Jackie Chan dies and comes back to life as a supernatural version of himself in The Medallion. Suddenly, he’s impervious to bullets and knives, yet the leaping martial-arts star, after more than 80 films, has never seemed less omnipotent than he does here. For the first time, his movements are enhanced by digital effects, and the effect of that is akin to seeing Steven Seagal in one of those long leather coats intended to camouflage his girth: You’re only made more aware of gravity’s earthly tug.
It’s not that I have a problem with watching Chan whisked, momentarily, through the air. But the fight scenes in ”The Medallion” are so choppy and graceless that they lack Chan’s special magic – his ability to place his jackknife body at the center of gymnastic chain reactions. In lieu of Chris Tucker, who set off his pidgin-English quizzicality in the ”Rush Hour” films, Chan has now been paired with the overemphatic British thespian Lee Evans, a fussbudget geek who can’t seem to decide if he’s the straight man or the comic relief. ”The Medallion” makes you long for Tucker – and for Jackie Chan to fly without digital wings.