Writer: Nurliana Kamaruddin
Overall: 3.5 Out of 5
Cast: 0 Out of 5
Plot: 0 Out of 5
Effects: 0 Out of 5
Cinematography: 0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: NA
It's really hard to put this movie in one category. Perhaps the best and only category that it will perfectly fit into would be a 'Jackie Chan movie'. The only way for you to not be disappointed with this movie is by not having any expectations at all, and then I can promise you that you will be walking into an all-out entertainer.
Working on a rather sketchy storyline (something about Jackie's character Jack being the reincarnation of a military general from the Qin dynasty), this movie scores because of the elaborateness of its visual representation on screen. The sets, the costumes, the war scenes - you can tell that a lot of care and a lot of details has gone into creating the details of this movie, and perhaps this passion becomes the saving grace of the movie.
Of course, being a Jackie Chan movie, you can hardly expect the movie to not feature stellar fighting scenes. This one though, not only features Jackie's fantastic one-on-one fights (like his sword fight with the Dasar warrior), but also spectacular full-scale epic battles with numerous cavalry and foot soldiers. All splendidly brought to life by Stanley Tong's critical eye.
Jackie Chan, being the wonder that he is, is the centre of attention in this movie (but of course). One cannot help but marvel at this extremely fit 51-year-old man who can still jump over walls and perform effortless flips and tumbles. Jackie has always been a fascination and a crowd-puller for any movie (even if it's just a cameo role), and this movie took full advantage to feature him front, right and centre.
I was fairly disappointed with character development though, and in this case, there was still so much more that could have been explained about the people in the story, like what was the history between Jack (Jackie Chan), William (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and their former university professor Prof Ku (Sun Zhou), as well as Samantha's (Mallika Sherawat) attraction to Jack.
Of course, there were some completely unnecessary scenes (like Mallika's costume deterioration on the rat glue conveyor belt, for one) and Jackie looked weird in the metal helmet, but the sheer detail of everything else overwhelms the hiccups.
"The Myth" is not a deep, angst-ridden movie like "Hero" and "Seven Swords" was, nor is it anywhere near the poetic beauty of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon", but it carves its own niche in the market, complying to neither genre of wuxia nor pure action like Jackie's previous films.
Though I still find it hard to accept Jackie as a romantic hero and I felt the love story was underdeveloped and Mallika's Sherawat was over-publicised for her consequentially minor role, this movie still rates as a decent entertainer in my book.
Cinema Online, 23 September 2008