Jackie Chan and Stanley Tong reunite after 1996’s First Strike to bring this tale of an archaeologist whose visions of a past life come to guide him in this pretty decent action film.
Dr. Jack Chan is a world renowned archaeologist who as of late has been having visions of a Korean princess named Ok-Soo, who was betrothed to be a concubine for the Qin Dynasty Emperor in ancient China. Jack sees himself as the Emperor’s General Meng Yi, who will do what it takes to ensure the princess’ safety to the palace. Meanwhile, when Jack’s old friend William asks him to accompany him to Dasar to do research on the possibility of the former Dasar king’s coffin levitating, Jack and William soon find themselves in a major jam, once that causes Jack to fall in the river unconscious.
Rescued by local Samantha, Jack soon learns that he is somehow been drawn to his past life as Meng Yi and it channels him to the present day. Meanwhile, William learns that an old colleague, Professor Koo, was the one who funded the Dasar project because Koo is after something very vital, the Immortality Pill. Despite Jack’s eventual knowledge of the location of the former royal masoleum, Koo intends to find the Immortality Pill, even if it mean William finds himself betraying his own friend due to his greed. However, when Jack does find the location, he is in for a major surprise. One that could change the course of his life forever.
Many may feel that Stanley Tong may not be an exciting choice to work with when it comes to Jackie Chan. Despite a strong first collaboration with Police Story III: Supercop subsequent collaborations such as Rumble in the Bronx and First Strike tend to be not too popular amongst fans. However, this film, which brings the duo of stunt experts together again, is actually not as bad as some of their earlier films together.
This is truly one of those films you must see from beginning to end to understand the story, which was conceived by Tong. Jackie Chan pulls off dual roles in the film, first playing a Qing Dynasty general who finds himself admired and ultimately loved by a Korean princess who is to be one of the Emperor’s concubine. The scenes with Korean actress Kim Hee-Seon are quite delightful and at times, very emotional due to their pretty good chemistry.
The second role is that of Dr. Jack Chan, the protagonist who while doing a favor to longtime friend William, played by Tony Leung Ka-Fai, finds himself connected with his past life. Here, Chan gets assistance from Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat, who plays the very able bodied Samantha, whose uncle in the film is the head of the Dasar martial arts school. The contrast between Jack and Meng Yi lies in the fact that Jack seems a more likable guy who loves his job as an archaeologist while Meng Yi is a hard headed warrior who sticks to his mission despite eventually showcasing his feelings for the princess turned concubine Ok-Soo.
Another contrast is the distinction of the fighting styles between Jack and Meng Yi. Jackie Chan, Stanley Tong, and Chan’s former classmate Richard Hung (Yuen Tak) choreographed the film’s action sequences. The scenes involving Meng Yi involve more weapons filled work seen in many period action films while Jack’s first few fights are what you would expect from Jackie: a highlighted combination of frenetic action and comic relief. While many will wonder about the film’s climactic fight involving zero gravity, that alone brings a bit of comic relief and it is great to see Jackie Chan Stunt Team members such as Ken Low, Park Hyun-Jin, and He Jun alongside the likes of Japanese actor Hiro Hayama amongst others.
The Myth is not a great film, but it is not a bad film either. You just will not want to miss anything to get the film.
WFG RATING: B-
Emperor Motion Pictures presents a JCE Movies Limited production. Director: Stanley Tong. Producers: Willie Chan, Solon So, and Barbie Tung. Writers: Stanley Tong, Wang Hui-Ling, and Li Hai-Shu. Cinematography: Horace Wong, Ng Man-Ching, Michael Johnson, Lai Yiu-Fai, and Choi Sung-Fai. Editing: Yau Chi-Wai.
Cast: Jackie Chan, Kim Hee-Seon, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Mallika Sherawat, Shao Bing, Sun Zhou, Yu Rong-Guang, Choi Min-Soo, Richard Hung, Raj Gopal Bajaj, Ken Low, Hiro Hayama, Chan Sek, Park Hyun-Jin, He Jun.