Director: Stanley Tong
Starring: Jackie Chan, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Kim
Hee Seon, Choi Min Soo, Mallika Sherawat
RunTime: 2 hrs 5 mins
Released By: Shaw
Opening Day: 29 September 2005
The year was BC221 when Qin Shi Huang - the first emperor
of China started to build a royal tomb for himself despite
his infatuation with immortality. Through the prodigious endeavours
of more than 700,000 forced labourers, the mausoleum was completed
37 years later. Legend has it that, to ensure utmost secrecy,
all those who worked on the project were buried alive with
the dead emperor. There were no survivors.
the next two thousand years, historians, tomb-raiders, and
happy-go-lucky adventurers alike have been homing on the royal
treasure buried within, However, no one has ever succeeded
in locating the entrance to the mausoleum. Thus, the bulk
of the First Emperor’s treasure, including his much-fabled
elixir of youth, remained intact.
archeologist Jack (starring Jackie Chan) and ambitious scientist
William (starring Tony Leung Ka Fai) set out on an adventure
that would lead them to the greatest discovery in Chinese
history. Their journey starts at Desar, India, where they
stumble upon an ancient sword from the Qin dynasty and a magical
gemstone that appears to be able to defy the force of gravity.
The booty not only leads them to the mythical mausoleum, but
it also connects Jack to his dark past life.
strange and provocative dreams, Jack sees himself reincarnated
as Meng Yi, a general who fell for the First Emperor’s
beautiful consort Ok Soo (starring Kim Hee Seon) some 2000
years ago. As Meng Yi commands his troops in an increasingly
desperate war against rebels, he also has to battle his own
inner desires in choosing between eternity love and loyalty,
Returning to the present day , the final secret of the First
Emperor is about to be revealed. The two adventurers successfully
enter the Heavenly Palace, a fortress loaded with death traps
and unspeakable evils, as Jack comes face-to-face with his
past. Or is it really?
When Jackie Chan proclaimed during his “The Myth”
press conference last week that from now on he’s going
to be different in his future movies. He strictly meant business,
the audience no longer has the luxury to see the man rehashing
his old formulas. In other words, his all-time successful
“Police Story” and “Rush Hour” franchise
is all in the past.
“The Myth”, Jackie plays an archeologist named
Jack whose recurring dreams about a Qin dynasty general and
a beautiful consort (Kim Hee-Seon) greatly aroused his curiosity.
At the same time, he is invited by his best friend William
(Tony Leung Ka Fai in yet another thankless role) to embark
on an expedition that will ultimately leads them to the legendary
Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. And so as the story flows,
the transition from the Qin Dynasty to the present and vice
versa is apparent throughout the 2 hours duration. Jackie
duals as General Meng Yi, a brave respected general who can
easily command a huge troop under his wing. Seeing him in
his General’s armour is convincing enough but hearing
him spout lyrical dialogues has the audience in stitches instead.
That’s mistake number one.
you are a fan of Jackie Chan and Stanley Tong, the combination
of these two biggest names in the action arena will have you
enthralled in anticipation. Their debut collaboration “Supercop”
has the streets of KL in chaos, “Rumble in the Bronx”
showcased Jackie Vs hard-hitting street hooligans and with
“CIA Strikes Back”, the action factor powered
up to an all-time high, it’s James Bond without the
effects. To be frank, Director Stanley Tong is less credible
when it comes to script-writing, his forte is more geared
towards choreographing breath-taking action sequences. Crippled
with Jackie’s urge to do a more romance-oriented action
piece, Stanley has to strip “The Myth” potential
action pieces to the minimal. And that contributes to mistake
in “The Myth”, you might spot several familiar
elements. It’s as if Stanley and his screenwriting team
has collated pointers from Ching Siu-Tung’s “A
Terracotta Warrior”, Michelle Yeoh’s “The
Touch” and even Jackie’s “Armour of God”.
The end result is a rumbling mess of mythical and romance.
While Jackie has made a name for himself by executing the
most daredevil stunts onscreen, the clumsily effects laden
finale for this movie however is a yawn-inducing affair. It’s
a chore to watch in fact. To add insult to injury, the supposedly
twist in the end can be classified into “Ripley’s
believe it or not!” Thus a combination of these two
disappointing elements gave you Killer mistake number three.
the aforementioned mistakes, the few redeemable things to
note are the battle sequences involving hundreds of extras
and horses, the shots are majestic and the exotic locations
in China are breath-taking. Shots of Jackie taking on battalions
of battling soldiers are handled with much impressed hard-hitting
battle style not seen previously in JC movies. Innovatively
making use of clothing and shoes to move on the sticky conveyor
belt, the “rat-glue” action piece is the usual
comic routine normally found in Jackie Chan’s movies.
But hey, the Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin inspired humour
is why we loved Jackie’s movies in the first place.
Hee-Seon (the Korean actress from “Bichunmoo”)
is remarkably enchanting as Ok Soo, the first emperor’s
consort who wished to live carefree with General Meng Yi.
Despite her handicapped in Chinese, she managed to convey
her lovelorn desires opposite her numerous scenes with Jackie.
In fact, it’s Jackie himself who seems uncomfortably
out of place. And sexy siren Mallika Sherawat who conspicuously
appeared for less than a quarter of the total screentime can
only be labeled purely as eye-candy. Tony Leung’s sidekick
character is pathetically as lifeless as a caricature can
get. Admittedly, it’s sad to say that pop singer Alan
Tam’s sidekick character in “Armour of God”
was far more superior.
has come a long way since his days of “Drunken Master”,
“Police Story”, and “Supercop” in
the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Venturing into
Hollywood with “Rush Hour” and “Shanghai
Noon” is a risk worth taking. However, his return to
his good old territory unfortunately yields disappointing
results for his die-hard supporters. As much as the audience
respects his decision to be more creative, his new venture
just doesn’t goes down as well.
foray into the romance action genre is nothing short of groundbreaking.
In fact, it's merely a scratch on the surface.)
by Linus Tee