Friday, 17 July 2009



A massively entertaining, visually rich (thanks to greenscreen) and occasionally crunchily violent martial arts comedy/action/thriller, and flipping between period and contemporary timelines, The Myth has the typically inventive and perfectly timed combat scenes that you'd expect from the mighty Jackie Chan. He was 51 when he shot this film (four years ago) and while it may be a cliche that he's got the energy, speed, reflexes, physical flexibility and stamina of a man half his age, it's damn well true. Cut it to a third of his age and it still holds true.

Two thousand years ago, Jackie Chan is an Imperial General assigned to protect a princess (destined to be a concubine for the aged Emperor) from rebels. And in the present, he's an archaeologist drawn into a quest for a mysterious artefact that has anti-gravitational properties, so it's a bit like Indiana Jones And The Floaty Thing with a reincarnation subtext. But damnit it's fun. The numerous combat sequences are mostly as brilliantly choreographed as you'd expect and, although the movie could stand to lose one or two of them as it runs a scratch over two hours, it never bores. One set-piece fight in particular, on a conveyor belt in a glue factory easily wipes the floor with anything Hollywood's put out in the last five years.

Okay, so maybe it could drop ten minutes or so, and maybe the ending is a bit lame. And maybe it's a bit too reliant on CG which in places doesn't really work. But when Chan does his stuff, it's dazzling. So I don't care that much: I'll forgive the minor flaws.


No comments: