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The Myth

The Mythological ROSSMAN

(Rossman update [02/12/2006]: It has been brought to my attention that not only was this a really shitty movie, but the translation that I saw was god-awful as well. Major plot points were mis-told/mis-interpretted, and therefore some of my review is inaccurate... I know, you're shocked that something like this could happen, aren't you... Anyway, I'm leaving my initial review intact, but I will be adding notes where things I originally wrote about have proven to be false. Since I refuse to watch this garbagey flick again with a better translation, you'll just have to make due with my lazy editing. Enjoy!)

MYTH (noun): a fiction or half-truth, esp. one that forms part of the ideology of a society. Jackie Chan's The Myth is the greatest movie ever made.

That is the biggest myth concerning this piece of filmatic crap posing as entertainment. If Kenny didn't lend this DVD to me, and I actually paid something for this asstacular train wreck of a movie, I might actually be pissed. Right now I'm only mildly miffed that I wasted 2 hours of my life on it... And all I would have done with those 2 hours anyway was just look up porn -- and I can do that tonight, so it's not like my time is gone forever or anything.

So, you ask, what went wrong in Jackie's newest dramedy, The Myth (aka San wa)? Many many things. First of all, it's not fun, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be. There are a few times when Jackie puts on his silly, rubber face and goes all goofy on us, and I think it's supposed to make us believe that the golden Jackie of Drunken Master II and Rumble in the Bronx is back. Let me assure you that he's not. This is more like the retarded Jackie at the very end of Drunken Master II, after he drank all that industrial strength alcohol (for those of your dipshits who THINK you've seen DMII in the form of The Legend of the Drunken Master, you are wrong, and you are all idiots. Do you let Hollywood cut up all your great foreign movies for you, shit all over them, redub them, and then let them tell you that you like it? God you make me sick...). Then we get half the movie with Jackie trying to be all serious and dramatic, just like in New Police Story. The problem is that he sucked as a dramatic actor in that flick and he's just as bad in this one too.

The plot (if one can really call it that) of The Myth goes a little something like this: Jack (Jackie Chan doing his best to imitate Tony Danza who could only play parts named "Tony") is an archeologist, but he's not 1/4 as cool as Indiana Jones. He's been having a weird dream lately in which he's a general in the ancient Chinese army, and he has to save the Emperor's poon tang from an army of evil huns. The movie then branches into 2 stories, and we weave in and out of ancient Jackie and hot princess falling in love, and modern Jack trying to figure out what his dreams really mean. Oh, and modern Jack has to deal with his backstabbing and INCREDIBLY stupid friend, William, who's sold him out to some rich, evil, kung-fu master who wants a meteorite that can give objects the ability to float in zero-gravity. No, I did not just make that part up to see if you were paying attention. Jackie actually agreed to do this film after reading a synopsis close to what I just wrote too, which really makes me wonder if he's done too many of his own stunts lately. Lesson: Concussions can kill, kids, and they can cause minor retardation.

In an attempt to make this mess a new Raiders of the Lost Ark, or even a new Tomb Raider (failure on both counts... Think about that -- The Myth isn't even as good as Tomb Raider for Christ's sake!), William talks Jack into globetrotting to India to examine the legend that people can fly there. Well, thanks to a piece of that previously mentioned meteorite, they really can. Though while discovering this odd phenomenon, Jack discovers a tomb of an ancient king... an ancient Chinese king, his ancient Chinese sword, and a painting of the hot empress that he remembers from his dreams... IN INDIA. Makes no sense, but let me continue. (Actually, this is one of those instances of TERRIBLE translations [from Chinese to German to Portuguese to broken English] that ended up slightly warping the storytelling. It turns out that it WAS an Indian Prince whose tomb Jack and Will go to see in the land of the holy cows. It was this Prince who did the Chinese Emperor a favor and then got his pick of Imperial concubine to be his princely snuggle-bunny till the end of time. Unfortunately the Indian Prince picked the hot concubine that Jackie had been protecting, and the Emperor did not wish to part with her [why he let the Prince pick ANY of his lovers, including the HOT one, I'll never know], so he had Jackie fight for her honor... or some shit like that. There were some confusing scenes that flashed back and forth through time at this point that made little sense to me when I didn't know what the fuck was going on, and still make little sense to me in hindsight knowing that this scene actually had SOMETHING to do with the flimsy plot. Anyway, so the prince lost the fight, but got a lousy parting gift of a painting of the Princess to keep him warm at night. Now back to the review!) Soon Jack's left behind to deal with charges of tomb robbing (which he is actually guilty of), but then he kind of gets away and meets Bollywood star (and international hottie) Mallika Sherawat, who can speak fluent Chinese. Well, in actuality ALL of India can apparently speak Mandarin. You learn something new everyday. So, Mallika (playing the coveted role of "Indian Princess") of course dances for no apparent reason a couple of times for Jack, and then helps him escape from the police through a glue factory. This scene was kind of fun, but felt soooooo stupidly unnecessary and contrived. Yes, even more so than most of all his other fight scenes. Jack fights the Indian police on a giant conveyor belt covered in glue-paper for rat traps, and he has to think of new inventive ways to move since every step causes him to lose a shoe, then a sock, etc. Then he leaves India, and the girl, whom we never see again. Seriously, the whole jaunt through that country was completely uncalled for. It so could have (and for the plot SHOULD have) occurred in China. They never explain why this Chinese tomb is even in India (This is explained above, but it doesn't make this any less of a crappy movie). Totally pointless. Was it done just to tap into the Indian movie market? "See, Indian citizens, we have India in our movie! Buy tickets!" (And I still believe this to be the case for why India was chosen to be the background for this short storytelling off-ramp) What's even funnier (sadder?) is that the "Indian" guards who fight Jackie in the tomb are obviously CHINESE guys with skin toner all over their hands and faces. Honestly, THAT was the funniest part of the movie.

Without going too much further into the plot, I'll just say that the General Jackie of the past and the Jack of the present do meet up (in one sense), but the result is really fucking laughable. Out of the blue we're told of the meteorite and it's zero-G powers (this McGuffin devise is just tossed at the audience in the middle of the movie like a live hand grenade, and we're left scratching our heads with gaping mouths that mutter "What the fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck?"), and then we find out just as bluntly in the last 20 minutes that the stone also has the ability to make people immortal. I think you can kind of guess how the past and present merge now. Yeah. Shake your head in disbelief and then fart in this movie's general direction. The plot is so heavy-handed, yet so poorly told that it's just a complete waste of any effort (to both film it and watch it). Jackie doesn't even do any memorable fights or stunts in the whole thing. In fact the fights that are supposed to be really cool are terrible thanks to really shitty effects. In one battle set in the past, General Jackie is fighting hundreds of soldiers who have horses and bows and arrows and shit. Whenever Jackie cuts down a horse-mounted soldier you can clearly see that the horse is a non-moving stuffed animal. And he hacks up like 2 dozen of the beasts. It's so terrible that it not only takes you completely out of the movie, but it makes you think that you could do a better job with a camcorder, some Asian friends dressed in cardboard armor, some Ginsu knives, and a few horses destined for the dog-food factory. For fuck's sake, man! You're filming in CHINA! You guys don't give a shit about human rights, so why do you care about horse rights? Carve a few up for your audience's entertainment!

Yeah, I'll give props to the cavernous, floating city, CG FX at the very end of the movie, but they didn't even use the idea of zero-gravity, kung-fu fighting to it's greatest potential. They could have taken the fights in Hero and Crouching Tiger to the next level, but instead they didn't even make them as cool as what had already been done before. Like everything else in this movie, it was a wasted effort.

So, what did I think of Jackie Chan's The Myth? I find I have to give it 2 out of 7 Stars of Hong Kong Kick-Assness. Jackie has fallen from grace. I may not look it, but I'm weeping on the inside.

The Kung-fu Fighting

Yo, G, normally I'm all for the mad martial arts skillz of the J.C. (Jackie Chan, foo'!), but lately he's just been fa-snizzlin' my ba-jizzle, and not in a good way. His way freaky 'Merican movies have been suckin' the chrome off my fillings fo' years, and they made me want to start killin' some crazyass Hollywood types for so miscasting my yellow-skinned amigo so heinously. Then the J.C. announced that he'd be trippin' on back to China so's that he could start doing some crazy-awesome kung-fu shit again, like he'd done way back in the day, when he'd throw himself off of a 5 story parking garage without a net jus' cause he thought it'd look cool on the screen (and he was so damn right about that!).

Well, J.C. did get his crazy slant-eyed ass back to the China, but he didn't start makin' no good goddamn movies! He instead tried to do the drama thang, and fucked up proper when he proved that he can only do two faces: confused and zany. Neither of those expressions works well when you's makin' a picture about a half a dozen cops gettin' brutally slain in a funhouse of torture, Holmes. Anyway, I thought the Chinese mo'fo' done learned his lesson, but nooooooo. He instead tried to make a half-historical and half-zany crazy kung-fu movie in order to merge his two likes together into one messy glob of filmdom. And guess what, G... This ain't no chocolate in yo damn peanut butter.

Jackie, my main man, you do understand that you is one helluva bad actor, don't you? You can run up the side of a building, and beat up 12 guys with a fridge and a pinball machine, but you suck at emotin' yo emotions. Just give it up and give us Drunken Master 3, or Supercop 15 , mother fucka. That's all we want, bitch.

Bad, bad Jackie. So's that you learns yo lesson, I'ma gonna give you a negative one star on this movie. Don't let me catch you doin nothin' like this again, you hear me, boy?

The Mystic SATAN

Yow! Seriously, this wasn't part of my deal with Jackie.

See, years ago Jackie signed a contract with me stipulating that I would get his soul (and the souls of all his fans when he eventually expired) if I gave him ungodly powers to kick ass, and balls of steel in order to allow himself to get run over by a large hovercraft for the sake of a shitty little movie. With these powers I thought that Jackie would be able to make each film he made bigger and more incredible than the last, thusly expanding his fan base to at least all of China (over a billion people! Just think of it! We'd have such a blast down here what with all the martial arts tournaments and all that MSG-laced pork and chicken all the time!). But then he got contracted out to Hollywood.

At first I thought this might be the right move for both Jackie and for myself, but soon I realized that Hollywood fucked me up the ass yet again. This time they turned my Chan-man into an idiotic sidekick to the likes of Owen Wilson and Chris Tucker... Chris fucking Tucker!!! Goddamn you, Hollywood! Thanks to you Chan has LOST a good number of his core group of fans, and when he finally returned to Hong Kong in 2004 to start making more "old school" movies in the homeland, I found out that he lost his edge... He was neutered. He no longer did any of his own stunts without wires or nets, and worst of all he thought that he could now act. Can you believe that?! That was never in our contract! I said he'd be able to move like Spider-Man, not act better than a giant ham... Sorry, bad pun. Fuck off.

Anyway, his New Police Story was really kind of a let down, and now his new movie, The Myth, just plain sucked. Hmmm, maybe he actually did read the fine print in my original contract with him and he saw that the way to save his own soul would be to end up dying without ANY fans for me to reap. That would cancel out our deal and allow him to go to Heaven, or Buddhist-Land, or whatever the fuck he believes in.... Damn you, Jackie. Damn you....

A thumb down for this Asian turd pile. I guess sometimes I've gotta lose, otherwise the game wouldn't be very interesting.