What does it take to make a multi-million dollar action blockbuster these days? A well known lead? Probably. Decent FX? Undoubtedly. A coherent plot? Would be nice. A relatively short run time that means the film doesn’t outstay its welcome? Yes please.
I’ll forgive Stanley Tong, the director of 2005’s The Myth, for only taking on board one of my above suggestions, seeing as he made the movie around five years ago and I only wrote them a few moments ago. I just wish he’d worked out the rest for himself.
One-time Asian superstar Jackie Chan stars as Dr Jack Chan in an archaeological/sci-fi/historical epic which follows our hero as he dreams of a past life in Ancient China while travelling the globe to locate a 2000 year old mausoleum belonging to China’s first emperor.
Flashing back and forth between two time periods, Tong blatantly rips-off the original Highlander movie, sadly failing to build on that films near effortless segues from the modern day to the past. Where Highlander managed to retain a sense of a narrative flow during its bouts of time travel, The Myth merely confuses the viewer.
Characters are given words to speak but no life to live, dull dialogue frequently muttered to help the story limp from set piece to set piece. Oddly, even those speaking English are given subtitles on this DVD.
While on paper the script must have looked good to someone, on screen this simply becomes a confused mish-mash of ideas that barely hang together in the two hour run time.
A sad waste of the talents of all involved, Chan-devotees may still find something to savour in the glue factory fight sequence, though that’s not saying much.
The Myth is out on Region 2 DVD on 4 May