't a bad choice for your next theater outing, but I wouldn't put it at the top of my must-see list. Don't forget to stick around for the outtakes at the end of the movie (though they're not as funny as usual).
- Billy Norris, 15, is in the 10th grade at Seminole High School and is a former member of the Times' X-Team.